Several hurt in Desplaines Ave. crash

Driver of stolen vehicle eludes police capture

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By Thomas Vogel

Staff Reporter

A man suspected of vehicular robbery in Chicago remains at large and possibly armed after escaping capture by Forest Park police following a vehicle pursuit that ended when the suspect crashed into another car in the 1400 block of Desplaines Avenue on Monday night. 

Forest Park police on Dec. 5 at around 7:20 p.m. reported a slowing moving car heading westbound on Harvard Avenue. When an officer ran a computer check of the license plate, he discovered the car had been reported stolen in the 700 block of Ogden Avenue in Chicago in an aggravated robbery involving a handgun.

Officers trailed the vehicle as it turned onto Desplaines Avenue. More Forest Park units arrived and attempted to surround the car in the 7-Eleven parking lot at the corner of Roosevelt Road and Desplaines. 

The driver of the stolen vehicle then fled south on Desplaines Avenue, struck a squad car, veered into northbound oncoming traffic and crashed into another car in the 1400 block of Desplaines, just south of the Walmart, police reported. 

No Forest Park officers were injured, according to Police Chief Thomas Aftanas, who said he did not know the extent of injuries to the driver of the second car. 

The stolen vehicle had 6 occupants, ranging in age from 14 to 18. The driver reportedly crawled from the crashed car and fled into the nearby cemetery. 

Officers stayed at the crash site and the suspect remains at large, possibly armed with a handgun. The other five passengers were taken to area hospitals and may or may not be charged in the coming days. 

Four of the passengers, including the driver, have Chicago addresses; the two others are from Forest Park. 

"They shouldn't worry," Aftanas said, referring to Forest Park residents worried about being in danger. "I doubt [the driver] is still in Forest Park." 

Chicago police detectives are handling the investigation, Aftanas said.

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