A convicted sex offender who formerly lived in Brookfield is in Cook County Jail, charged with two counts of residential arson in the 3 a.m. fire that destroyed a Forest Park apartment building last Thursday.

Frank Corduan, 47, who according to public records lived in the 3300 block of Prairie Avenue in 2003, had lived on the first floor of a building at 512 Desplaines Ave. with a woman and her child. Corduan was arrested at a girlfriend’s house in Downers Grove on Friday. He is being held on a $1.5 million bond.

Police and firefighters were sent to the building, which faces the Forest Park village hall, after 911 callers reported a “booming” sound and noticed flames shooting out the south side of the dwelling.

Police found the northernmost front window ajar and also noticed no vehicles parked either in the building’s two-car garage or the alley parking space behind. At the scene, a witness told police that about half an hour before he saw flames, he was outside smoking and recognized Corduan, who, he said, walked from the rear of the building, then entered it through a window.

Vehicles burglarized

• A 32-year-old North Riverside man reported on July 6 that someone had smashed out the driver’s side window of his 2002 Ford pickup truck and removed the Panasonic CD/DVD stereo from inside. The car was parked in a lot at 2300 Desplaines Ave. and was broken into between midnight and 10:50 a.m. that day.

• Some time between 2 p.m. and 11:40 p.m. on July 8, someone shattered the passenger-side window of a 2004 Volkswagen Golf parked in the lot at the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, and removed an Extreme Vision radio.

Alleged tagger arrested at Ehlert Park

Brookfield police charged 22-year-old Benito A. Alvarez, of Brookfield, with criminal defacement of property for allegedly spray-painting gang graffiti in several places at Jaycee/Ehlert Park on the village’s south end during the early morning hours of July 8.

An officer patrolling the park reported seeing Alvarez in the pavilion of the park. Alvarez then walked westbound through the playground area.

The officer smelled fresh spray paint, saw gang graffiti on the pavilion and detained Alvarez, who reportedly had wet black spray paint on his left hand and around his right eye and lips. Police also reported finding a half-full can of spray paint in the playground area.

Later that morning police also reported finding similar gang graffiti on a portable toilet, the park’s sign at Elm and Gerritsen and on the walking trail near the south softball field.


• North Riverside police charged Daniel A. Lopez, 24, of Melrose Park, with aggravated driving under the influence after police reportedly found him asleep inside his 2002 Chevy Impala, with its engine running and in gear, stopped in the middle lane of traffic in the 8300 block of Cermak Road just after midnight on July 10.

According to the police report, a witness stated he tried to wake Lopez several times and that the vehicle was stopped in the middle of the street for six to seven minutes before the witness called police.

Police arrived and reportedly found Lopez still asleep in the car. An officer opened the passenger door and put the car in park. Lopez woke up as paramedics were removing him from the car, according to the report.

He was taken to Loyola University Medical Center, where a preliminary screening showed his blood-alcohol level to be nearly three times the legal limit of .08.

The DUI charge was upgraded to a felony after police learned that Lopez’s driver’s license was suspended and that the vehicle was uninsured.

• Chicago resident Rafael Velazquez, 29, faces felony DUI charges after Riverside police arrested him for allegedly leaving the scene of an accident in Maywood and driving erratically as he continued southbound on First Avenue at about 10:20 p.m. on July 11.

Riverside police received a 911 call alerting them to a black SUV heading south from Maywood, where it collided with another vehicle. Police located the vehicle at 31st Street and followed it. The SUV crossed the center line while approaching Ogden Avenue, where it hopped a curb and came to rest on the concrete median.

Police said the driver, identified as Velazquez, was unable to perform field sobriety tests because of a language barrier. At the station, with a Spanish-speaking officer present, Velazquez reportedly submitted to a breath test, which showed his blood-alcohol level to be .178, which is more than twice the legal limit.

Because Velazquez did not possess a valid driver’s license or insurance, police said, the DUI charges were upgraded to felony status.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments from July 3 to July 11 and represent a portion of the incidents to which police responded. Unless otherwise indicated, anybody named in these reports has only been charged with a crime. These cases have not been adjudicated.

– Compiled by Bob Uphues and Amy Malina