By Bob Uphues
A man who allegedly stabbed a North Riverside gas station owner several times with a 7-inch long railroad spike during a robbery attempt last week remains in Cook County Jail awaiting trial.
The victim, who declined transport to the hospital, sustained what police termed about 10 "superficial" stab wounds to his chest, back and left knee during what a witness described as a fight that spilled out from the gas station minimart into the outside lot.
Michael Plata, 29, of Chicago has been charged with armed robbery, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and aggravated battery to an elderly person. A Cook County judge set Plata's bond at $150,000. He has a preliminary court date of Dec. 28 at the Maybrook courthouse in Maywood.
According to the police report, at about 3:40 p.m. on Dec. 14, Plata attempted to steal a six-pack of beer and two glass bottles of malt liquor from Citgo Community Food and Gas, 8545 Cermak Road, after attempts to charge the items were declined.
A man who was standing in line behind Plata reportedly told police that after the store owner attempted to set aside the items and asked Plata to leave, Plata pulled out a railroad spike and threatened the owner with it.
When the victim attempted to grab the beer from Plata's hands, a physical altercation started, with Plata stabbing the victim repeatedly. As the victim fought back, the scuffle quickly moved outside.
As the two men fell to the ground east of the gas pumps, Plata reportedly got on top of the victim and began stabbing at his lower legs. At that time, the witness approached Plata from behind, pulled him off the owner and then sat on him while yelling for help.
At that time, a Cook County Sheriff's Police officer, who had pulled his squad car into the station to gas up, intervened and took Plata into custody.
A resident of the 2300 block of Forest Avenue, North Riverside, went to police on the morning of Dec. 17 to report that her detached garage had been burglarized overnight.
The victim told police she noticed the side service door to the garage was ajar and observed that two pressure washers, a bicycle and a lawnmower had been removed from the inside.
Police said there were no signs of forced entry to the garage.
A Brookfield police officer responding to a report of a suspicious person in the 3800 block of Woodside Avenue was flagged down by a resident in the 3700 block who reported that someone had rummaged through two of their vehicles.
The victim called police after observing one of doors to her vehicle ajar and noticing items shuffled around in another car parked nearby. No items of value were reported missing.
Grinch strikes in Brookfield
Brookfield police reported three incidents last week in which someone damaged inflatable Christmas decorations during the overnight hours on Dec. 13-14.
The incidents all happened in the same general vicinity as well, with two in the 4200 block of Grove Avenue and one in the 4100 block of Forest Avenue.
Security video reportedly showed one of the incidents in the 4200 block of Grove Avenue. A person who appeared to be a juvenile wearing a gray hoodie can be seen approaching southbound on the sidewalk, damaging the inflatable on the front lawn and then running back northbound.
DUI after two warnings
Brookfield police charged a 41-year-old Chicago man with driving under the influence of alcohol after he allegedly got behind the wheel of his car despite being told twice not to do so by a police officer just before 2 a.m. in the 3600 block of Woodside Avenue.
An officer had been dispatched to Zubar and Grill, 8436 Brookfield Ave., to respond to a complaint about vehicles being parked illegally. The officer saw the alleged offender walking unsteadily in the area, holding his key fob in the air, trying to locate his vehicle.
The man was about to get into the vehicle when the officer told him he looked impaired and probably should call for a ride. The officer drove away, but parked within sight of the vehicle.
When the man approached the car again, the officer asked him what he was doing, to which the man allegedly replied, "You're not gonna get me." The officer drove away and parked in a different area near the vehicle.
A short time later the man entered his car, did a three-point turn and drove off before being stopped about a block away by the same officer. The man reportedly failed field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Dec. 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.
— Compiled by Bob Uphues