A man with three prior convictions for drunken driving — and on parole from his latest prison stay — will be back before a Cook County judge on Jan. 11 after being charged with felony counts of driving under the influence and driving on a revoked license in Riverside last weekend.
At 12:35 a.m. on Jan. 3, a police officer on patrol reported seeing a vehicle weaving all over the road while southbound on First Avenue from 31st Street. The vehicle reportedly was winding from curb to curb at speeds topping 55 mph, forcing other cars to take evasive action to avoid being struck, according to police.
Police eventually stopped the vehicle on Ridgewood Road directly in front of Riverside-Brookfield High School, where an officer confronted the driver, Joseph J. Caliendo, 32, of Bolingbook.
In addition to appearing intoxicated, Caliendo reportedly had white powder on his nose and upper lip. Police also reported recovering a 40-ounce bottle of beer from the front seat passenger side of the vehicle.
Further investigation revealed that Caliendo had been convicted of DUI in 2001, 2008 and 2009 and had been ticketed nine times for driving with a revoked license. Police also learned that at the time of his arrest, Caliendo had been paroled on July 31, 2015 after serving six years in state prison for 2009 convictions for his third DUI, aggravated battery to a police officer and driving while revoked.
Police stated that Caliendo also has a lengthy police record that includes arrests for burglary, robbery, assault and theft, among others.
“Mr. Caliendo should never have been eligible to even possess a motor vehicle to drive,” said Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel, noting that a new law, which took effect Jan. 1, allows DUI offenders with four convictions to get their driver’s licenses back if they meet certain requirements.
“I certainly hope Mr. Caliendo is convicted, goes to prison and is not eligible to get his license back under this new statute,” Weitzel said. “It took only two days into the new year for Riverside police to find a habitual drunk driver who is continuing to drive the roads in suburban Cook County recklessly.”
Caliendo is being held at Cook County Jail with bond set at $5,000.
Horacio Casas, 42, of Chicago, faces felony DUI charges after an officer stopped him driving erratically while westbound in the 7300 block of Ogden Avenue on Jan. 3 about 3:45 a.m.
According to police, Casas was driving on a suspended license. His blood-alcohol content reportedly was .226, or nearly three times the legal limit of .08.
Brookfield paramedics transported a 58-year-old Brookfield man to LaGrange Memorial Hospital in the early morning hours of Jan. 1 after he was found lying on the ground next to the sidewalk on the west side of Vernon Avenue at Burlington Avenue.
When police arrived at the scene shortly after 12:45 a.m., the man was being assisted by two women who said they were walking home from a nearby tavern when they came across the man lying on the ground.
Neither woman saw the man fall, according to the police report, but the responding officer noted a snow bank blocking part of the walkway.
The man was reportedly very intoxicated and could not tell police what had happened to him.
Possession of stolen vehicle
Riverside police charged a 23-year-old Chicago man with criminal trespass to a motor vehicle after he was stopped while driving a stolen motor vehicle in Riverside on Dec. 29 about 12:10 a.m.
A police officer observed the maroon Chevy Equinox turn right onto Lawton Road from Harlem Avenue and ran the license plate, which came back as stolen out of the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago overnight on Dec. 21-22.
The driver of the Chevy reportedly told police he borrowed the vehicle from his cousin and didn’t know it was stolen. Police attempted to contact the man’s cousin, without success.
Meanwhile, the vehicle’s owner told police he had parked it on the street on the night of Dec. 21 and awoke on Dec. 22 to find it missing. There was an extra set of keys in the glove box, the victim told police, but he didn’t know the man who was driving the Chevy and hadn’t given anyone permission to use the vehicle.
In addition to the trespassing charge, the alleged offender was cited for driving on a suspended license.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Dec. 28, 2015 to Jan. 3, 2016, 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