By Bob Uphues
Powder scare caused by pudding mix
A suspicious white powdery substance found on the floor in front of a Riverside apartment door on March 21 turned out to be raspberry pudding mix. But the apartment building in the 7300 block of Ogden Avenue where the power was found was cordoned off by emergency personnel for five hours until the substance was determined to be harmless.
Police were called to the building just after 2 p.m. after a tenant reported that a white powder had been poured across the doorway of his apartment entrance.
The report triggered a hazmat callout to MABAS Division 10 from Pleasantview, which sent three firefighters to investigate. Emergency personnel cordoned off the area while firefighters wearing hazmat suits took samples of the powder.
According to Fire Chief Spencer Kimura, one early test result indicated a "potential problem." Riverside contacted the U.S. Postal Service inspector to do further analysis, which determined the powder to be 98-percent raspberry pudding mix. Firefighters cleared the scene around 7 p.m.
In their interviews with tenants, police learned that the tenant who was targeted had some problems with a neighboring tenant in the past. However, police could not definitively determine who had put the powder in front of the doorway and no charges were filed.
Man with a gun
A woman jogging in the vicinity of 26th Street and 3rd Avenue, North Riverside, called police on March 21 at 4:30 p.m. after reportedly spotting a subject wearing all camouflage clothing in the forest preserves, holding a scoped rifle.
Police searched the area but could find no one matching that description, and the caller reportedly refused to return to the area to speak with officers further.
96 mph on Cermak Road
A Bellwood man who was charged with drunk driving about 4:15 a.m. on March 23 was going 96 mph while westbound on Cermak Road, according to the North Riverside police officer who made the arrest.
The officer was heading eastbound at 13th Avenue when he saw a 2009 Ford Explorer heading west at what appeared to be a very high rate of speed. As it came closer, the squad car radar clocked the SUV at 96 mph, which is 61 mph over the posted speed limit of 35 mph.
After making a U-turn, the officer sped up to catch up with the Explorer, finally curbing it in the 10100 block of Cermak Road, not too far from Mannheim Road.
The officer stated that the driver, later identified as 31-year-old Everardo Aurioles, appeared intoxicated but refused to take all sobriety tests.
In addition to DUI, Aurioles was cited for speeding more than 40 mph over the limit, reckless driving, improper lane usage and having no proof of insurance.
Former friend delivers foul gift
Brookfield police charged a 53-year-old Western Springs man with two counts of criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct after he reportedly made a threatening phone call and delivered a threatening package to a female friend's house in Brookfield on March 21.
The woman told police she left her home at 12:30 p.m. and returned about 5 p.m. to find that a box reeking of skunk had been placed on her porch. Inside the box, according to the police report, was a piece of broken ceramic, a decorative cloth and an envelope on which "I'm going to rip your heart out" was written. Inside the envelope, said police, was a letter calling the woman obscene names.
The woman told police she suspected a former friend, the owner of a pest control company, had left the items. The man also reportedly left a message on the woman's cellphone at 2:20 p.m., stating he was going to "rip your heart out." He had also reportedly driven his truck onto the woman's front lawn, damaging it.
Police went to the man's Western Springs home, where they reported finding a dead skunk in the back of his truck. The man also mentioned he had gone to a friend's house to drop off a box. Reportedly, he later admitted writing the letter as well.
Purse taken from car
A 61-year-old LaGrange Park woman reported on March 18 that while she was inside the Shell gas station at 3100 Maple Ave. in Brookfield for a few minutes around noon, someone took her purse off the front seat of her unlocked 2003 Volkswagen.
The woman said she bought some cigarettes and left the station but went back to get some matches. When she returned to her car, she realized her purse was gone and told police she didn't notice it after she left the station the first time.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, March 17-24, 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.