Friday was a busy day for the Riverside police at the Maybrook courthouse. Not only did they have three cases on the call, they were all high-profile cases – a fatal DUI, the Grumpy’s robbery (both from the same week in 2009) and the bizarre kidnapping revenge incident from February.

And the police work done by the department paid off. The man accused of being drunk behind the wheel, ramming into two vehicles head on and killing one person (it easily could have been worse) finally copped a plea and received 8.5 years in prison.

It could have been worse for him, and family members of the deceased and severely injured victims felt the judge should have dropped the hammer on him. But over eight years in prison, and he’ll have to serve at least 85 percent of that sentence, is a hefty punishment.

The daughter of the woman who was killed admitted that no amount of time was going to soften the blow. But justice was done.

Later that day, the young man accused of robbing Grumpy’s was declared guilty of the crime at a bench trial, during which last-minute witnesses materialized, in the forms of the accused’s girlfriend and mother. They apparently were too busy to vouch for the guy until the day of the trial. It took about a half second after closing arguments for the judge to enter a guilty verdict.

The charge was reduced from armed robbery to robbery, but the accused still has to answer for another armed robbery in Berwyn. Perhaps the girlfriend’s father (whose name the accused couldn’t recall) can come up with a better alibi for that one.

And, finally, a grand jury formally indicted two men in the Feb. 26 kidnapping of two Riverside teenagers to help the men carry out a revenge plot against another teen they believed burglarized a relative’s apartment.

The two may have been right about the burglary – their intended target was reportedly found to have items taken from the apartment burglary inside his bedroom. But the execution of exacting justice left much to be desired. Calling the police and giving them info is always better than risking felony kidnapping charges and allegedly involving a 14-year-old relative as an accomplice.

Politics and volunteers

It’ll be interesting to see how a fledgling volunteer organization in Riverside fares as the summer months approach. Ambitious special events programming in Riverside these days resonates politically and it’s going to need the support of the village board before anything can happen.

And because such a group made the Fourth of July parade a reality in 2009 (who can be against an Independence Day parade?), the kind of events being talked about now – specifically, a concert series in Guthrie Park – is likely to generate push back from a portion of the citizenry and perhaps from some village board members, who might see those involved in the Special Events Committee as political adversaries.

No political good can come from a popular, well-run event organized by the opposition. Can it?