Two charged with robbing 14-year-old boy

Two Brookfield men face armed robbery charges after they allegedly held a crowbar across the neck of a 14-year-old boy while taking about $80 in cash from him inside of a home in the 3400 block of Park Avenue on March 24 about 3 a.m.

According to Brookfield police, the 14-year-old victim went to the house around 8:30 p.m. to visit a friend, after telling his mother he was going to be sleeping overnight at another friend’s house.

About 3 a.m., Michael Rankin, 22, of Willow Springs, and Richard Sasinka, 19, of Brookfield, reported held the boy down at knifepoint and demanded money from him. When the boy resisted, Rankin left the room and returned with a crowbar, which he reportedly put against the boys neck while Sasinka removed the money from the boy’s pocket.

Rankin then reportedly took the knife, tapped the boy’s chest with it and told him he should have just handed over the money. No one else in the house witnessed the incident, according to police.

Police arrested both men on April 1 after conducting an investigation. On April 2, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office approved felony armed robbery charges against both Rankin and Sasinka.

Both have a preliminary hearing at Maybrook courthouse on April 9.

Driver crashes into building

A 33-year-old Berkeley man, whose car struck two other vehicles before veering off the road and hitting a light pole and a building on Ogden Avenue on April 4, received tickets for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and damage to village property.

Police were called to the intersection of Ogden and Blanchan avenues just before noon after a 2004 Chevy Monte Carlo plowed through a landscaping bed in front of Al’s Radiator and Air Conditioning and knocked over a street light pole before slamming into the wall of Gorman & Associates at 9517 Ogden Ave.

According to police crash reports, the Monte Carlo first rear-ended a 2000 Dodge Dakota at Eberly Avenue, went around it to the left, and a block later rear-ended a 2006 Honda Accord before heading off the roadway.

The driver of the Monte Carlo, which suffered heavy front-end damage, was taken to LaGrange Memorial Hospital, while the driver of the Honda was taken to Loyola University Medical Center.

Police indicated that a medical condition may have triggered the crashes.

Prison time for Cantata bomb threat

A 21-year-old Maywood man who told police he was bored and just trying to be funny will spend at least the next year in state prison after pleading guilty of making a bomb threat at Cantata Adult Living Services last November.

On March 25, Judge Paula Daleo sentenced Michael Phipps to two years in prison for making the threat, which resulted in police evacuating senior citizens to the dining room of The Woodlands building on the Cantata campus. Meanwhile, officers with bomb-sniffing dogs searched the buildings for suspicious packages.

A Cantata security guard called police after seeing a bomb threat written in the guest register at the Woodlands on Nov. 4. Police were able to link the ledger entry to Phipps, an employee of the Cantata food service vendor.

On March 25, Judge Daleo also sentenced Phipps to a year in prison for an unrelated drug offense. Phipps was out on bond and wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet when he made the bomb threat. 

Man claims he was beaten on El platform

A 21-year-old North Riverside man walked into the North Riverside police station at about 11:30 p.m. on March 31 to report that he had been beaten earlier that night by a group of males on the Blue Line platform at the Medical Center stop on Chicago’s West Side.

The victim told police he was coming home from work at the United Center when he was approached by a group of males, who began kicking and punching him. He was not robbed, according to the police report. One of the males, the victim told police, appeared to be videotaping the beating.

Paramedics transported the man, who had facial injuries and was complaining of abdominal pain, to Loyola University Medical Center.


  • A resident of the 3300 block of Sunnyside Avenue, Brookfield, reported that his apartment was burglarized on April 1 between 6:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Two suitcases containing passports and a planner were taken from the apartment.

The suitcases and passports were later found in a dumpster behind a business in the 9100 block of Broadway Avenue.

  • A resident of the 2300 block of Burr Oak Avenue, North Riverside, called police on April 4 after discovering that someone had entered his garage and ransacked the inside of the 2004 Ford Mustang parked inside.

Bullet fragment returned

On April 1, the North Riverside Police Department received a letter from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office stating that they had a “bullet or bullet fragment” at their facility and requested someone from the North Riverside Police Department to retrieve it.

A member of the department picked up the bullet, along with a medical examiner’s report from May 30, 2010. The report stated that the bullet was recovered from the body of a 38-year-old North Riverside man, who died on May 3, 2010.

