Cops: Oak Park man slugged pregnant girlfriend at zoo

Riverside police arrested an Oak Park man on the afternoon of Feb. 28 at Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Road, Brookfield, after he allegedly punched his girlfriend in the face as she held an 11-month-old child.

Patrick O’Meara, 28, was charged with two counts of misdemeanor domestic battery and one count of endangering a child.

Riverside police were called at 3:45 p.m. to assist Brookfield Zoo police after O’Meara allegedly engaged in a verbal argument with his 23-year-old girlfriend in the zoo’s lion house. The couple argued over the 11-month-old child, whose hat was lost that day, according to a news release from police.

O’Meara’s girlfriend ran from the lion house after O’Meara allegedly punched her in the face as she held the baby. He then pushed the stroller into the rear of her thighs, causing her to fall to the ground, still holding the baby, according to police.

The report noted that O’Meara “continued to run after her, grabbing the baby’s blanket from the stroller and continuing to punch the female numerous times with his hand wrapped with the baby blanket.”

O’Meara’s girlfriend refused transportation to the hospital, and she and the child were treated by paramedics at the scene. She reportedly refused to cooperate with the police or state’s attorney, who was called to weigh charging O’Meara with a felony, according to Riverside police.

Riverside police signed the domestic battery complaints against O’Meara on behalf of the victim, since officers determined there to be evidence of “great bodily harm or physical violence.”


Picture-taking woman warned

A 52-year-old Riverside woman who reportedly snapped photographs of children outside of two Riverside schools last month has been warned by police to stay away from local schools unless she has a reason for being there.

Students who had been approached by the woman outside Hauser Junior High School on Feb. 11 reported the incident to school staff, who reported the incident to police, who later learned there had been a similar incident at Ames School that same day.

The witnesses gave police a description of the woman and the vehicle she was driving. On Feb. 19, a police officer stopped a vehicle matching the one described by the students at Woodside and Maplewood roads. The officer talked to the woman and took down her contact information.

During a follow-up investigation, witnesses identified a photo of the woman stopped by police as the person who had photographed the students. Police also learned that the same woman had entered a Riverside business and started filming people inside the store. A store patron took a photo of the woman, which police matched to the person involved in the school incidents.

Asked why she was filming people inside a store, the woman “said this was America and she could do what she wanted,” police reported.

The woman wasn’t charged with any crime. She was informed, however, that people might find such behavior alarming.


Shoplifter brandishes syringe

North Riverside police responded to Kohl’s, 2200 Harlem Ave., on Feb. 24 about 6:30 p.m. after store security tried unsuccessfully to apprehend a shoplifter.

According to store staff, the man ran out of the store with two Columbia jackets without paying for them. When approached by a security guard, the man reportedly threw down the jackets and brandished an uncapped syringe, stating, “Leave me alone, I’ve got AIDS” before fleeing east into Cermak Plaza.

Police searched for the suspect without success.


Spinout on DuBois

Brookfield police cited a 23-year-old Cicero woman for damage to village property and driving without a license and insurance after she allegedly crashed her 2003 Lincoln Aviator into a parked car and then knocked down a light pole and a street sign before careening across a front lawn and knocking the wooden front steps off a home in the 4600 block of DuBois Boulevard about 5:40 a.m. on Feb. 26.

When police arrived, the driver reportedly tried to implicate her 23-year-old female passenger as the one who was behind the wheel, but police quickly learned that was not that case.

There was no indication that drugs or alcohol were involved in the crash. According to police, the car spun out in the snow-covered street because it was going too fast while turning onto northbound DuBois Boulevard.


Felony DUI

  • Antonio Phillis, 36, of East Chicago faces felony drunken-driving charges after a Riverside police officer reported him driving erratically while eastbound on Ogden Avenue on March 1 at about 2:20 a.m.

An officer stopped Phillis’ 2006 Mitsubishi in the 7000 block of Ogden Avenue in Berwyn. A computer check revealed that Phillis, who reportedly appeared to be intoxicated, did not possess a valid driver’s license.

A 28-year-old female passenger was so intoxicated, according to police, that she had to be taken to Mac Neal Hospital for treatment.

Police reported that Phillis’ blood-alcohol level was .20, which is more than twice the legal limit of .08. Because Phillis did not have a valid license, the DUI charge was upgraded to a felony.

  • A 29-year-old Chicago man was charged with felony drunken-driving after being stopped by Riverside police for allegedly speeding while southbound in the 3100 block of First Avenue on Feb. 28 at about 3:35 a.m.

The driver of the 2008 Ford with Indiana plates, later identified as Felipe Soto, told the police officer he thought he was in Hammond, Indiana. Police also reported observing an open beer bottle in a cup holder. 

Soto’s blood-alcohol level was reported to be .164, which is twice the legal limit of .08. Because Soto did not possess a valid driver’s license, he was charged with felony DUI. 

Take my spot, will you?

A 27-year-old Maywood woman called North Riverside police on Feb. 28 to report that her 2007 Infiniti M45 had been thoroughly keyed as it sat in the North Riverside Park Mall parking lot between 7 and 7:30 p.m.

The victim told police that she parked her car and exited the vehicle to walk to the mall. At that time a man got out of a Chevy Tahoe, told the victim she had parked in his spot and demanded that she move her vehicle.

Instead, the victim ignored the man. When she returned to the car a half hour later, she noticed that the length of both the driver and passenger sides had been keyed and that the front grille and passenger side mirror had been damaged. 


These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Feb. 23-March 1, 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 Tim Inklebarger