A Mokena man who claimed to be aiding police in a high-speed chase of imaginary vehicles on Dec. 14 faces felony fleeing and eluding charges after eliciting complaints of erratic, high-speed driving in Riverside, Countryside and Burr Ridge.
A Riverside police officer attempted to stop the driver, identified as Martin J. Fridrich, 40, of a vehicle that was clocked at 67 mph in a 25 mph zone on Woodside Road at about 4:10 a.m. At the time, the car had its hazard lights flashing and displayed an oscillating strobe light from inside the vehicle.
Earlier that morning, according to police, Countryside police had sent out an alert about a similar vehicle, which had fled from them. Riverside police were unable to curb the vehicle, which eventually fled east on East Burlington Street and then south on Harlem Avenue before entering I-55, where the Riverside officer terminated the chase.
Later on Dec. 14, Burr Ridge police apprehended the driver of a vehicle causing a disturbance in that village. He reportedly admitted to be being in Riverside earlier in the day, but told police he was working with police and chasing people who had been harassing him.
Police said there were no vehicles on the roadways where he claimed to be trying to stop them.
In addition to charging Fridrich with aggravated fleeing and eluding, Riverside police cited him for several traffic offenses. He was also charged by Burr Ridge and Countryside police. According to Riverside police, charges for impersonating a police officer are pending against him.
At the time of his arrest, Fridrich was staying in a Burr Ridge hotel, according to police.
Windows shot out with BBs
Brookfield police responded to three incidents last week in which someone fired a BB-type gun at windows of homes and one vehicle, shattering them.
On Dec. 14, a resident of the 4300 block of Deyo Avenue called police at about 8 p.m. after learning that two passenger-side windows of her vehicle, which was parked on Shields Avenue had been broken when they were hit with BBs or pellets.
About a half-hour later, police responded to a residence in the 4400 block of Elm Avenue after a resident reported that the front picture window of her home had been damaged by two projectiles.
On Dec. 17, a resident of the 4500 block of Oak Avenue called police to report that between 11 a.m. and 3:40 p.m., someone fired at least four BBs at the front window of her residence. Police found three holes in the glass and an indentation above the window.
A white U-Haul rental van is believed to be involved in that incident.
Cops: Teen robbed in driveway
A 13-year-old girl told police that she was robbed of her cellphone at gunpoint while sitting in a vehicle parked in the driveway of a home in the 2200 block of 15th Avenue on Dec. 7 at about 8:20 p.m.
According to the police report, the girl’s mother parked in the driveway and went into the residence while the girl remained in the still-running vehicle. Two men with their faces covered and wearing all black approached each side of the vehicle and opened the doors, the victim reported to police.
One of the men reportedly displayed a handgun and stated, “Give me that,” pointing to her cellphone. The two men fled on foot after one of them accidentally hit the vehicle’s horn.
The victim’s iPhone reportedly was worth $600. Police were unable to locate any suspects.
North Riverside police reported that someone broke into eight unlocked vehicles parked overnight on Dec. 5-6 in the 2200 block of Westover Avenue, the 2300 block of Westover Avenue, the 2300 block of Burr Oak Avenue and the 2300 block of Northgate Avenue.
Among the items taken were purses, wallets, cash, sunglasses, a flashlight, tools and a GPS unit. Police reported that credit cards stolen from the vehicles were also used at businesses in Berwyn and Cicero.
Riverside police charged a 25-year-old Bridgeview man with driving under the influence of drugs after an officer stopped his vehicle, which was going 5 mph with no headlights on Dec. 18 at 3 a.m. on Barrypoint Road.
The driver reportedly told police he’d downed an entire bottle of an over-the-counter cough syrup containing dextromethorphan (DMX) to get high. Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said it was the first time a Riverside officer made a drugged driving arrest for cough syrup.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Dec. 6-Dec. 17, 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