Law and Order, Local, Local Police Reports, Park Forest

Felony Burglary: Park Forest Police Blotter Reports Through June 21, 2021

Autism-awareness squad car of the Park Forest Police Department. These reports include a charge of felony burglary.
The autism-awareness squad car of the Park Forest Police Department. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- These police reports include arrests through June 21, 2021. Charges for those arrested include felony burglary, DUI, and domestic battery.

Please note that we repeatedly say “according to police” in these reports and often use the word “allegedly.” We are not asserting in any way that those arrested and/or charged have committed any offenses. We report on what is in the media reports furnished by police. As those charged are innocent until proven guilty, the burden is on prosecutors and police to prove all alleged crimes.

Providing more details than readers will find in any other police beat reports, we invite readers to subscribe to get the whole story, every day.

eNews Park Forest has always published addresses of those arrested and will continue to do so. 5 ILCS 140/2.15 states that the governmental body (for these reports, the Police Department), shall release information on those who have been charged, including their name, age, and address. This information is necessary to ensure the proper identity of those arrested.

An arrest does not mean that a person is guilty. All those arrested are presumed innocent until proven guilty. It is the policy of eNews Park Forest to not remove items in the public record from publication. If your name is listed in the police reports, we will only add information relevant to the final disposition of the case at hand, e.g. “Mr. Smith was subsequently acquitted,” “Mr. Smith entered a guilty plea,” or “All charges against Mr. Smith were subsequently dropped.” We will do so upon receiving and verifying proof of such disposition.

Persons wishing to leave anonymous information on any criminal matters including narcotics or gang activity are encouraged to call the Park Forest Police Department Investigations Division at (708) 748-1309.

Felony Burglary: Police Blotter Reports Through June 21, 2021

Felony Burglary, Felony Vehicular Invasion

Robert D. Smith, 36, 376 Wilshire St., Park Forest, was arrested on June 15 and charged with felony vehicular invasion, felony burglary, four counts of domestic battery, interfering with the reporting of 911, criminal damage to property, and reckless driving. Police were dispatched to the first block of South Street at 11:17 a.m. to investigate a report of a domestic incident in progress involving two vehicles.

The incident was called in by a witness, according to police. While on their way to the location, dispatchers advised police that two vehicles were leaving the location. One officer approached the intersection of Norwood Boulevard and Western Avenue and saw one of the reported vehicles turn westbound onto Norwood Boulevard from Western Avenue. The officer conducted a U-turn and stopped the vehicle in the parking lot of Lifetime Auto, 10 Norwood Boulevard, according to police.

The officer spoke with the driver who said that she was traveling westbound on Beacon Boulevard towards Western Avenue when she saw her ex-boyfriend, Robert D. Smith, following behind her in his vehicle. She turned left onto Western Avenue from Beacon Boulevard and made a right turn onto South Street, hoping to avoid him, according to police.

She said that Mr. Smith followed behind her, accelerated, and then allegedly “rammed” the rear of her car with the front of his vehicle one time, according to police.

She then turned into an empty parking lot in the 2200 block of South Street and Mr. Smith parked next to her, according to police. Mr. Smith then allegedly got out of his car and she left the parking lot, heading westbound on South Street, according to police. She continued on to another parking lot on South Street with Mr. Smith following and returned to the first parking lot she pulled into, according to police. Mr. Smith followed her, according to police, parked next to her car, got out of his vehicle, and ran towards her car — opening the passenger door, allegedly reaching in and pulling her hair, allegedly striking her right eye in the process, according to police.

The woman had the two daughters she shared with Mr. Smith in the car, ages six and three, according to police.

Mr. Smith allegedly stated, “B*tch, you gonna die,” according to police. The woman called 911, attempting to tell dispatch her exact location, when Mr. Smith allegedly “snatched” the cell phone from her, preventing her from reporting the incident, according to police. He then allegedly left the scene with her phone in his possession, according to police.

After investigating, Park Forest detectives located Mr. Smith at a home in the 1900 block of Beacon Boulevard, and took him into custody without incident, according to police.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident

Dylan D. Skala, 19, 1712 S. Dixie Highway #229, Crete, was arrested on June 16 and issued a traffic citation charging leaving the scene of an accident with a mandatory court appearance of July 14, 2021, after police were dispatched to the intersection of Sauk Trail and Western Avenue to investigate a reported hit and run accident. SouthCom Dispatch told police that the alleged victim was rear-ended by a red pickup truck at that intersection and was chasing the suspect vehicle northbound on Sangamon Street from Trail, according to police.

