By Bob Uphues
Riverside police last week charged 29-year-old Christopher Baker, of Chicago, with one count of home repair fraud, a Class A misdemeanor, closing a case that had been under investigation since May 2019.
A resident of the 400 block of Repton Road had gone to police at that time to report that he'd paid a $250 deposit to Baker's company, Got Splash Pools Repair, to do repairs to an in-ground pool. Baker took the money, but never showed up to do the work, police said.
Police took Baker into custody on Feb. 13 as he was leaving a court hearing at the Cook County Criminal Court building in Chicago. At the time of his arrest, Baker was out on bond for a July 2019 armed robbery in Evergreen Park. Riverside police have filed paperwork asking the court to revoke Baker's bond.
Laundromat locks damaged
Brookfield police say damage done to locks on two doors inside Broadway Coin Laundry, 9211 Broadway Ave. during the early morning hours of Feb. 13 was possibly related to a recent burglary at a laundromat in Lyons.
Nothing was reported missing from the Brookfield coin-op laundry business, but that could also have to do with the fact that a police officer on patrol drove southeast past the business at about 2:30 a.m., just as a suspicious vehicle was parked out front and a man wearing a red hooded sweatshirt and red shoes was seen walking from the business toward the vehicle.
As the squad car made a U-turn and drove northeast past the business, the officer observed two men inside walking toward the rear of the building. By the time the officer circled around the block for another pass, there was no sign of any people or the vehicle.
After seeing that the change machines inside the business appeared undisturbed, the officer a short time later located the vehicle southbound on Prairie Avenue at Brookfield Avenue and then followed it on Ogden Avenue to First Avenue. The officer did not stop the vehicle, since he did not see an actual crime and the driver committed no traffic violations.
The officer returned to the business at about 2:50 a.m. to investigate further and found that the locks on two storage closet doors inside the laundromat had been cut or forced open. The owner of the business confirmed that nothing was missing.
North Riverside police reported five vehicle break-ins last week, all taking place in the 2300 block of 15th Avenue during the overnight hours of Feb. 15-16.
Three of the vehicles belonged to one victim, with the other two belonging to two other residents of the block. The vehicles reportedly were not locked and the offenders ransacked the glove boxes and interiors.
The only thing reported missing was a portable speaker, which did not work, from one of the vehicles.
Man shot by cop leaves hospital
Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel announced last week the 19-year-old man shot by a police officer during what was described as an armed standoff in Harrington Park late on Feb. 5 has been released from Loyola University Medical Center into another facility for "additional care."
An unidentified police officer fired three rounds at the man, who reportedly had pointed what appeared to be a firearm at him, hitting him once in the leg. Paramedics took the man to Loyola, where he underwent surgery. The man's weapon turned out to be a BB/pellet-type gun, according to police.
The shooting is being investigated by the Illinois State Police Public Integrity Unit. Police have said the officer who fired the shots was not a Riverside police officer but have not named the officer or his department. Police have also not named the person who was shot. He has not been charged with a crime at this time.
Crash at First and Forest
A man driving a Ford F-150 pickup truck was cited for failure to yield and having no proof of insurance after he turned left from Forest Avenue onto southbound First Avenue, striking a white Subaru Outback driven by a Riverside man.
According to police, the vehicle traveling on First Avenue had the right of way and was proceeding through the intersection on a green light. The pickup struck the Subaru on the front driver's side, and the victim complained of shoulder and neck pain. He was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. The driver of the pickup truck was not injured, but both vehicles were inoperable as a result of the crash.
Man falls through
plate glass window
A 54-year-old Riverside man required treatment for a bloody laceration to his right hand after he reportedly fell through a plate glass window at 40 East Ave. at about 10 p.m. on Feb. 14.
According to police, the man was intoxicated and bleeding heavily from his right hand, which was wrapped in a towel, when they arrived on the scene at 34 East Lounge immediately to the south of the incident location.
The man had reportedly gone outside to smoke a cigarette and, according to a witness, fell head-first into the window, after possibly slipping on some ice. However, a police officer said he didn't observe any obstruction on the sidewalk that would have contributed to the fall.
Police issued the man a local ordinance violation notice for disorderly conduct due to being intoxicated in public and damaging property.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Feb. 10-16, 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.