By Bob Uphues
Man charged with stealing gasoline
A 35-year-old Hillside man suspected of stealing $73 worth of gasoline from the 7-Eleven at 2600 Harlem Ave. last month, was arrested by Riverside police on Feb. 1 outside the Bridgeview courthouse, after he attended a hearing related to his December arrest for stealing gasoline in Evergreen Park.
Darius Williams reportedly confessed to stealing $73 in gasoline from the Riverside gas station on Jan. 20 around 8 p.m. and driving off with the gas nozzle still in the side of his SUV after a North Riverside police officer pulled into the station's parking lot on an unrelated incident.
Police used video surveillance footage to get a license plate number from the SUV, tracing it to Williams, who had been arrested on Dec. 24, 2012 for a similar offense.
Williams reportedly was the second man involved in the gas theft scheme on Jan. 20. The other man, who is still unknown, drove up to a gas pump and removed the pump housing to disable the device that measures the amount of gas being pumped and the dollar amount charged for it.
Shortly after the first man appeared, Williams allegedly drove up to the pump and began filling his SUV with gas. He also reportedly had 11 empty 5-gallon containers in his vehicle and began filling those as well.
When the North Riverside police car drove up, Williams apparently panicked and drove off before taking the gas nozzle out of his vehicle, ripping the nozzle from the hose as he drove off.
Williams reportedly told police that he and another man concocted a scheme to steal gasoline from gas stations and then sell it up to five gallons of gas for $10. Inside the vehicle Williams drove to the Bridgeview courthouse on Feb.1, police reported finding 10 empty professional-grade water containers, a hose and pump for siphoning gas.
Riverside police charged him with misdemeanor theft and criminal damage to property, adding that he avoided felony theft charges by being scared off by the unexpected arrival of the North Riverside police car.
Car chase suspect caught
Brookfield police on Jan. 30 arrested and charged an Elmwood Park man who eluded arrest after allegedly leading officers on a high-speed chase through LaGrange four days earlier.
Samuel Morales, 20, was charged with a pair of felonies, including possession of a stolen motor vehicle and aggravated fleeing and eluding, along with a slew of traffic offenses for his alleged part in the early morning chase on Jan. 26 that ended when Morales crashed and flipped the stolen Chevy Malibu he was driving in an alley behind the 200 block of Washington Avenue in LaGrange.
Morales reportedly ran from the scene and lost police in the 4200 block of Eberly Avenue. However, he left behind evidence inside the car that led police to identifying him as a suspect. Morales was arrested in front of a house in the 3500 block of Maple Avenue in Brookfield on Jan. 30 about 3:10 p.m.
He reportedly denied stealing the vehicle and said another man in the car at the time of the chase ordered him at gunpoint to flee from police. That man reportedly jumped out of the vehicle while it drove through an alley and grabbed the steering wheel, causing it to flip over.
Morales is being held at Cook County Jail with his bond set at $30,000. He awaits a Feb. 6 hearing date at the Maybrook courthouse.
Man charged with DUI after crash
North Riverside police charged Chicago resident Russell P. Marzullo, 31, with felony driving under the influence and felony leaving the scene of a personal injury accident after he reportedly drove his 2013 Chrysler 300 head on into a parked car in the 2400 block of Burr Oak Avenue at 5:50 p.m. on Jan. 26. A 32-year-old woman inside the parked car reportedly suffered a broken wrist in the crash.
According to the police report, Marzullo was traveling northbound on Burr Oak when he struck the car. The crash heavily damaged Marzullo's vehicle, but he reportedly kept driving northbound before doing a U-turn and heading back south, then turning west on 25th Street. Police reportedly found a panel from Marzullo's car at the scene of the crash.
Police found Marzullo's car in the parking lot of a bar in the 2500 block of Desplaines Avenue and arrested him there. At the police station, a police officer reported that Marzullo appeared intoxicated and was acting erratically while being questioned, at one point crawling around the floor on his stomach after which, according to police, he had to be restrained.
Marzullo refused to submit to breath and blood tests. In addition to the felony charges, he was also cited for several traffic offenses.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Jan. 26-Feb. 3, 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.