Bench goes ‘boom’ in Commons Park

A 44-year-old North Riverside woman called police on Oct. 16 at about 7:30 p.m. after her 12-year-old daughter observed something explode near a bench along the south bike path in Commons Park between Park and Forest avenues.

The 12 year old told police she was walking in the park with friends and got within 50 feet of the bench when she noticed “sparkling” coming from the bench. A short time later, she said, the bench blew up “in a very bright, loud explosion.”

The concussion knocked the girl to the ground, where she hit her head, and then got up and ran home. The girl said she didn’t see anybody running away from the bench, but her friend’s reportedly saw what appeared to be a camera flash near the time of the explosion.

Police reported that a corner of the metal bench was scorched and twisted and that pieces of the bench were found about 30 feet away from the scene.

Based on a piece of plastic, part of a wick and scorched paper packaging found nearby, investigators determined that the explosion came from a commercial-grade 1.3-gram “salute” mortar-type firework.

Surveillance cameras at the park did not show the area around the bench. Two male subjects were observed running from the picnic pavilion, but the footage was inconclusive.

 

Took it ‘too far’

A Brookfield man, upset that someone threw a couple of Styrofoam cups out of a car window in the 4500 block of Elm Avenue, reportedly spit on the vehicle and then smashed out the rear driver’s side window with a meat tenderizer on Oct. 15 about 6 p.m.

The litterbug said he noticed a male subject running toward his vehicle when he threw the cups out of the window, so he drove away. But he circled back to the block and found the subject inside another vehicle, which pulled up next to his.

The occupant of the vehicle began to yell obscenities at the litterbug, spit at his car and, before the victim could pull away, pulled out a meat tenderizer and bashed out the window, according to police.

The victim called police, who located the angry subject. The man reportedly admitted that he lost his temper and “took things too far.” The man reportedly paid the victim $200 for the broken window and the victim said he wouldn’t press charges.

 

Attempted robbery at mall

A 27-year-old North Riverside man told police that someone tried to rob him of a pair of headphones while he was walking in the parking lot north of Sears at the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, on Oct. 17 at about 6:50 p.m.

The victim told police he was listening to headphones and was walking with his head down as he walked through a dark area of the parking lot when a subject wearing all dark clothing grabbed his headphones and tried to take them.

When the victim resisted, the offender reportedly punched the victim in the face. But the victim told police he was able to grab the offender in a choke hold and throw him to the ground. The victim then ran westbound away from the offender and called police.

The offender reportedly was in the company of another subject at the time of the attack. The victim believed the two subjects fled westbound along Cermak Road.

 

Garage burglaries

  • A 61-year-old Sugar Grove woman called North Riverside police on Oct. 17 to report that her father’s home in the 8900 block of 24th Street had been burglarized.

The residence was last seen secure on Oct. 16, the woman told police. But on Oct. 17, she noticed the lock to the garage service door was broken.

Missing from the garage were a Toro snow blower, a Black and Decker edger and a lawnmower. A vehicle inside the garage had also been rifled through, but nothing was missing.

  • A resident of the 400 block of Loudon Road, Riverside, reported on Oct. 18 that during the overnight hours someone had entered his unlocked garage and removed a blue Trek 4300 Alpha bicycle valued at $600 and a Bosch Sabre saw.
  • A resident of the 300 block of Nuttall Road, Riverside, reported on Oct. 12 that someone entered his unlocked garage overnight and stole a Mongoose bicycle.

 

Shots fired? Maybe

Brookfield police responded to the 4200 and 4300 blocks of Arthur Avenue on Oct. 18 at about 7:25 p.m. after two people called 911 to report possible gunfire in the area.

Both callers reported hearing five or six loud pops. Officers canvassed the area but did not find anything suspicious nor were anymore “pops” heard. Several people police talked to while patrolling the area said they heard noises that sounded like shots fired west of Maple Avenue.

 

Smash, but no grab

A 56-year-old Schaumburg woman called North Riverside police on Oct. 15 at 6:30 a.m. to report that during the overnight hours someone smashed in a window and cut the phone lines at Community Food and Gas/Citgo, 8545 Cermak Road.

Police walked through the building and reported that nothing appeared to be missing. A review of surveillance camera video showed that between 1:28 and 1:33 a.m. an unknown male wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, dark jeans and white shoes came up to the front door and looked in.

Shortly afterwards, another male wearing a black hat, a dark hooded sweatshirt, gray pants and dark shoes walked up to the door and threw an object at it, shattering the glass. The man then walked away toward 5th Avenue.

 

Forged check

A 30-year-old Brookfield woman contacted police on Oct. 17 after learning that someone had forged a check in her husband’s name for nearly $3,000. According to police, not only was the signature on the check fraudulent, the check itself appeared to be a fake, since it did not match the checks the victim was issued by the bank.

Police suggested that the victim close the bank account and gave the victim an identity theft packet.

 

Vehicle break-in

A resident of the 300 block of Kent Road, Riverside, called police on Oct. 17 at about 10:25 p.m. to report that she just saw an unknown male subject wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt inside her 2004 Honda Odyssey.

The offender reportedly fled westbound and was last seen in the 300 block of Downing Road. Police searched unsuccessfully for the subject. Nothing was reported missing from the vehicle.

 

Breast man

A 36-year-old Brookfield man was banned from entering Tischler’s Finer Foods, 9118 Broadway Ave., Brookfield, after the store manager reportedly caught him pulling the breast meat off of a precooked chicken and eating it on Oct. 15 at about 11:50 a.m.

The man reportedly denied eating the chicken, only pulling it off the bone to see if it was done. The man agreed to pay for the manhandled chicken and given a trespassing warning.

 

Better slow down

Brookfield police cited a 20-year-old Hodgkins man and a 22-year-old Countryside man for drag racing while southbound in the 4500 block of Eberly Avenue on Oct. 13 at about 6:50 p.m.

The Hodgkins man was driving a1999 Audi while the other man was driving a 2002 Honda motorcycle. According to the police report, both vehicles were traveling side by side at a high rate of speed.

 

Wagon stolen

A resident of the 4000 block of Deyo Avenue, Brookfield, called police on Oct. 18 to report that someone got out of a green pickup truck and took a red Radio Flyer wagon from behind the residence.

The victim told police she was cleaning out the garage and had placed some items near the alley. The truck drove by and a man got out of the passenger side and took the wagon. The victim said she ran out to stop the truck, but it drove away westbound.

 

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Oct. 12-18, 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.