A Berwyn woman, who reportedly told Riverside police she was late getting to a court date when she ignored railroad gate signals and blew through the crossing, was charged with possession of cannabis after she was stopped by an officer just before 9 a.m. on May 9.

Police said the officer heard the bells sounding and lights flashing on the crossing gates at Harlem Avenue and East Burlington Street when three cars dashed southbound across the intersection.

The third car, driven by 26-year-old Addrin L. Brown, drove through the crossing when the gates were halfway down, reported the officer who stopped her 1995 Chevy. During the stop, Brown reportedly told the officer she drove through the crossing because she was “in a hurry to get to court.” The officer also reported smelling a strong odor of cannabis coming from inside the vehicle.

In the back seat, the officer reported finding a purse containing plastic bags used for packaging cannabis, a scale and small bag of cannabis. Brown indicated to the officer that the items belonged to someone else. In addition to possession of cannabis, she was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.


Vehicle break-ins

A resident of the 4500 block of Elm Avenue, Brookfield reported that between 11 a.m. and noon on May 9, someone removed his blue gym bag from his unlocked 1998 Ford Contour. The bag contained clothing and a black Samsung cellphone.

A 48-year-old Berwyn woman told North Riverside police on May 10 that between 7 and 7:40 p.m., someone gained entry to her unlocked 1993 GMC Sierra, which was parked in the lot at Hancock Fabrics, 7229 W. 24th St.,  and removed her Blackberry cellphone and its hands-free headset.

The woman said her son called the phone’s number and a younger man answered, telling him he would return the phone for $20. Police attempted to call the number, but it went straight to voicemail.

A 22-year-old Cicero man reported to North Riverside police that he parked his 2008 Ford Focus in the lot at Bally Total Fitness, 1770 Harlem Ave., at 7:45 p.m. on May 11. When he returned at 9 p.m., he found his Chase Bank debit card missing from his wallet, which he left in the vehicle’s center console. He also found his driver’s license and $50 in cash missing. There were no signs of forced entry to the vehicle, police said.


Where there’s smoke …

North Riverside say two teenage boys were responsible for setting rolls of toilet paper on fire inside the men’s bathroom at Mother’s Day restaurant, 8815 Cermak Road, on May 9 just before 7 p.m.

A witness told police that he entered the bathroom and smelled smoke coming from the stalls. Two teens exited the stalls and the witness discovered one roll of toilet paper had been set on fire and another was burnt and on the floor.

The fire was quickly extinguished and the business wasn’t damaged, but the two teens fled the scene down the alley behind the restaurant and could not be located by police.


Asleep at the wheel

Riverside police charged Victor D. Martinez, 39, of Columbia, S.C., with driving under the influence after he reportedly fell asleep at the wheel of his black Hummer while waiting for a train to clear the crossing at Harlem Avenue and East Burlington Street at about 1 a.m. on May 14.

An officer first began following the vehicle after clocking it traveling southbound from Longcommon Road at 52 mph. The vehicle then stopped at Herrick despite no traffic control device being present and finally stopped for the train at Burlington.

When the train cleared, however, the car didn’t move and police found Martinez and a passenger both asleep inside the vehicle.

Although his blood-alcohol level was .077, which is below the legal limit of .08, Martinez was charged with DUI, improper parking on a roadway, speeding and improper lane usage.

North Riverside police charged Anselmo Tapia, 50, of Burbank, with DUI after an officer reported finding him asleep behind the wheel of his 2007 Toyota Corolla, which was stopped in front of the train tracks in the 7500 block of Cermak Road at 3 a.m. on May 16.

Police said the car’s engine was running and in drive with Tapia’s foot on the brake when an officer knocked loudly on the window of the vehicle to wake him up. Tapia reportedly told police he believed he was in Cicero. He failed field sobriety tests and had a blood-alcohol level of .10, which is more than the legal limit.

He was also cited for improper parking on a roadway and failure to wear a seat belt.


These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, May 9-15, 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