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Oak Lawn

  A puppy was reported stolen reported at 11:10 p.m. Feb. 21 in the 10000 block of Marion Avenue. The dog’s owner noticed his gate was open, and saw footprints in the snow leading from the street to the gate. The owner called the dog’s name, Peanut, and heard a bark; then saw a person pick up the dog and put him in a blue sedan. Peanut is a 5-month old terrier-mix that is beige with black markings, police said.
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  A 46-year-old woman was charged with disorderly conduct after she allegedly demanded money from patrons and began opening all of the washers and dryers at a coin laundry in the 9700 block of Cicero Avenue.
  Amy E. Colomb, of Willowbrook, was arrested at 6:36 p.m. Feb. 23.
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  A 30-year-old man was charged with DUI and speeding after police stopped the vehicle he was driving in the 6100 block of 93rd Street.
  Riad H. El Kamaniof Oak Lawn was arrested at 12:31 a.m. March 1. He was also reported charged with improper turn, failure to signal, and no rear registration light. Figuigui reportedly urinated on the floor of the police station.
  Amin Figuigui, 27, of Oak Lawn, was reportedly charged with resisting a peace officer.
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  Two men were charged with retail theft after they allegedly took a five-gallon bucket of paint with a retail value of $110 from a store in the 4000 block of 95th Street.
  Tuhan I. Waller, 41, of Chicago Heights, and Slavko Nisavic, 32, of Chicago, were arrested at 12:58 p.m. Feb. 27. Waller was also charged with battery for allegedly punching a security officer in the face.
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  A 33-year-old man was charged with disorderly conduct after he allegedly cut off another driver and then waved a knife at him at the intersection of 100th Street and Central Park Avenue.
  George S. Kuzur, of Burbank, was arrested at 9:14 a.m. Feb. 22.
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  A 22-year-old woman was charged with battery after she allegedly struck a woman with a rock she threw out of a car window in the 5900 block of 89th Place.
  Brittany A. Maher, of Oak Lawn, was arrested at 1:19 p.m. Feb. 24.
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  A 47-year-old man was charged with disorderly conduct after he allegedly walked in and out of traffic punching cars in the 4700 block of 91st Street.
  James D. Humay, of Riverside, was arrested at 1:11 p.m. Feb. 15.
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  A 39-year-old man was reportedly charged with aggravated DUI and driving without a license after the vehicle he was driving struck three other cars in the 10200 block of Cicero Avenue.
  Stefan Solitis, of Burbank, was arrested at 8:44 p.m. Feb. 25.
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  A 49-year-old man was charged with disorderly conduct after he allegedly yelled at patients and employees at Advocate Christ Medical Center, 4440 W. 95th St.
  James G. McCahill, of Oak Lawn, was arrested at 3:48 p.m. Feb. 25.
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  A 27-year-old man was cited with retail theft after he allegedly took a video game and electric cord with a retail value of $43 from a store in the 4100 block of 95th Street.
  Jorge R. Ramirez, of Chicago, was stopped at 5:03 p.m. Feb. 28.
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  A 24-year-old man was reportedly charged with DUI, improper lane usage and following too closely after police stopped the vehicle he was driving in the 9400 block of Pulaski Road.
  Robert J. Dykes Jr., was arrested at 9:47 p.m. Feb. 23. He was reportedly driving 67 mph in a 35-mph zone.
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  A 52-year-old man was charged with retail theft after she allegedly took a pair of boots with a retail value of $43 from a store in the 4100 block of 95th Street.
  Jerome Fletcher, of Chicago, was arrested at 8:59 a.m. March 2.
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  A 50-year-old woman was cited with retail theft after she allegedly took groceries with a retail value of $185 from a store in the 8800 block of Ridgeland Avenue.
  Barbara H. Majerczyk, of Oak Lawn, was cited at 12:32 p.m. March 2.
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  A 33-year-old man was charged with retail theft after he allegedly took two pairs of headphones with a retail value of $299 from a store in the 4100 block of 95th Street.
  Jesus Ang, of Westmont, was arrested at 3:43 p.m. Feb. 23.

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  Theft from a motor vehicle was reported at 8:58 a.m. Feb. 27 in the 9000 block of Cicero Avenue. An air compressor worth $89 was reported taken.
 

Cops pre-empt flash mob plan

Chicago youths wanted to repeat Ford City fracas

By Laura Bollin

The Chicago Ridge Police Department, with help from officers from Oak Lawn, Evergreen Park, Palos Hills, Palos Park and the Cook County sheriff’s police, were able to put the kibosh on a group of youths who were planning reportedly to run amok at Chicago Ridge Mall last weekend.

