Riverside Township Assessor Schofield “Scuff” Gross was back at work Monday morning and, except for the cast holding his left elbow at a right angle, appeared in good shape despite being the victim of a strong-arm robbery attempt last Friday morning.
The 78-year-old Gross was taking his customary walk around 5:50 a.m. on July 28 in the 100 block of Bloomingbank Road when two men knocked him down from behind, slammed him into the sidewalk and demanded money.
“All of a sudden I went down and they said, ‘Where’s your money?'” Gross said. “I told them, ‘I don’t have any.'”
Gross was only carrying identification and house keys at the time of the attack. When the attackers learned he had no money, at least one of them kicked Gross in the ribs.
Because he was attacked from behind, Gross didn’t get a good look at his attackers. He said both were white males between 18 and 20 years old. One weighed between 180 and 200 pounds and wore dark-colored clothing, while the other weighed roughly 150 to 160 pounds and wore light-colored clothing, Gross said.
After Gross began yelling for help, the two men fled in a dark-colored car, which was driven by a third person. At 6 a.m., Gross walked into the Riverside police station, showing obvious signs of injury, said Assistant Police Chief Thomas Weitzel.
Gross spent Friday night in LaGrange Memorial Hospital after having his broken left elbow set. Three days after the attack, Gross said his ribs were still tender, although none had been fractured.
Riverside police canvassed the area near the attack after Gross reported the incident but turned up no suspects. Weitzel said police would be going door-to-door with fliers and sent out a notice to all residents on the village’s e-Flash service.
For his part, Gross said the incident proved that these types of incidents can happen anywhere and that anyone who walks or jogs alone should take extra precautions. He also said he’d have to “rethink” his morning ritual.
“You should be cautious and you should be alert. The area where I was is very quiet,” Gross said. “The only cars I ever see are police cars or the guys delivering the papers. I did see a car go by me fast, and I wish I was able to get the license number.
“This can happen, even in Riverside.”
Hit and run
LaGrange Park resident Angel Stead, 36, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident and driving on a suspended license after she allegedly left the roadway and ran over some bushes on the morning of July 30. Police weren’t sure exactly when the incident took place, but at 9:54 a.m. Stead’s 2001 Chevy SUV was stopped near the intersection of Harlem and 26th Street after an officer noticed it dragging a large branch underneath.
During that stop Stead was charged with driving on a suspended license and cited for driving with suspended license plates. At 11:08 a.m. that morning, a resident in the 100 block of Riverside Road called police saying that the bushes in front of the house had been damaged by a vehicle, whose tire tracks were visible on the ground. Police later matched the branch under Stead’s vehicle with the bushes in front of the house.
Brookfield police charged Rockford resident Frank L. Camelin, 54, with driving under the influence after an officer reported Camelin’s Harley-Davidson motorcycle speeding eastbound in the 8800 block of 47th Street at 12:11 a.m. on July 29. According to the police report, Camelin was traveling 57 mph in a 40 mph and weaving in the lane before he was stopped in the 8100 block of 47th Street.
Stone Park resident Guillermo Maldonado, 24, was charged with a felony count of driving under the influence after an officer stopped him for allegedly driving through a stoplight at the intersection of Harlem Avenue and Burlington Street. After reportedly failing field sobriety tests and blowing a .17, more than twice the legal limit, on the Breathalyzer, Maldonado was charged with DUI. The charge was upgraded to a felony under the Michael Gordon law since Maldonado had no valid driver’s license and no insurance.
Riverside police charged Burbank resident David A. Benedict, 46, with driving under the influence after he allegedly passed out in his car in the 3200 block of Harlem Avenue while waiting for a train to pass just after 1:15 a.m. on July 30. Police reportedly found Benedict slumped over the wheel of his car, which was still running and in gear. His foot was on the brake.
Police knocked on the window and finally roused Benedict by shaking him. After failing field sobriety tests, he was arrested for DUI. At the station a breath test revealed a blood-alcohol level of .299, which is more than three times the legal limit. He was also cited for improper parking on a roadway and having no valid driver’s license.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside and Brookfield police departments from July 24 through July 30 and represent 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