Two Bellwood women were injured when a vehicle driven by a man suspected of carjacking and kidnapping a woman in Forest Park crashed head-on into their 2017 Chevy Malibu on Cermak Road at 5th Avenue in North Riverside on April 30 at about 7:45 p.m.
The two women, ages 61 and 65, were transported by paramedics to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood for treatment. Both have been released from the hospital.
Meanwhile, 18-year-old Travis J. Williams Jr., of Chicago, who police say was behind the wheel of the stolen 2020 Subaru Crosstrek that crashed into the Chevy and another vehicle, is being held on $1 million bond at Cook County Jail, charged with aggravated kidnapping and vehicular hijacking. North Riverside police also expect to enter charges against Williams soon.
According to Forest Park police, a 30-year-old woman was sitting her gray Subaru, which was parked at the intersection of Harvard Street and Circle Avenue at about 5:45 p.m., when a man with his right hand wrapped in a blue nylon jacket entered the passenger side of the vehicle.
The man, later identified as Williams, reportedly implied he had a weapon under the jacket and demanded that the woman drive to a Chase bank in Chicago to withdraw money from her account.
The woman complied and drove to a Chase bank branch and went into the vestibule accompanied by Williams, police said. The woman did not have much money in her account, so the withdrawal was declined. Williams then drove the woman to a gas station, according to police, to attempt another withdrawal, which also was declined.
Williams eventually let the woman out of the vehicle at the Harlem Avenue/I-290 intersection. The woman last saw the vehicle headed westbound on I-290 and then called police to report the incident at about 6:45 p.m.
An hour later, North Riverside police responded to Cermak Road and 5th Avenue for a reported hit-and-run crash with injuries involving three vehicles. The driver of the Subaru Crosstrek involved in the crash ran south from the scene, said witnesses, and North Riverside police shut down traffic on Cermak Road, set up a perimeter and called in their K-9 unit, a Chicago police helicopter and Riverside’s drone to search for the offender.
At 8:30 p.m., police reported finding Williams hiding inside a garbage can in the alley behind the 2200 blocks of 4th and 5th Avenue. Police also canvassed the area for the weapon Williams reportedly had implied to the kidnapping victim, but they did not find one.
Police said witnesses reported that Williams was driving recklessly at high speed while eastbound on Cermak Road prior to the crash. He reportedly sideswiped a car while trying to pass it, lost control of the Subaru and crossed into the westbound lanes of traffic where it struck the Chevy head on.
Felony gun charges
A 49-year-old Cicero man faces felony weapons charges after he allegedly entered the Brookfield home of his ex-wife on the night April 27 and threatened her with a loaded handgun during an altercation there.
Francisco J. Barrera remains in custody at Cook County Jail with bond set at $100,000 awaiting a May 18 court date at the Maybrook courthouse.
The Cook County State’s Attorney charged him with being an armed habitual criminal, a Class X felony, which carries a prison sentence of between six and 30 years, if convicted. He’s also charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and felony criminal trespassing. Brookfield police charged him with misdemeanor domestic battery and disorderly conduct.
Police responded to Eight Corners at about 8:20 p.m. on April 27 when a witness called to report a man walking in the 9200 block of Broadway Avenue while yelling toward the 3400 block of Maple Avenue and displaying what appeared to be a gun.
About 15 minutes later, police reported seeing Barrera walking toward Eight Corners, carrying something in his left hand. That item turned out to be a 24-ounce can of beer, but police did notice a large bulge in his rear pants pocket.
Having received a call of a potential weapon, police asked Barrera if he was armed. When Barrera didn’t immediately answer, according to police, they handcuffed him and searched him, locating a loaded 9 mm pistol in his back pocket.
While arresting Barrera, police received word that his ex-wife had just called 911 to report that Barrera had just entered her home and, when asked to leave, shoved her and then waved a gun around while the two argued. Barrera eventually left the home and walked to Eight Corners where police confronted him.
Alleged dine-and-dasher hits employee with car
A 21-year-old woman who is an employee at Famous Dave’s, 7201 25th St. in North Riverside, suffered injuries to her left leg and foot after being hit by a car driven by someone who reportedly had left the restaurant without paying the bill on May 1 at about 3:50 p.m.
According to police, a party of five walked out of the restaurant without paying their $170.89 bill. Two employees followed them out and tried to stop them from leaving, but as the female employee approached the driver’s side of the vehicle, the driver allegedly backed out of the parking space, jumping a curb and striking the employee, who police observed on the ground when they arrived.
The investigation continues. The employee was treated and released from an area hospital that same day.
Charged twice within 2 days
Brookfield police charged a 29-year-old Brookfield man on May 1 with domestic battery and interfering with the report of domestic battery two days after charging him in an unrelated case with aggravated assault.
The Cook County State’s Attorney declined to press felony charges against the man in the May 1 incident, where he was accused by his 22-year-old female roommate of punching her in the head, choking her to near unconsciousness, threatening to electrocute her and hitting her in the stomach with a sledgehammer during an altercation in their apartment in the 8800 block of Ogden Avenue.
The victim told police she was able to escape the apartment and called police from a nearby laundromat. She was taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries, according to police, who detained her roommate that same evening.
Two days earlier, police had charged the man with two counts of aggravated assault and one count of disorderly conduct in connection with an April 22 incident at the same building involving his neighbors.
On that date, a tenant accused the man of trying to burn down the building by setting a small fire in the basement. During the ensuing argument over his actions, the man allegedly threatened her and other family members with a knife. Police charged the man after he was discharged from the hospital on April 29.
A man went to Riverside police on the afternoon of May 1 to report that sometime during the prior week he was riding his bike in Swan Pond Park and believes he dropped his 9 mm pistol during the ride. Since that time, the man said, he has checked that area, his house, his car and his clothes but can’t find the gun.
Riverside police requested that the Brookfield Zoo K-9 unit sweep Swan Pond Park, but no gun was located.
A resident of the 3000 block of Harlem Avenue, Riverside, called police on April 28 to report that sometime during the prior week someone entered his unlocked vehicle, which was parked behind his building, and removed loose change and gift cards.
North Riverside police charged a 31-year-old Cicero man with driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs after he allegedly drove his 2013 Volkswagen into the rear of a 2018 Mazda stopped at a red light on Harlem Avenue at 26th Street.
The offender reportedly sped away westbound on 26th Street in his heavily damaged car, which police stopped in the 2300 block of Desplaines Avenue. Police reported recovering beer bottles in the car and a small amount of cocaine from the driver’s pants pocket.
The man’s blood-alcohol content was reportedly .190, which is more than twice the legal limit of .08.
North Riverside police charged a 36-year-old Chicago man with drunken driving and cited him for other traffic offenses after he allegedly drove his Mazda CX9 into the rear of a Chevy Express on First Avenue at 26th Street on April 25 at about 12:20 a.m.
Neither driver was injured nor were any of the three passengers in the victim vehicle, one of whom was 7 years old. According to police, the offender’s blood-alcohol content was .192, which is more than twice the legal limit.
Patron punches out poker machine
Brookfield police responded to Ryan’s Public House, 8942 Ogden Ave., on April 30 at 5:20 p.m. after the owner called to report that a patron had damaged one of the pub’s video poker machines the previous night.
The owner told police she did not want to pursue charges against the patron, only that the incident was documented, but the incident was caught on a security camera. According to police the patron was at the machine at about 1:15 a.m. on April 30 when he punched the screen of the machine multiple times, breaking the screen.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, April 26-May 2 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