By Bob Uphues
An 18-year-old Brookfield man suspected of being under the influence of drugs reportedly drove his black BMW X5 off the roadway and through the front yards of four properties on the north side of the 8500 block of Washington Avenue, crashing into three vehicles parked in driveways before barreling into a tree on Feb. 29 at about 9:15 p.m.
The driver was not seriously injured but exhibited signs of drug use, according to the police report, which noted that officers recovered a plastic bag containing cannabis from the BMW's center console along with a "glass instrument used for smoking cannabis."
Police described the driver as conscious, swaying back and forth in his seat and not responding to commands when they arrived. Shortly after the BMW crashed into the tree just outside the home at 8415 Washington Ave. nearby residents rushed to the vehicle, whose engine compartment began to smoke, and broke out the windows to get the driver out of the locked vehicle.
A short time later, after police arrived, the engine burst into flames and officers were able to remove the driver from the BMW and take him to safety while firefighters put out the blaze.
Paramedics transported the driver to Loyola University Medical Center, where he reportedly told police and medical staff he couldn't remember what had transpired.
According to the police report, the BMW was headed east when it left the roadway in front of 8536 Washington Ave. and continued through the front yard before striking a car in the driveway of 8524 Washington Ave., pushing it up against the home there.
The BMW continued east, striking two more cars in the driveway 8514 Washington Ave., forcing one into a support post of the overhang above the home's front entrance and the other into house itself.
Police charged the driver with driving under the influence of drugs, illegal possession of cannabis and cited him for several traffic offenses. His court date is April 14.
Man with a gun
North Riverside police responded to the food court of the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, on Feb. 29 at about 12:05 p.m. after someone called 911 to report a man with a gun.
A witness told police that he was near the food court with his family when he observed a group of about five people engaged in a verbal altercation. At some point, one of the men pulled out a firearm and pointed it at the others.
At that time a group of men ran up the stairs from the food court and into the mall with the alleged gunman chasing them briefly before heading back to the food court. Police did not locate a suspect matching the description given by the witness.
The armed man was described as a Hispanic male wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and red St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap cocked to the side. He was between 20 and 30 years old, about 5-foot-5 and 250 pounds with face tattoos near his eyes.
A resident of the 9400 block of Congress Park Avenue, Brookfield, went to police on the evening of Feb. 26 to report that a package delivered by Amazon had been stolen from his front porch a day earlier.
The package, which reportedly contained two winter coats valued at $1,800 had been delivered at 7:15 a.m. on Feb. 25 but that it was gone when he returned home that day at 9 p.m.
Crowds of kids at mall
prompt mutual aid call
North Riverside police called upon police from Riverside, Berwyn, Brookfield, Lyons, Stickney and Forest View on the night of Feb. 29 to respond to the area in and around the North Riverside Park Mall to help with crowd control after large groups of unescorted juveniles starting congregating inside the mall, 7501 Cermak Road, and at Round One, in addition to Urban Air, 7401 25th St.
The call went out at about 7:25 p.m. after North Riverside police reported mall security advised it did not have the manpower to enforce its youth escort policy at all exits.
Police assisted security in escorting groups of youths out of and away from the mall and patrolled the parking lots and commercial area near the mall. No major incidents were reported and no one was arrested.
The mutual aid units were released from the callout and normal police patrols resumed at around 10 p.m.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Feb. 24-March 1, 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.