Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- An Oak Park man was charged with a DUI after an officer noticed that one of the lights of a vehicle he saw from a distance was bobbing up and down. The officer drove his squad to follow the vehicle, a Jeep, and entered into what would be a lengthy exchange with the driver who police allege would not answer simple questions.
An officer was driving eastbound at 1:30 a.m. on Lakewood Boulevard passing Michelle Obama School of Technology and the Arts when he saw what appeared to be bright-colored headlights of an unknown vehicle bouncing up and down repeatedly in an “unnatural occurring manner,” according to the report. The officer saw this from a distance of approximately 930 feet, according to the report.
As the officer approached the intersection of Lakewood Boulevard and Westwood Drive he saw a dark-colored Jeep driving southbound on Westwood Drive allegedly traveling in the oncoming lane, disobeying the stop sign at Westwood Drive and Lakewood Boulevard, and then turning eastbound onto Lakewood Boulevard, according to police. As the vehicle turned, the officer saw damage to the area of the front passenger side of the vehicle with a light hanging from the front lower passenger side bumper, according to police.
The officer pulled behind the Jeep in an attempt to read the registration information when the vehicle allegedly slowed down, signaled to turn right, signaled to turn left, and then quickly pulled off to the right side of the street, making an abrupt stop with the Jeep positioned on the curb in the 400 block of Lakewood Boulevard, according to police.
Within seconds of the vehicle stopping and the driver shifting into Park, a man got out of the front driver’s side door, allegedly tripped over his own foot, and made a motion toward the officer with his hand, according to police. The officer activated the emergency lights on his patrol vehicle and notified SouthCom dispatch of his location, requesting the assistance of another Park Forest unit, according to police.
The officer approached the man to ask if he was okay and to see what had occurred. When he asked the man where he was coming from, the man stated, “Around the corner,” and pointed to the north, according to police. The officer asked again the same question and repeated the question several times. Each time the man responded the same while pointing to the north, according to police.
The officer asked the man if he had anything to drink and the man said no.
The officer saw that the right side headlight assembly of the Jeep was damaged and a mix of mud and grass was present on the front lower portion of the bumper, according to police. When asked about the damage to the vehicle, the man did not provide any information, according to police.
The officer asked the man for his identification, and the man said he did not have his driver’s license on his person, and that he just went to the DMV to get his license renewed, according to police.
Two other officers arrived on the scene. The man allegedly became verbally aggressive towards one of the officers when they tried to pat him down for safety concerns, according to police. At one point, the man began to reach his left hand into his pocket and the police explained that they had to pat him down to ensure the safety of the officers, according to police.
Police then entered into a lengthy exchange trying to learn the man’s name, according to the report. The man gave a name twice but would not spell the name, according to police. However, the first name he gave the police was not accurate, according to the police. Finally, the man spelled out, “QUINTIN GATEWOOD,” according to police.
SouthCom dispatch advised that they located Mr. Gatewood’s license and gave a return of “clear and valid,” according to police.
As police continue to speak with Mr. Gatewood, officers noted what they considered to be signs of impairment, including an inability to maintain balance, swaying back and forth, tripping over his feet, stumbling when closing the vehicle door, repeatedly asking similar questions, slurring his speech, delayed and rambling responses, and redness of the eyes, according to the report.
When Mr. Gatewood continued to deny having anything to drink, an officer asked him if he usually had slurred speech, according to the report. Mr. Gatewood allegedly replied, “I’m not slurred anything,” according to the report.
Police took Mr. Gatewood into custody and informed him that the reason was that he was being investigated on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, according to police.
Since the temperature at the time was somewhere between 20 and 25°, the officers talked about conducting Standardized Field Sobriety Tests at the Park Forest Police Department, according to the report.
When a tow truck arrived for Mr. Gatewood’s Jeep, the tow driver told officers that he saw the debris near the intersection of Westwood Drive and Westgate Drive, according to police. Police would later confirm broken vehicle parts scattered on the ground that matched the Jeep Mr. Gatewood was driving, according to police. They also found that a Village of Park Forest parking sign had been struck, according to the report.
While driving to the police station, Mr. Gatewood allegedly continued to ask repeating questions, time and again, according to police. When he got out of the squad vehicle, Mr. Gatewood asked about the field sobriety tests, and an officer said that since it was cold the tests would be conducted inside.
At this point, Mr. Gatewood allegedly became resistant to walking and began to slow down, eventually stopping and dropping to his knees, then onto his stomach, almost bringing an officer down with him in the process, according to police.
An officer immediately rolled Mr. Gatewood onto his left side, off his stomach, when Mr. Gatewood asked, “What are we doing?” according to police. The officer replied, “Walking inside,” according to the police. Mr. Gatewood responded, “No, we’re not walking,” according to the report.
Two officers then sat Mr. Gatewood up, attempting to assist in lifting him up, according to police. Mr. Gatewood allegedly did not comply and immediately straightened his leg to prevent officers from standing him up, according to police. It would eventually take several officers to move Mr. Gatewood into the facility, according to police.
Once inside, Mr. Gatewood allegedly laid down on the floor in the middle of a hallway, yelled, and refused to move, according to police. Mr. Gatewood allegedly refused to perform a field sobriety test and was moved from the hallway into the processing area by several officers, according to police.
Mr. Gatewood allegedly continued to be uncooperative and combative with officers, according to police.
Eventually, Mr. Gatewood was searched and inventoried again by officers in the lockup area. He allegedly refused to submit to a breathalyzer test at 2:40 AM, according to the report.
Quintin J. Gatewood, 34, 1103 S. Humphrey Ave., Oak Park, was arrested on January 8 and charged with disobeying a stop sign, driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, and reckless driving.
About Police Reports
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.
eNews Park Forest has always published the 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.
All of the incidents in this report were captured on body-worn and/or dash-mounted cameras by officers at the respective scenes, according to police. All Park Forest police officers wear body-worn cameras. These devices are now typically abbreviated BWC in the reports.
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.