Local Police Reports

Four Men Charged With Felony Dog Fighting in Park Forest

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Four men were arrested on Wednesday, April 20, and charged with felony dog fighting when police were dispatched to the 200 block of Arrowhead Street to conduct a premise exam. One dog was rescued. The other, a small black stray, ran away frightened and badly wounded before police could catch it.

Police say they were advised that three men carrying baseball bats had picked up a stray dog from the street and took the dog to the backyard of a residence.

When police arrived, they could hear the sounds of dogs growling and yelping, as if they were in pain. The sounds were coming from a detached garage. The garage door was closed, according to police.

Upon reaching the garage, one officer observed that the service door was open. Looking inside, the officer observed three males standing just inside the door looking to a corner of the inside of the garage and laughing. Another officer encountered one man standing outside the garage looking in through a glass window. Police observed two dogs, a pit bull and a small black dog, actively engaged in the dogfight in the northwest corner of the garage.

All four men were taken into custody: Jamil C. Nichols, 21, 41 W 21st St., 1st floor, Chicago Heights; Mario J. Fleming, 25, 242 Arrowhead St., Park Forest; Tyrone A. Austin, 24, 240 Arrowhead St., Park Forest; and Antonio M. Burnett, 21, 10744 Lafayette Ave., Chicago.

Police say the pit bull stayed around the men but the second, smaller dog ran off. The pit bull was transported to Forest South Animal Hospital for an evaluation.

In separate interviews, the men said they found a stray dog in the neighborhood and brought it home to see if the pit bull dog and the stray would fight. Police say Fleming told them he began to whistle at the dog in an attempt to lure it toward him. The dog approached him and he started to pet it. The stray dog then rolled over and Fleming picked it up and took it to the garage. A short time later, police say Fleming returned with his brindle pit bull dog named “Svedka.”

Then the dog fight began, lasting almost five minutes before police showed up and put a stop to it, according to police.

Police say the men told them they did not bet on the dog fight.

All four men were charged with one count each of felony dog fighting. Police say Austin additionally had an extraditable warrant out of Macon County on a charge that he failed to appear on a charge of possession of cannabis.