A South Beloit man who is a registered sex offender was arrested June 9 after he entered Brookfield Zoo in violation of the terms of his parole, Riverside police have reported.
Police detained Rick A. Lucas, 55, as he walked out of the zoo’s South Gate at about 12:30 p.m. He had a cellphone and camera in his possession at the time, according to police, and claimed he went to the zoo to see and take pictures of the dinosaur and dragon exhibit.
Riverside police found out about Lucas’ activities after an officer noticed a silver Chevy Impala stopped in the middle of the roadway on First Avenue, as if it were disabled. The driver of the car, a 69-year-old Lyons woman told police the car was fine and that she’d just dropped off her boyfriend at the zoo. She was too tired to walk around with him, she reportedly told police.
A computer check of the vehicle’s license plates showed that the car belonged to Lucas who was arrested in 1990 in Rock County, Wisconsin, and charged with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault of a child.
Court records indicate that in March 1991, a jury found Lucas guilty on both counts and he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Earlier in 1991, Lucas pleaded no contest to bail jumping related to the sexual assault case and received a five-year sentence.
According to Riverside police, part of the requirement for Lucas’ parole was that he wasn’t allowed to have unsupervised contact with any children. Because Brookfield Zoo is classified as a park under Illinois law, police said, Lucas was in violation of his parole.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office was called to review the case for felony charges, but determined that there was no proof Lucas had any physical contact with a child or talked to a child.
Riverside police charged Lucas with being a sexual predator and sex offender in a restricted area, a Class A misdemeanor.
Police confiscated Lucas’ phone and camera and said they are seeking a warrant to access images on the devices. Lucas reportedly was uncooperative with police.
“[Lucas] was uncooperative with police the entire time he was in our custody and provided what I believe is no truthful answers during the investigation,” said Police Chief Thomas Weitzel in a press release.
A man armed with a gun reportedly robbed a North Riverside Park Mall business of about $1,250 in jewelry during an incident on June 6 at about 2:25 p.m.
The victim said he was manning the Buckle Up kiosk inside the mall when a man came up and started looking at items, eventually selecting two necklaces from the display. When the employee attempted to communicate with him, the customer reportedly lifted up his shirt, displaying a black handgun in his waistband.
The offender then reportedly grabbed two boxes of unpacked merchandise, which included necklaces, earrings and watches, and ran up the escalator. The employee alerted security, who called police, but officers were unable to locate a suspect.
Two teenage girls reportedly were involved in snatching a bag from the shoulder of a 27-year-old woman inside of Forever 21 at the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, on June 6 at about 7:30 p.m.
The victim stated she was browsing through the store with a black shopping bag over her right shoulder. Two teenage girls reportedly ran past her, with one of them grabbing the black shopping bag from her shoulder before running out of the store.
The bag reportedly contained a pair of gym shoes valued at $110.
Parolee issued DUI
A 36-year-old Chicago man reportedly wearing an Illinois Department of Corrections electronic monitoring bracelet on his ankle was charged with drunken driving in North Riverside on June 7, with police saying the man’s blood-alcohol content was .235, or nearly three times the legal limit of .08.
An officer pulled over the man’s 2004 Toyota Corolla at about 1:10 a.m. after observing it swerve and nearly strike another vehicle. The driver, Mohammed S. Mustafa, appeared intoxicated and failed field sobriety tests as well as a breath test at the police station.
Police said they notified the Illinois Department of Corrections of the man’s arrest and that the agency issued a parole warrant. Mustafa was charged with driving under the influence, illegal transportation of open alcohol and cited for traffic offenses.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, June 5-11, 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