By Bob Uphues
Manuel Mercado, 28, of Melrose Park, faces felony stalking and aggravated battery charges, after reportedly following his estranged wife in his vehicle, cutting her off in the 2500 block of Desplaines Avenue, North Riverside, and then ramming his Chevy Suburban into her GMC pickup truck on April 6 at about 6:15 p.m.
The incident capped three days of Mercado allegedly following his wife, according to police. The first incident was on April 4 in Cicero, where Mercado reportedly boxed his wife's car in near 26th Street and Austin Boulevard. He reportedly got out of his SUV and attempted to talk to her before getting back inside his vehicle and ramming it into his wife's pickup truck, twice. He left the scene before police arrived on that occasion, police said.
On April 5, Mercado's wife called Berwyn police to report that her husband was circling her home.
Then, on April 6, Mercado had been driving around looking for his wife when he spotted her southbound on Harlem Avenue. He allegedly followed her to the North Riverside Park Mall, where his wife attempted to lose him by driving her pickup into a parking structure where other pickup trucks are stored for a local car dealer.
She waited there for about 10 minutes before leaving the garage, but her husband spotted her again and began following her on 26th Street to Desplaines Avenue. She had driven to that area, because she knew the North Riverside Police Department was located nearby.
Mercado's Chevy Suburban allegedly cut off his wife's truck on Desplaines Avenue and he reportedly got out and began slamming his fists on the driver's side window of his wife's pickup truck. After that he reportedly got back into the Suburban and reversed it into the pickup truck so hard that the truck's driver's side airbags deployed.
Police said a witness corroborated the events that played out on Desplaines Avenue, though Mercado reportedly denied backing his vehicle into his wife's. Police took Mercado into custody at the scene.
Overdose victim revived
A North Riverside police officer who responded to a disturbance call at 7-Eleven, 2600 Harlem Ave. in Riverside on April 12 at about 11:25 a.m. revived a 24-year-old man who had apparently overdosed on heroin in the parking lot.
Riverside police arriving on scene reported observing the victim lying on the parking lot pavement and the North Riverside officer administering a dose of opioid antidote that police are equipped with.
After about 30 seconds, the man revived and told police that he'd snorted a bag of heroin prior to police arriving. He was taken to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn for additional treatment.
Gambling parlor burglary
North Riverside police responded to Anna's Gaming Café at the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, on the morning of April 11 after a tenant of the mall observed damage to the glass entrance door and called police.
Police entered the gambling parlor, which has been closed for the past couple of weeks due to the statewide COVID-19 pandemic, and noticed that the ATM inside the business had been pried open. The door to the ATM was left open and an empty coin cartridge was on the floor.
The café's business manager told police that all of the money had been removed from the machine in March.
Running car stolen
A resident of the 4100 block of DuBois Boulevard, Brookfield, called police on April 13 at 7:20 a.m. to report that someone had stolen her blue 2010 Volkswagen Routan, which had been left running and unlocked in the driveway.
Break-in suspect gets a break
A 43-year-old Chicago man suspected of breaking into a North Riverside auto repair shop and ransacking three vehicles in the shop's outdoor parking area escaped being charged after the victims declined to prosecute the case.
Police responded to Auto Tek, 8659 Cermak Road, at about 3:45 a.m. on April 10 after being notified of an activated burglar alarm at the business. Officers reported that a glass window on the garage door was broken, but no one was inside the building.
Surveillance video obtained quickly showed a man wearing a black jacket, a small backpack and stethoscope around his neck hit and break the window. He then entered the lobby but quickly left, running west.
Exterior cameras also captured video of the same man entering three vehicles in the lot. All had their glove boxes ransacked. A short time later, police located the suspect inside the 7-Eleven at Cermak Road and 17th Avenue. He reportedly possessed items from one of the vehicles, including an insurance card belonging to the vehicle's owner.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, April 6-13, 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.