Hickory cop has just about seen it all in two decades

  • Written by Kelly White

  From carrying groceries to fixing flat tires to preventing suicides, this officer has seemingly done it all.
  Hickory Hills Police Officer, Daniel McCauley, was honored for 20 years of service and that impressed his boss.
  “Twenty years is quite an accomplishment,” Hickory Hills Police Chief, Alan Vodicka, said upon presenting McCauley with a 20 years of service pin at last Thursday’s City Council Meeting, “This doesn’t happen all that often and is definitely something to be acknowledged.”
  The length of time McCauley has been working for Hickory Hills was not the only reason he was honored. Vodicka reported throughout his 20 years of service, he has received a lot of positive feedback on the longtime officer, including changing a flat tire for a resident.
  On Aug. 3, 2009, McCauley was summoned to escort an 84-year-old man back to his disabled vehicle, after he walked nearly one and a half miles to report a flat tire. McCauley was only asked to provide the elderly man a ride back to his vehicle and wait with him until a tow company arrived, however, rather than have the man incur a bill for a service call the cop elected to change the tire himself, saving a senior citizen on a fixed income a considerable sum of money.
  He was also involved in more serious situations.
  McCauley responded to a call on June 13, 2006, where his actions were able to stop a suicide attempt.
  One handwritten later, dated June 10, 1997, referred to McCauley as “kind, thoughtful and caring’’ after Hickory Hills resident, Claudene Callahan, was driving home with a trunk full of groceries when a deer hit her car. Upon arriving on the scene, where Callahan was reportedly shaken up from the terrifying incident, McCauley placed all of her groceries in the squad car, drove her home and carried all her groceries inside her home for her.
  Vodicka added a lot of residents respect McCauley’s kind and understanding manner during difficult circumstances.
  “I would like to thank the city of Hickory Hills, Mayor Mike Howley, the city council and the residents for making this such a nice place to work,” McCauley said upon receiving his service pin.
  McCauley was born to parents, Patrick and Adelina, on Aug. 24, 1956. His father was a longtime Chicago Police Officer. McCauley admits his father was the reason his interest began in joining a police force.
  McCauley went on to attend St. Thomas More Grammar School and then graduated from Bogan High School. Before being hired by the Hickory Hills Police Department on Oct. 9, 1993, McCauley held a wide variety of jobs adding to his knowledge in the police force, including stints with McCormick Place Security, the Cook County Department of Corrections, Imperial Palace Casino Security in Las Vegas, the Tucson Arizona Police Dept., the University of Chicago Police Department, the Blue Island Police Department and the Cook County Hospital Police Dept.
  “As you can see, Dan came to us with a vast amount of experience, and he has also received additional extensive training during his twenty years with Hickory Hills,” Vodicka said.
  During his career with the Hickory Hills Police Department, McCauley has served in the capacity as a patrol specialist, investigator, motorcycle officer and he is currently assigned to a federal task force under the Department of Homeland Security.

OL man charged with making threats

  • Written by Bob Rakow

  An Oak Lawn man was charged with disorderly conduct Oct. 18 after telling a woman that her brother had one week to live, police said.
  Pawel Pitton, 19, was arrested at his home shortly after he appeared in the driveway of a house in the 9300 block of Austin Avenue with a baseball bat and his face covered and asked the woman where her brother could be found, according to reports.
  The woman told Pitton her brother was not home. Pitton responded, “he has a week to live” before driving away on northbound Austin Avenue in a white car.
  The woman tried to call her brother before calling police. Her brother told police he’s had trouble with Pitton in the past. Police went to Pitton’s Oak Lawn home and spotted a white Toyota Corolla in the driveway. He was wearing the clothing described by the victim’s sister, according to reports.
  Pitton told police, “I’m sorry I went there. Am I in trouble?” He denied having a bat or anything covering his face. He was positively identified by the woman he encountered in the driveway.

Barefoot and lead foot — Chicago woman charged in OL with multiple traffic offenses

  • Written by Bob Rakow

  A woman driving through Oak Lawn 30 miles above the posted speed limit with an open bottle of cognac next to the driver’s seat was charged Oct. 12 with aggravated drunken driving and several other violations, police said.
  Nicole M. Townsend, 27, of Chicago, also was charged transportation of open alcohol, speeding, driving without insurance, driving with an obstructed windshield, driving on a suspended license and blocking an intersection after being stopped at the 111th Street and Cicero Avenue at 2:19 a.m., according to reports.
  Townsend was clocked at 65 miles per hour near 103rd Street and Cicero Avenue, police said. She acknowledged that the speed limit was 35 miles per hour and believed she was driving about five miles over the limit, according to reports.
  Police noticed an odor of alcohol on Townsend’s breath. She had bloodshot eyes and “thick tongued” speech, they said. She exited car without shoes and was told to put them on before police proceeded with field sobriety tests, police said.
  Townsend said she was returning from a birthday party at 147th Street and Burnham where she had three drinks. Her blood alcohol level was .191, police said.
  She laughed and said, “I failed. I drunk. I been drinking all night,” police said.
  Townsend later said she was driving much faster, police said.
  “I was only going about 80,” she said, according to the report. “We were on the highway when you stopped me. Honestly, I shouldn’t have been driving. It was a long night. But the speed limit was about 75, and I was going about 85 or 90. It was real close. I’m confused. How can my license be suspended if I’ve never had a license? That doesn’t make sense. I never took the written test.”

Driver and passenger pull a hit-and-run play near Worth baseball diamond

  • Written by Bob Rakow

  The driver and passenger of a van fled on foot Oct. 15 after striking a wooden barricade and damaging a backstop at Peaks Park in Worth, police said.
  The 2000 maroon Dodge Caravan struck the 18-inch barricade at 2:36 a.m. and continued into the park where it hit the chain link backstop of a baseball diamond located on the southeast corner of the park, according to reports.
  A witness told police that she heard the “screeching of brakes and a thump.” She went outside and heard the driver racing the engine in an attempt to leave. The driver and passenger eventually got out of the van and ran toward Oak Park Avenue, the witness said.
  The van was headed north on Lloyd Drive at a high rate of speed, according to police. It made a slight left turn and continued across the park property, striking the barrier before running into the backstop. The van had front-end damage, and a three-foot section of a utility pole was lodged beneath the frame, police said.
  The witness said both the driver and passenger were young males who wore hooded sweatshirts and shorts. The van is registered to a Worth residence, but police were unsuccessful in getting a response at the apartment, according to reports.

Name game — men lie to cops about monikers

  • Written by Bob Rakow

  An Oak Lawn man was charged with driving on a suspended license and arrested on three outstanding warrants Oct. 18 but not before lying about his identity, Hickory Hills police said.

  David Wesley Jr., 36, was stopped in the 7700 block of 95th Street for having an expired vehicle registration, according to reports.

  Police subsequently learned that Wesley Jr. was wanted on warrants for failing to appear in court in Montgomery, Ill., and Aurora and disorderly conduct in Kane County, according to reports.

  When he was pulled over, Wesley Jr. identified himself as David Wesley III, the name of his 18-year-old son, police said. He said he did not have any identification. Police, however, believed he was older than 18.

  In fact, Wesley III was a passenger in the car, who also lied about his identity when questioned by police. He was given a warning about lying about his name.