By Bob Uphues
A 69-year-old Forest Park woman called police on the morning of May 3 after she reportedly fought off a man who tried to hijack her vehicle in the parking lot of the shopping center at 2000 Harlem Avenue in North Riverside.
The woman said she was leaving the strip mall after shopping at Aldi and was returning to her car, which was parked in the northeast area of the lot, when she noticed a gray sedan had pulled alongside her car.
The rear passenger side door of the sedan was wide open, preventing her from opening her driver's side door without hitting it. A man in his 20s or 30s was standing beside the open door.
The victim said she asked the man to close his door and, after a brief argument, he did so, allowing the victim to get in her car. But before she could close the door, the man allegedly pushed his way between her and the door and demanded the woman's car keys.
He then attempted to reach past her and grab the purse on her right arm. At that point, the victim said she leaned back and kicked the man in the groin. He then ran around the gray sedan and into the driver's seat and was last seen headed northbound on Harlem Avenue.
Brookfielder charged as sexual predator
Following a three-week investigation, Brookfield police have arrested a 51-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting three children under the age of 13 over what police described as "a long period of time."
Following forensic interviews with the victims last week, police arrested Ghasi Ghneimat. The Cook County State's Attorney's Office approved charging Ghneimat with three counts of predatory criminal sexual assault, a Class X felony that carries prison time of between six and 30 years, if convicted.
He was also charged with three counts of exposing the victims to harmful materials, a misdemeanor, said police. Brookfield detectives had been working on the case since it was first reported to them on April 21.
Ghneimat is being held without bond at Cook County Jail, awaiting trial.
Riverside apartment burglarized
Riverside police responded to an apartment building in the 3100 block of Harlem Avenue on the night of May 6 after a tenant called to report that someone had forcibly broken into the unit while she was away and stole several items of value.
The victim told police she left the residence about 5 p.m., locking the back door after her. She said she does not use the front door, which is always secured with a deadbolt.
When she returned to the apartment at 9 p.m., the victim found that the rear door was unlocked. She went inside to find the apartment ransacked and also observed that the front door was forced open and damaged.
Among the items reported missing from the apartment were an antique gold cameo pendant worth about $400, a 19th-century bracelet with the initials E.D. engraved on it valued at $300, a gold Movado watch valued at $600, and a work-issued Dell Latitude laptop computer.
The victim added that her health savings account credit card had been stolen, but that there appeared to have been no new activity on the account.
Violent threat gets man banned
A 60-year-old Chicago man was told to stay away from the medical office building at 3722 Harlem Ave., after an employee called police to report that the man had threatened to shoot up the place after being denied entry on May 4 about 1:40 p.m.
According to police, the man surrendered to police when they arrived at the scene, telling officers they had come for him.
A receptionist at the clinic reportedly told police that inside the building there's a screening table to assess whether anyone entering may be exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
The man reportedly replied positively to two of the questions, leading the receptionist to tell him he had to see a doctor and then make a new appointment after he tests negative for the disease.
At that, according to the police report, the man threatened to come back and shoot up the place before leaving. The man did come back, according to the report, but only because he realized he was wrong to make the statement and wanted to apologize.
The receptionists did not wish to press charges against the man but did want police to give him a no-trespass warning, which they did.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, May 4-10, 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.
— Compiled by Bob Uphues