Brookfield police are investigating two incidents last week where gunshots were fired, possibly randomly, during the early morning hours of March 21, in the 2900 block of Prairie Avenue and the 3500 block of Sunnyside Avenue, where a van was struck by two bullets.

According to police, a witness reported hearing two gun shots at about 3:40 a.m. The witness reported looking out a window and seeing two figures inside a dark vehicle parked at 29th Street and Prairie Avenue. They left the scene, southbound, at a high rate of speed, according to the witness.

Police later recovered a .38-caliber shell casing lying in the middle of 29th Street between Prairie and Forest avenues.

That same morning at about 4:30 a.m., someone called police to report hearing a gunshot in the vicinity of Sunnyside Avenue and Grand Boulevard. At the time, police did not find any evidence of shots being fired.

However, at about 6:40 a.m., police got a call from a resident of the 3500 block of Sunnyside, reporting that there was a bullet hole on the driver’s side of his van. Investigators later determined that two bullets had struck the driver’s side of the van. One bullet hit the driver’s side door, while another hit the rear driver’s side quarter panel.

Police recovered both bullets from the vehicle and determined they had been fired by a .38-caliber or 9 mm weapon.

Riverside closes robbery case

Riverside police announced on March 19 that detectives were closing their investigation into an alleged robbery that took place at 8:15 p.m. on Feb. 28 on Forest Avenue near the Des Plaines River.

A 16-year-old boy reportedly told police that he was jogging eastbound from in front of Riverside-Brookfield High School across First Avenue to Forest Avenue, where he continued down the north side of the street.

The victim alleged that three people emerged from the woods and attempted to rob him at knifepoint. Police said the victim’s parents have prevented police attempts to re-interview him and that they have signed a “failure to cooperate agreement.”

Police also stated that they had been able to obtain surveillance video from Riverside-Brookfield High School. The juvenile victim is never seen jogging past the school on the date of the alleged incident, police said.

“The case is being closed administratively and detectives are no longer actively investigating this crime,” police said in a press release. 

One more time

A 46-year-old Chicago man arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs in Riverside on March 24 had been charged with the same offense – by the same cop and in the same location and stopped for the same reason – in 2011, according to police.

The officer stopped James Fernandez Sr. on March 24 at about 2:20 a.m. after reporting that his vehicle was traveling 55 mph in a 30 mph zone while southbound in the 3300 block of Harlem Avenue. Fernandez finally pulled over in the 7300 block of Ogden Avenue. According to police, Fernandez was combative with officers, who had to take him to the ground to place him into custody.

Police charged Fernandez with both driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs (he reportedly mixed alcohol with morphine sulfate and another controlled sedative) as well as resisting arrest.

In 2011, the same officer pulled over Fernandez in the 7300 block of Ogden Avenue for going 51 mph in a 30 mph zone and ended up charging him with DUI.

Drugged driving

Riverside police charged a 39-year-old Berwyn man with driving under the influence of drugs on March 19 at 12:25 p.m. after stopping him from driving at Herrick and Herbert roads.

The driver reportedly told police he used heroin and also took Prozac. Police reported finding drug paraphernalia strewn throughout the vehicle and that the driver had been shooting up while driving through residential neighborhoods in the middle of the day. 

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, March 19-25, 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