A Des Plaines man later charged with driving under the influence miraculously escaped serious injury after he allegedly drove his 2004 Dodge sedan across the double yellow line while northbound on First Avenue near the Zoo Woods and slammed head-on into a semi-tractor trailer just before 9 p.m. on Aug. 8.

Several 911 calls reported the crash to police, including one witness who had been following the car from Interstate 55 to the crash scene. That witness reported that the driver, later identified as Arthur C. Gozdal, 37, had been weaving between lanes and over the double yellow line.

Just north of 31st Street, his car, which was also allegedly traveling without any headlights on, swerved into the southbound lanes and plowed into a truck, completely obliterating the car’s front end. Gozdal was trapped inside the car and had to be extricated by Riverside Fire Department personnel. While talking to the driver, a Riverside police officer reported that Gozdal smelled of alcohol and could plainly see an open 24-ounce beer can inside the vehicle.

Gozdal was taken to Loyola University Medical Center as a precaution, but he suffered no serious injuries. He also refused to submit to any sobriety tests.

In addition to DUI, Gozdal was cited for improper lane usage, driving without headlights, having no driver’s license on his person and illegal transportation of open alcohol.

Car break-ins

Brookfield police reported a rash of car burglaries and related offenses last week.

n Sometime after 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 8, someone entered an unlocked Dodge Caravan parked in the 3500 block of McCormick Avenue and removed a Tommy Hilfiger purse containing credit cards, a cellphone and IDs.

n Sometime between 9 p.m. on Aug. 8 and 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 9, someone entered an unlocked 2002 Ford Windstar parked in the 4200 block of Arthur Avenue and removed a Nextel cellphone from the center console.

n Sometime between Aug. 6-9, someone entered an unlocked Cadillac parked alongside the alley in the 3500 block of Raymond Avenue and removed an undetermined amount of loose change from the ashtray.

n Sometime between 9 p.m. on Aug. 11 and 2 a.m. on Aug. 12, someone entered an unlocked 2003 Chevy Trailblazer parked in the 3100 block of Arthur Avenue and removed a Mid-America Bank ATM card, Jewel check card and library card from the cupholder between the front seats. The victim also reported that someone had subsequently withdrawn $80 from her bank account.

n Sometime between 12:30 and 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 9, someone smashed out the passenger side window of a 1995 Chrysler Cirrus parked in the 4400 block of Prairie Avenue and removed the faceplate from an in-dash Sony AM/FM/CD stereo.

n Sometime between 12:30 and 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 9, someone entered an unlocked 1996 Chevy Cavalier parked in the 4200 block of Arthur Avenue and rifled through the glove box. Nothing was reported missing.

n Sometime between 3 p.m. on Aug. 13 and 10:30 a.m. on Aug 14, someone cut open the soft top of a 2004 Jeep parked in the 3800 block of Forest Avenue and rifled through the car. Nothing was reported missing.


Police reported that unknown persons kicked in the front doors of Vital Music Recording, 9039 Monroe Ave., Brookfield, and made off with recording equipment valued at over $13,000.

n A resident of the 4600 block of Forest Avenue, Brookfield reported on Aug. 14 that sometime in the past two weeks, someone had entered an unlocked garage and stole a silver and blue, 24-inch boys 10-speed Mongoose bike, a small gray toolbox containing several hand tools and two blankets. The total value of the missing items was estimated at $375.


Riverside police charged Chicago resident Francisco M. Davis, 17, with driving under the influence and was slapped with an additional felony charge of possession of a controlled substance following a traffic stop in the 3300 block of Harlem Avenue on Aug. 9.

According to police, Davis’ 1997 Nissan was stopped for traveling 46 mph in a 30 mph zone. The officer reported that Davis smelled of alcohol and had him perform field sobriety tests, which Davis reportedly failed. A breath test later at the station revealed a blood-alcohol level of .132.

After being arrested for DUI, police searched Davis’ car and allegedly found a plastic baggy containing approximately 1 gram of a white powdery substance that field-tested positive for cocaine.

Disorderly conduct

Riverside police charged Forest Park resident Henry A. Leonard, 19, with disorderly conduct after he allegedly urinated on a house in the 100 block of Pine Avenue. The homeowner reportedly witnessed the incident and followed Leonard to a nearby apartment building, where he was visiting a friend.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside and Brookfield police departments from Aug. 8 through Aug. 14 and represents a portion of the incidents to which police responded. Unless otherwise indicated, anyone named in these reports has only been charged with a crime. The cases have not yet been adjudicated.

?”compiled by Bob Uphues