Authorities believe the teens were going to descend on the mall last Saturday in similar fashion to what was executed last month at Ford City Mall in Chicago. The members of the so-called flash mob on Feb. 23 were jumped on parked and moving automobiles, broke store windows, looted stores, and threw chairs stolen from the mall at cars on Cicero Avenue.

Chicago Ridge Police were notified of the planned mob by teachers and administrators from Corliss and Julian high schools in Chicago and the Chicago Police Department’s gang unit, said Chicago Ridge police Chief Robert Pyznarski. Three-hundred youths planned to meet at Ford City and take public transportation to the Ridge mall, 95th Street and Ridgeland Avenue, Pyznarski said.

Students were posting about the flash mob on social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, according to Chicago Ridge police Cmdr. Brian Galske.

“There was a lot of information like, ‘Let’s do what we did at Ford City at Chicago Ridge,’” Galske said. “They destroyed the inside of the mall at Ford City. It was closed for a few days. They were throwing items through windows, and there were a lot of retail thefts, because they would go in and loot stores. The Best Buy in Burbank had electronics taken.”

About 50 officers from Chicago Ridge and other area municipalities, as well as the sheriff’s police’s gang unit, were at the mall Saturday in anticipation of the mob’s arrival. Police officers were outside and inside the mall, and patrolled the mall entrances and parking lots. The mall tripled its security personnel and brought in security officers from nearby malls.

Mall security encouraged business owners to get rid loose objects such as chairs that could be used to break windows or cause damage.

Chicago Ridge Mall marketing director Alysia Gordon said mall officials worked directly with police officers in preparation for the flash mob.

“We wanted to prepare the environment to be as safe as possible for shoppers and for tenants,” Gordon said.

Hundreds of youths arrived at the mall via Pace Bus at 2 p.m. Saturday; however, some saw the police presence and immediately re-boarded the bus, police said.

“Pace bus would notify dispatch when they had a group of kids, and then dispatch would let us know that they’d just picked up 30 kids or 50 kids,” Galske said. “On Facebook, [youths] were posting, ‘Chicago Ridge is heavy with the cops, don’t come.’ Our presence was a pure deterrent.”

Police were prepared to implement the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System, which would have called for backup from 25 officers who could have been at the mall in five minutes, police said. Stores would have been ordered to close their gates, and police would have gotten the youths out of the mall and arrested anyone who was involved in the mob, police said.

“It didn’t even materialize, but it definitely allowed us to prepare for a flash mob like this,” Galske said. “If it were to happen again, we would do it again. If another mall were to experience something like this, we will help them, too.”
 

Palos Hills

  A 25-year-old man was reportedly charged with DUI and improper lane usage after police stopped the vehicle he was driving in the 10100 block of Roberts Road.
  T.J. Guzier, of Willow Springs, was arrested at 4:30 a.m. March 1. He was also reportedly charged with squealing tires and driving with a loud muffler.
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  A 49-year-old man was reportedly charged with DUI and improper lane usage after police stopped the vehicle he was driving in the 10100 block of Roberts Road.
  James Kohn, of Palos Hills, was arrested at 2:40 a.m. March 3. He was also reportedly charged with failure to yield when merging into traffic, improper lane usage, expired registration and no valid insurance.
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  A 39-year-old man was charged with public indecency after he allegedly urinated at the corner of Roberts Road and 105th Street.
  Michael Kharallah, of Chicago, was arrested at 9 a.m. March 1.
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  A 31-year-old man was charged with criminal trespass to residence after he allegedly entered a unit in an apartment building in the 10000 block of Hill Terrace at 10 a.m. Feb. 26.
  Dionte Jimerson, of Chicago, was arrested at 9:30 a.m. March 1.
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  Theft was reported at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at Palos Extended Care, 10426 S. Roberts Road. A patient reportedly told police someone had taken $120 from his room.
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  Identity theft was reported at 3:50 p.m. March 2. A man reportedly told police that he did not authorize charges on his credit card.
 