But the bullet was not the cause of the man’s death, according to the report. Rather the man had died of alcohol and drug poisoning. 

Loaner car never returned

A vehicle loaned to a customer at a North Riverside car dealership in February was finally tracked down on Chicago’s West Side on April 1 after the car dealer had a satellite vehicle security company disable the vehicle.

A 30-year-old Chicago man dropped off his Chevy Tahoe at Castle Buick, 7400 Cermak Road in North Riverside, to have it serviced on Feb. 20 and drove off with a 2014 GMC Terrain as a loaner. On March 14, an employee called the Tahoe’s owner to let him know the vehicle was ready to be picked up and that he owed $4,200 for the repairs.

After about 10 attempts to contact the Tahoe’s owner, an employee finally reached him on March 22, who said he’d be in on March 28 to pick up his vehicle. However, the man never showed, so the car dealership declared the GMC Terrain stolen.

Through OnStar, the dealership learned on April 1 that the vehicle was at a location in the 5600 block of West Madison Street in Chicago and had the vehicle disabled. North Riverside police directed the car dealership to contact Chicago police to recover the vehicle, which was later towed back to North Riverside. 

Can’t sleep here

  • North Riverside paramedics transported a 56-year-old LaGrange man to Loyola University Medical Center for treatment of severe intoxication after he was found sleeping on the sidewalk in the 7900 block of 26th Street at about 11:10 p.m. on March 31.

A police officer noticed the man sleeping on the ground next to a bicycle. The man told the officer that he had been drinking earlier, but didn’t know how he got to North Riverside.

  • A resident of the 3200 block of Maple Avenue, Brookfield, contacted police on April 1 at about 3:25 a.m. after finding a drunk man sleeping in his backyard — for the third time.

The homeowner had already shooed the man out of his yard before police arrived, but an officer located the 35-year-old suspect, a resident of Brookfield, near the intersection of Maple and Garfield avenues.

He man told police he had been at a party at a friend’s house and got lost when he went for a walk. Police told him to stay away from the house on Maple Avenue and gave him a lift to his apartment on Brookfield’s far south end. 

Obey crossing guards, or else

Brookfield police issued a 41-year-old Brookfield woman four traffic tickets and charged her with disorderly conduct after she allegedly disobeyed a crossing guard’s commands and then swore at the crossing guard while driving near the intersection of Grand Boulevard and Park Avenue on April 2 at about 9:05 a.m.

The vehicle was traveling northbound on Park Avenue when the crossing guard attempted to stop the driver from continuing, because the 3500 block of Park Avenue was closed due to construction.

The driver allegedly yelled profanities at the crossing guard as she drove past construction barricades into the 3500 block of Park Avenue. Once past construction barricades, the driver wound up turning around because the street was blocked.

The crossing guard was able to get a license plate number and notified police, who contacted the woman later that morning. 

Breaking windows

Brookfield police charged a 38-year-old Blue Island man with criminal damage to property after he allegedly punched out the picture window of a unit at the Brookfield Motel, 8809 Ogden Ave., in a drunken rage on April 1 at about 8:30 p.m.

The man was highly intoxicated, according to police, and was upset when his girlfriend dropped him off at the motel to sleep it off. After being kicked out of his girlfriend’s car, the man allegedly began banging on windows at the motel, finally shattering one with his fist before walking away eastbound on Ogden Avenue.

Police found the man walking on Ogden Avenue near Konrad Avenue in Lyons. He was also cited for possession of cannabis. 


  • Riverside police charged a 30-year-old Oakbrook Terrace woman with driving under the influence after a police officer observed her driving a red 2009 Pontiac the wrong way on Miller Road at 2:30 a.m. on April 6.

According to police, the driver appeared to be intoxicated. She reportedly told police she was driving the wrong way down the street, because she “had to pee.” She was charged with misdemeanor DUI and issued two traffic tickets.

At no time while she was at the Riverside police station for more than two hours did she ask to use the bathroom, police reported.

  • A 34-year-old Riverside man faces drunken-driving charges after he allegedly drove his Toyota Camry into two parked vehicles in the 200 block of East Quincy Street in Riverside at 8:10 p.m. on March 31.

Paramedics transported the man to MacNeal Hospital for treatment and underwent a blood test to determine his level of intoxication. The driver reportedly told police he had been at the Chicago White Sox game earlier that day, where he had been drinking. 

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, March 28 to April 6, 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