Cops: Man tried to strangle girlfriend

A 37-year-old Riverside man faces a felony charge of domestic battery after he allegedly tried to strangle his 33-year-old girlfriend on May 31 because he believed she was being unfaithful to him.

According to the police report, Willie J. Stroger grabbed the woman around the throat with both hands while pushing her onto the bed. The woman reportedly hit Stroger until he let her go and then ran into a hallway where Stroger allegedly pushed her against a wall and tried to choke her again. He let go after a few seconds, at which time she ran into the kitchen, grabbed a can of pepper spray, sprayed it in Stroger’s face and called 911.

Police apprehended Stroger outside the apartment building in the 3100 block of Harlem Avenue.

Suspected car thief caught

A 34-year-old Chicago man suspected of stealing at least one, and possibly more, Jeep vehicles from the parking lot of the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, in recent weeks is behind bars charged with possession of a stolen vehicle.

North Riverside police arrested Jose Castro in the parking lot of the mall on May 24 about 2:55 p.m. standing outside a 1995 Jeep SUV after a sharp-eyed mall security officer observed a white conversion van that looked similar to a vehicle caught on surveillance video in the wake of a prior Jeep theft at the mall.

Mall security called North Riverside police and the security officer kept an eye on the van and its occupants as they moved from one Jeep to another inside the parking lot, looking for one that was unlocked.

Police arrived just as Castro allegedly used his shirt to open the door of an unlocked Jeep. He was ordered to the ground, and three people — two men and a woman — inside the conversion van were ordered outside of the van.

Of the four taken into custody, only Castro was charged. Under questioning by police, he reportedly admitted stealing Jeep vehicles from the mall parking lot for $500 in the past two months.

Specifically, he reportedly implicated himself in the May 2 theft of a blue 2001 Jeep Cherokee from the lot. On that date, he rode to the mall in the white conversion van the security officer observed on May 24.

Castro is being held at Cook County Jail with his bond set at $80,000. His next court date is June 9 at Maybrook.

  • A 23-year-old Cicero woman contacted North Riverside police on June 1 to report that her gold 1999 Chrysler Town and Country van had been stolen from the parking lot of the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road.

The woman, who is a mall employee, said she parked her vehicle in the east lot about 1 p.m. When she returned at 7:15 p.m., the vehicle was missing.

  • A Chicago woman walked into the North Riverside police station lobby on May 31 to report that her gray 2007 Hyundai Sonata had been stolen from the parking lot at the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, the previous day.

The woman said her daughter parked the car in the west lot near J.C. Penney about 10:20 a.m. on May 30. When she returned to the vehicle around 11:30 a.m., it was gone.

  • While conducting routine parking enforcement during the early morning hours of June 1, a North Riverside police officer reported discovering a 2007 Pontiac Grand Prix that had been reported stolen in Chicago.

The officer was patrolling the 2200 block of 15th Avenue about 2:50 a.m. when he came across the vehicle, which had been called in for overnight parking around 11:40 p.m. on May 31.

Police called the number left by the person who called in the vehicle but could not contact anyone. The resident of the home in front of which the car was parked said he had not called in the vehicle and hadn’t noticed it in front of the house. 

Gun stolen in 1994 recovered

Bolingbrook police called North Riverside detectives on May 30 to inform them that their officers had recovered a shotgun stolen from a Harlem Avenue sporting goods store back in 1994.

The 12-gauge shotgun had been reported stolen from the store, then known as Sportmart (now known as Sports Authority), at 1800 Harlem Ave. The gun was turned over to Bolingbrook police by a woman who reportedly was the victim of domestic battery. The gun belonged to the alleged offender, a 45-year-old Bolingbrook man.

Bolingbrook police declined to charge the man with possession of a stolen firearm. North Riverside police are in possession of the weapon. 

