A 59-year-old Berwyn man faces disorderly conduct charges after he allegedly  offered to buy candy for three junior high school girls and then lectured them on race-mixing and Adolph Hitler during an encounter on East Burlington Street in Riverside on Jan. 30 at about 3:15 p.m.

According to police the girls, all North Riverside residents between the ages of 12 and 14, walked into Aunt Diana’s Old Fashioned Fudge at 29 E. Burlington St., where the man struck up a conversation with them and offered to buy them candy.

When the girls declined, the man switched topics, telling the girls, “Don’t date outside your race” and advising them to study history in order to learn that Hitler wasn’t an evil person.

Understandably uncomfortable with the direction the conversation was headed, the girls walked out of the store. However, the man reportedly followed them outside, which prompted the girls to go back inside and seek refuge behind the sales counter.

The man followed them back inside and continued his lesson on Nazism, despite pleas for him to leave the girls alone. In response the girls took out their cellphones and began to take photos of the man, who became agitated and then left the store.

After being notified of the incident by the girls’ parents, police arrested the man at his Berwyn home and charged him with three counts of disorderly conduct. A Riverside police officer recognized the man in the photos taken by the girls from a 2016 traffic stop.

“The fact [the girls] took these photos and an officer recognized him within minutes played a vital role in the apprehension of this individual,” said Police Chief Thomas Weitzel in a press release.

The man reportedly confirmed the girls’ account of what happened, but he told officers he didn’t see anything wrong with what he said. The man never made any physical contact with any of the girls, police said.

Report of gun sparks police response

Police armed with rifles responded to the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, at about 7:25 p.m. on Jan. 31 following multiple 911 calls of several men, one reportedly armed with a gun, arguing outside Entrance 2, which is immediately south of Sears’ on the east side of the upper level.

Police detained one man who witnesses stated might have been involved, but he was released after officers determined he wasn’t involved.

Witnesses said the incident was sparked by a comment a man made about another man’s girlfriend at the Kids Foot Locker store inside the mall. All of those involved, including the victim reportedly had left the scene by the time police arrived. 

Snakes in a basket

An employee at the Brookfield Public Library, 3609 Grand Blvd., called police to report that there was a patron in the building carrying a basket containing live snakes.

An officer responded to the scene and talked with a 64-year-old woman who told him that she smelled natural gas inside her house, called Nicor and then evacuated with her two non-poisonous corn snakes.

Police contacted the Brookfield Fire Department and drove the woman back to her home, where it was determined there was no gas leak. The smell, according to the police, was sewer gas. 

Lost and found

Brookfield police responded to the 4100 block of Maple Avenue after a 76-year-old woman called to report she’d located a rifle magazine loaded with ammunition on the ground in the alley.
Police said the .22-caliber rifle magazine contained four rounds of ammunition. Detectives are hoping surveillance camera video might shed some light on how the magazine ended up in the alley. 

Overdose victim revived

Brookfield police responded to the Brookfield Motel, 8809 Ogden Ave., on Feb. 1 at about 5:50 p.m. after a 29-year-old Plainfield woman called to report that a 36-year-old man was overdosing on heroin inside a room there.

Police found the man on the floor, lying on his back, unresponsive and breathing intermittently. Both police and paramedics administered the opioid antidote Naloxone to revive the man, who was taken to LaGrange Hospital for treatment.

According to the police report, officers recovered four zip-top bags containing a white powder believed to be heroin, a burnt metal spoon and multiple hypodermic syringes.

The overdose victim reportedly left the hospital against medical advice, but police responded to the motel again, detained him on an active Cook County Sheriff’s warrant and returned him to the hospital for further treatment.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Jan. 29-Feb. 4, 2018 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