Felony Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance

Henry M. Hampton, 64, 2 Apple St., Park Forest, was arrested on June 18 and charged with one felony count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance (Class 4), operating a motor vehicle with expired registration, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, and operating a motor vehicle with an expired driver’s license over one year.

A detective on patrol in the area of Western Avenue and Main Street saw a gray Lexus past him at what the officer determined was in excess of the posted speed limit, 35 mph, according to police. This was at 12:09 AM.

The officer got behind the Lexus as it stopped at the red light at Western Avenue and Main Street. The officer checked the registration on the vehicle and determined that the registration had expired on May 31, 2021.

The officer curbed the vehicle on 26th Street just off Western Avenue. The driver, Mr. Hampton, did not have his driver’s license on his person but provided the officer with his driver’s license number, according to police. Mr. Hampton also provided the officer with an expired insurance card, according to police.

The detective conducted an inquiry on Mr. Hampton’s driving privileges and learned that his license had been expired since January 1, 2004, according to police. Inside the vehicle, the detective located a balled-up cigarette wrapper which had a white, rock-like substance inside which field-tested positive for the presumptive presence of cocaine, according to police.


Keith Sowell, 33, of Park Forest
Keith Sowell, 33, of Park Forest, was arrested and charged with DUI. (Photo: PFPD)

Keith Sowell, 33, 400 Watseka St., Park Forest, was arrested on June 20 and charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol, illegal transportation of alcohol, no proof of insurance, and was issued a local ordinance violation citation charging possession of cannabis, and possession of cannabis paraphernalia when police were dispatched to the 400 block of Watseka Street to investigate a report of a traffic accident at 1:21 AM.

Dispatchers said that the caller reported that her brother was intoxicated and drove into her vehicle in the driveway, according to police. When police arrived, they learned that the alleged driver, Keith Sowell, had left the scene in his car, a black 2002 Toyota Camry, according to police. Police found Mr. Sowell as he pulled into his driveway on Watseka Street.

The officer told him that they were told he was driving while intoxicated, to which he replied, “No, I wasn’t driving intoxicated,” according to police.

Mr. Sowell also allegedly told the officer that “his girl got off work and that she wanted to drink something,” according to the report.

“I’m gonna be honest with you,” he allegedly told the officer, “I have drunk, but I didn’t drink with her.”

The officer asked Mr. Sowell how many shots he had or if he was drinking beer instead. Mr. Sowell allegedly replied, “Of course I drunk beers, but, at the same time, why would you ask me that?”

The officer noticed that Mr. Sowell had “significantly slurred speech,” and “eyes [that appeared] to be watery and glassy,” according to the report. Mr. Sowell’s movements were very slow and not well coordinated, according to police. While speaking with him, the officer noticed a wine glass and middle console next to Mr. Sowell, according to police. The glass had about an inch of the beverage inside.

The officer noted in his report that, when Mr. Sowell got out of the vehicle, he was using the car for support almost the entire time, according to police.

At the Park Forest Police Department, Mr. Sowell refused to perform a breathalyzer test and police recorded his refusal, according to police.

This incident was recorded by the arresting officer’s body camera, according to the report.

Domestic Battery

Arnold Wiley Jr., 32, 334 Osage St., Park Forest, was arrested on June 21 and charged with domestic battery and unlawful interference with the reporting of domestic battery when police were dispatched to the 300 block of Osage Street to investigate a noise complaint. The complainant said there was a vehicle parked at that location with a person sounding the vehicle’s horn, according to police. It was 1:26 AM, according to the report.

While en route, SouthCom Dispatch advised police that there was possibly a domestic disturbance in progress.

When police arrived, they found a car which had been backed into the driveway. The vehicle was occupied by a woman in the driver’s side seat who was yelling and sounding the vehicle’s horn, according to police. A man was standing outside the open front driver’s door of the car, according to police. Immediately upon the officer arriving, the man entered the residence, locking the front door behind him, according to police.

The officer spoke with the woman continued yelling and crying, stating, “He hit me in the eye with a bottle,” according to police. When asked who struck her, the woman alleged it was her boyfriend who had just entered the residence, according to police. The woman told police that she wish to be treated by paramedics, according to the report. She refused to exit the vehicle even after paramedics arrived. Her son was asleep in the backseat, according to police.

An officer eventually transported the woman and the child to an address and University Park, according to the report. While preparing to escort the woman from the home, Mr. Wiley exited the home. Police took him into custody and transported him to the Park Forest Police Department, according to the report.