A 78-year-old Brookfield man reported missing from his home on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, was found unharmed, but disoriented early on Christmas Day some 150 miles away in Dane County, Wisconsin.
Police responded to the man’s home on Brookfield’s south end after receiving a call from his nephew, a Lyons resident. The nephew told police his uncle had left home at about 5 p.m. to buy cigarettes at a gas station on Ogden Avenue.
While he didn’t immediately return, his nephew wasn’t overly concerned, since his uncle was known to frequent various nearby gambling establishments and stores in Hodgkins. When he wasn’t home by 9:40 p.m., however, the nephew called police.
The nephew also told police his uncle had suffered a stroke about a week earlier, which had caused random bouts of Alzheimer’s-like symptoms.
Brookfield police issued a bulletin to other police agencies. Sometime after midnight on Dec. 25, Brookfield police received a call from the Wisconsin State Police, saying they’d located the missing man on I-90/94 in Dane County, near Madison.
State troopers had been dispatched for a “motorist assist” and learned from the driver that he thought he was on his way to Brookfield, Illinois, though he was headed in the opposite direction.
Wisconsin State Police contacted the man’s nephew and arranged for him to pick up his uncle at the Illinois-Wisconsin border.
Riverside police charged a 35-year-old Lisle man with drunken driving after a rolling DUI investigation at about 7:35 a.m. on Dec. 22.
Initially, police received a report of a man passed out behind the wheel of a car on Harlem Avenue. However, when police arrived at that scene, the vehicle was no longer there.
The vehicle was located traveling westbound on Ogden Avenue, weaving all over the roadway and forcing other vehicles out of the way as he continued west. An officer was able to finally pull over the vehicle at Ogden and First avenues.
The driver, identified as Esau Lopez-Villafuerte, appeared to be very intoxicated and reportedly handed police a debit card when asked for his driver’s license. According to police, Lopez-Villafuerte’s blood-alcohol content was .157, which is nearly twice the legal limit of .08.
Police charged Lopez-Villafuerte with felony aggravated DUI and cited him for having no valid driver’s license, no proof of insurance and for traffic offenses, including improper lane usage for traveling in the wrong lane of traffic and forcing cars to take evasive action.
Credit card fraud
The manager of Red Wing Shoes, 2518 Harlem Ave. in North Riverside, called police on Nov. 17 after discovering a customer that had purchased more than $1,000 worth of merchandise in November and December used fraudulent credit cards to do so.
According to the police report, the customer had used charge cards for purchases on Nov. 7, 17 and 24 and Dec. 6 and 13. The same customer returned on Dec. 17 at about 6 p.m. to buy a pair of socks priced at $14.99. While making the transaction, the store manager got a call from a Michigan woman, who stated that her credit card had just been used fraudulently at the store.
When the manager asked the customer for a second piece of identification, he fled the store, got into a black Ford Ranger pickup truck and left the area.
North Riverside police responded to the offices of a financial services firm in the 7200 block of Cermak Road on Dec. 19 at about 3:45 p.m. after a female employee called to report a harassing phone call.
The employee stated that when she picked up a call at about 2:15 p.m., a man began screaming obscenities multiple times before hanging up. The employee told police that she’d received a similar call back on Aug. 29, but she wasn’t sure it was the same person.
The employee also told police that the financial services firm, which has multiple locations throughout the area, has been receiving other calls like this and that company wanted to document the incidents.
A Brookfield police officer suffered a head injury while attempting to place a 25-year-old Brookfield man into a squad car after he’d been arrested on Christmas Day.
Police had been called to a residence in the 4500 block of Oak Avenue at about 5:25 p.m. by a relative who said the man had been drinking, was acting erratically and may have locked himself in the basement.
There was a warrant for the man’s arrest and when police approached him, he reportedly threw a glass ashtray, which narrowly missed an officer’s head. Once in custody, the man reportedly spit in an officer’s face and later dove forward at a squad car whose trunk was open, which resulted in an officer hitting his head on the open trunk and opening a wound that bled heavily.
The man, identified as Vincent T. Trankina, was charged with aggravated battery to a police officer, aggravated assault and felony resisting arrest.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Dec. 17-27, 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