By Bob Uphues
A 24-year-old North Riverside man faces felony drunken driving charges after he crashed his 2003 Chevy Suburban into another vehicle at the intersection of Desplaines Avenue and Cermak Road, injuring four people, while allegedly attempting to flee police on Oct. 17 at about 12:30 a.m.
Forest Park police say an officer attempted to stop Frank M. Kaczmarczyk's SUV, which was southbound in the 1100 block of Desplaines Avenue at a high rate of speed, passing other vehicles, weaving in its lane and striking the curb and nearly striking a light pole.
While turning right onto Cermak Road, Kaczmarczyk allegedly lost control of his SUV and plowed into a 2008 Honda Civic stopped at a red light in the eastbound lanes of Cermak Road.
The SUV rolled over on impact, according to North Riverside police, and came to rest after striking the curb on the south side of Cermak Road. The impact of the crash, meanwhile, sent the Honda northwest across Cermak Road, where it struck a concrete forest preserve district sign on the north side of Cermak Road.
Kaczmarczyk reportedly exited the SUV through the driver's side window and attempted to flee on foot before being apprehended. All four occupants of the Honda, two men and two women, were taken to Loyola University Medical Center with injuries ranging from bruises to broken bones, according to police.
The driver of the Honda and his wife were returning to their home in Berwyn after picking up two relatives at O'Hare Airport, police said. Kaczmarczyk reportedly told police he had been drinking earlier that evening at a bar on Madison Street in Forest Park, but that he didn't recall leaving the bar or being in a car.
Kaczmarczyk appeared to be intoxicated and police also reported finding three open beer cans and a nearly empty bottle of tequila inside the SUV.
In addition to felony drunken driving, Kaczmarczyk was also charged with aggravated fleeing and eluding and cited for several traffic offenses. He also was charged with battery for allegedly throwing a plastic bottle at a police officer, hitting him in the back, at the hospital.
A man who Riverside police describe as a "habitual drunk driver" faced felony DUI charges after police pulled him over on Oct. 16 at about 2:15 a.m. on Ogden Avenue approaching Harlem Avenue.
According to police, Felix Hernandez, 54, of Countryside, was driving his vehicle at 22 mph in a 30 mph zone, and within the parking lane, when he passed an officer on patrol. He drove another two blocks, with the trailing officer behind him, until he stopped in the middle of the roadway.
Hernandez reportedly told police he was driving home from a bar in Lyons, even though he was traveling away from Countryside.
Police confirmed that Hernandez's license had been revoked and that he was wanted on three warrants, two of them related to prior DUI charges.
A 51-year-old Riverside woman contacted police on Oct. 15 to report that more than $5,000 had been withdrawn from her bank account. All of the funds had been replaced by the woman's bank, according to police.
The victim told police that the fraudulent activity took place at an ATM on Lake Street in Chicago on Oct. 7. In all, 23 fraudulent transactions had taken place, the victim reported.
North Riverside police responded to the 8000 block of Edgewater Road on Oct. 15 after a resident reported that sometime between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., someone removed the rear license plate for her vehicle, which was parked in the east side of her building, on Desplaines Avenue.
'Go back to Pennsylvania'
A man who didn't drive in a fashion that pleased another driver in downtown Riverside on Oct. 18 was told to "go back to Pennsylvania," due to his vehicle displaying that state's license plates, and had things thrown at his vehicle, according to Riverside police.
The man told police he was southbound on Kimbark Road at Forest Avenue and "got confused" waiting to turn left. When he did turn a white pickup truck pulled forward in an attempt to stop him from getting in front. The man was able to turn in front of the truck, whose driver allegedly began yelling at the man and began throwing things at his vehicle. Nothing ever hit the vehicle, the man said.
At Forest and East avenues, the truck pulled up next to him and the driver began yelling some more and told him to "go back to Pennsylvania."
The man called police afterwards, but officers were unable to locate the vehicle and in any case told the man that while it isn't pleasant getting yelled at, telling someone to go back to Pennsylvania was not illegal.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Oct. 14-20 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.