Blacked out at the wheel

Brookfield police believe that a medical condition was responsible for a 35-year-old Harvey woman blacking out at the wheel of her 2002 Chevy Express van and crashing into a building owned by the Chicago Zoological Society in the 8900 block of Brookfield Avenue at about 5:30 p.m. on May 31.

According to the crash report, the van was eastbound on Brookfield Avenue and had just passed Sunnyside Avenue when the car veered north and into the building. The woman reportedly told police she felt dizzy before blacking out at the wheel. Paramedics transported the woman to Loyola University Medical Center for treatment. 


  • A resident of the 2300 block of 12th Avenue, North Riverside, called police on May 28 to report that his garage had been burglarized. The resident said she left the house on May 23 and returned on May 26, but did not enter the garage until May 28 when she noticed that her electric Home Life push mower and extension cord had been removed.

  • Two teenage boys were petitioned to Cook County juvenile court for burglary after taking a can of pop from a convertible that was parked on Pine Avenue on May 27 at about 12:45 p.m.

Someone who witnessed the incident called police, who located the subjects on Forest Avenue at West Avenue, where they recovered the can of pop.

  • A 37-year-old Willowbrook man reported to Brookfield police on May 27 that he parked his semi-tractor truck in a lot in the 9100 block of Plainfield Road on May 23 at 5 p.m. When he returned four days later, the driver’s side window was smashed out and a global positioning system unit was missing.

  • A resident of the 4600 block of Grove Avenue, Brookfield, called police after finding that the service door to his garage had been pried open during the overnight hours of May 27-28.

Police noted damage to the door knob and the door frame. Nothing was reported missing from the garage.

  • Brookfield police responded to a residence in the 3300 block of Oak Avenue on May 28 after a witness reported seeing a teenage boy open the service door to her neighbor’s garage at about 3:30 p.m.

The subject looked around, saw the witness and then fled into the alley. Nothing was reported missing from the garage. Police were unable to locate a suspect. 

Train problems

  • Police were called to the 8900 block of Burlington Avenue on May 22 at about 8:50 p.m. to investigate a man yelling into his cellphone. Police located the subject, a 38-year-old Downers Grove man, who told them that he had gotten off the train at the wrong station and was trying to get his girlfriend to pick him up.

  • Brookfield police responded to the Hollywood Avenue train crossing at 8:14 a.m. on June 2 after someone called 911 to report a man yelling obscenities at passing trains.

Upon arrival police learned from the subject, a 61-year-old Downers Grove man, that he was upset because he missed his train. Police advised him to refrain from yelling or engaging in inappropriate behavior.

Alcohol was involved

Brookfield paramedics transported a 28-year-old Brookfield man to the hospital at about 1:10 a.m. on June 2 after a resident of the 3200 block of Madison Avenue called to complain that there was an unknown man banging on his front door.

Officers found the subject lying on the front lawn. The homeowners said the man banged on the door and tried to open it even after being told he was at the wrong house. Police said the man was so intoxicated he didn’t know where he was, was able to give only limited information about himself and said he’d been drinking at a Brookfield tavern earlier that night. 

Fashion police on the job

Somebody called 911 to report that a male subject wearing only pink underwear was in the backyard of a home in the 3200 block of Park Avenue, Brookfield. Police reported being unable to locate anyone at the home in question or any subjects in the area matching that description. 

Control your dogs

A small white poodle was killed May 27 after it was grabbed by the neck and furiously shaken by a Doberman pinscher that escaped from a yard in the 3300 block of Elm Avenue, Brookfield, on May 27 at about 2:50 p.m.

A 23-year-old woman was walking her two poodles westbound on Jackson Avenue near Park Avenue when she observed two large dogs running towards her. One of the dogs, the Doberman, grabbed one of poodles by the neck and shook it violently.

The owner of the two unleashed dogs said she was washing the animals in her backyard when they got loose and escaped. Police issued the owner of the Doberman two citations. 

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, May 24-June 2, 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