A Chicago man who slipped through police hands on three separate occasions in December and January has been charged with felony fleeing and eluding related to an incident in Riverside on Dec. 22, 2010.

Chicago police handed over Carl A. Freeman, 29, to Riverside police on Feb. 6. Freeman had been arrested and charged with possession of cannabis by Chicago police, who then discovered Freeman was wanted by Riverside.

On Dec. 22 about 10:30 p.m., Riverside police attempted to stop Freeman’s 2006 Buick for a minor traffic offense at Ogden and Harlem avenues. But Freeman reportedly took off north on Harlem Avenue at speeds in excess of 80 mph, driving in the southbound lanes of traffic at times and running several red lights.

Riverside police lost sight of Freeman around Cermak Road, but had the license plate number, which they traced to Freeman’s father in Chicago. At the time of the incident, police said, Freeman was wanted for questioning in connection with two shootings in Chicago.

Because Freeman reportedly has ties to Chicago street gangs, the search for him was turned over to the West Suburban Directed Gang Enforcement (WEDGE) task force, which located him in late December and January. Officers did not pursue him at the time, police said, “for safety reasons as they were driving unmarked cars.”

Chicago police finally picked up Freeman on the misdemeanor drug charge in the 8th District on the city’s Southwest Side. He has been questioned about the two shootings, according to police but was cleared of any involvement in them.

The Cook County State’s Attorney approved a felony charge for fleeing and eluding against Freeman. Riverside police also cited him for speeding, driving on a suspended license, improper land usage and running the stoplights.

Teen crashes car in North Riverside

A 16-year-old boy was charged with reckless driving and a host of traffic offenses after he reportedly drove a 2001 Acura into a house on the 7600 block of Traube Avenue in North Riverside, Feb. 5.

According to North Riverside police, an officer on patrol on Cermak Road at about 10:30 p.m. saw a black vehicle traveling 75 mph in a 35 mph zone eastbound on Cermak Road. The vehicle turned south on Lathrop Avenue, where the driver lost control and struck a building. Neither the driver nor any of the four passengers inside the vehicle were injured seriously, according to police.


A resident of the 3700 block of Raymond Avenue, Brookfield, reported to police that between 1:45 and 2:10 p.m. on Jan. 31 someone broke into his home and removed a 42-inch, flat-panel TV and a digital watch. According to the police report, a pane of glass on the back door was shattered, allowing entry to the home.

A 25-year-old Broadview man reported to North Riverside police on Jan. 31 that between 2 and 3:45 p.m. someone pried open the door of his 1996 Chevy Impala, which was parked in the west parking lot at the North Riverside Park Mall, and removed the Kenwood AM/FM/CD stereo from the dashboard.

The steering column had also been peeled, leading police to believe the offender meant to steal the car before settling for the stereo.


A resident of the 3900 block of Arthur Avenue, Brookfield, called police on Feb. 1 to report that someone had stolen the propane tank from a gas grill located in the backyard. The resident came home about 4 p.m. to find that the grill had been turned upside down and the tank was missing.


Brookfield police charged Lyons resident Joseph S. Picha, 61, with driving under the influence and cited him for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident after he reportedly struck another vehicle while driving on the 4500 block of Sunnyside Avenue at 9:52 p.m. on Feb. 4.

According to the police report, Picha’s blood-alcohol level was .216, or nearly three times the legal limit of .08.

Riverside police charged Summit resident Gerardo Benitez, 22, with aggravated DUI after an officer stopped him for speeding while on Harlem Avenue about 3 a.m. on Feb. 5.

According to the police report, Benitez told the officer he’d drunk “a lot of Coronas” prior to driving. Since he does not have a driver’s license, Benitez was charged with a felony count of DUI. His blood-alcohol was .14, or almost two times the legal limit, police said.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Jan. 31 through Feb. 6, 2011, 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