Worth

  A 22-year-old man was reportedly charged with driving under the influence of drugs after the vehicle he was driving allegedly struck another vehicle in the 11100 block of Ridgeland Avenue.
  William P. Jaroszewski, of Oak Lawn, was arrested at 5:56 a.m. Feb. 28.
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  A 24-year-old man was reportedly charged with driving with a suspended license and disobeying a stop sign after police stopped the vehicle he was driving at the intersection of Worth Avenue and Southwest Highway.
  Nicklas A. Tellone, of Burbank, was arrested at 4:29 a.m. Feb. 23. He was also charged with operation of an uninsured motor vehicle, expired registration and obstruction of justice after he allegedly gave police a false name.
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  A 29-year-old man was reportedly charged with driving without a valid license after police stopped the vehicle he was driving in the 6800 block of Crandell Avenue.

  Angel Silva-Lozano, of Worth, was arrested at 8:14 p.m. Feb. 25. He was also charged with failure to signal a turn, failure to stop exiting a parking lot and no insurance.
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  A 21-year-old man was reportedly charged with no driver’s license after police stopped the vehicle he was driving in the 6700 block of 111th Street.

  Kristen R. Triplett, of Worth, was arrested at 4:02 p.m. Feb. 25. The vehicle he was driving reportedly struck another vehicle in the parking lot of Rich Gas Station, 6760 W. 111th St.

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  A 20-year-old man was reportedly charged with illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor after police saw him yelling and swearing at a group of men in the CVS parking lot, 6748 W. 111th St.

  Christian A. Hernandez, of Worth, was arrested at 12:54 a.m. Feb. 28. He was also charged with damage to property after he allegedly damaged the wire connecting a handcuff to a bench while in custody at the police station.
 

Family of teen killed in crash with cop car gets $2.5M

By Laura Bollin

The family of a Chicago teenager who was killed in 2010 when an Evergreen Park squad car traveling 90 miles an hour struck the vehicle he was driving has been awarded $2.5 million in a wrongful death settlement. 

Brian DeWitt, of Chicago’s Morgan Park neighborhood, died Oct. 5, 2010 after the squad driven by an Evergreen Park police officer pursuing a speeder on 95th Street crashed into his car at the thoroughfare’s intersection with Central Park Avenue. The speed limit on 95th Street is 35 mph.

DeWitt’s mother, Deborah, had reportedly sued the department and the officer who was driving the police car. She has also sent a letter to the Evergreen Park Police Department asking for changes in the department’s policy about police pursuits.

Other area police departments have a no-pursuit policy, or ask officers to consider the safety of other drivers and pedestrians before starting a pursuit. The Oak Lawn Police Department’s policy states the “immediate apprehension of the subject is generally not more important than the safety of the public and pursuing officers,” and notes that pursuits can only be conducted while a police car has its lights and sirens activated. The Oak Lawn policy also has officers stop a pursuit if speeds have become “unreasonably unsafe.”

The squad car involved in the fatal crash in Evergreen Park was reportedly unmarked and did not have its lights or sirens activated.

In Hickory Hills, the only crimes for which police officers are allowed to pursue suspects are “forcible felonies” such as armed robbery or homicide. Lt. Tim Stevens said traffic offenders are not pursued.

“It has to be a serious offense against a person where there is the threat or harm or there has been great bodily harm,” Stevens said. “But if it’s 3 p.m. and there’s a burglary and the person is refusing to pill over, we will gather license plate information and identify the person later.”

A similar policy exists in Chicago Ridge. Police chief Robert Pyznarski said pursuits must meet two criteria: if the person presents a danger to human life or may cause serious injury; or if the alleged crime is violent, like a person with a gun shooting someone at a bank or convenience store.

The Palos Hills Police Department has a no-pursuit policy.

Deborah DeWitt could not be reached for comment for this story. Pursuit SAFETY, a California organization dedicated to changing pursuit policies and reducing the number of deaths from police pursuits has been working with the DeWitt family, said Candy Priano, the organization’s founder. Priano’s 15-year-old daughter, Kristie, died in 2002 when a police vehicle crashed into the family’s car on the way to a basketball game.

“Families are told it doesn’t happen that often, which doesn’t make us feel good,” Priano said. “It’s like we drew the unlucky lottery number. Our organization is not about ending pursuits. That would be an unrealistic goal. Our goal is to change the policies and reduce the deaths.”

Priano met with the DeWitt family in April 2011, and said Brian’s mother is now volunteering with the organization.

“We want to help the families and have the police catch these suspects another way, especially when they are not posing an immediate threat,” Priano said. “We would like to see police pursue people for violent crimes and only violent crimes, or immediate threats, like where someone is shooting a gun out of a car window. If they’re not an immediate threat, why should they do a chase? It puts civilians and police officers at risk.”