Law and Order, Local Police Reports, Park Forest

Man Allegedly Crashes, Knocks Over Light Pole, Gets DUI


Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- In early May, police charged one man with DUI after he allegedly slammed into a light pole on 26th Street. He reportedly knocked the light pole over and struck another vehicle.

In another incident that week, police arrested and charged a man with felony aggravated driving while his license was revoked. This man had multiple prior instances of driving with a suspended/revoked license, according to police.

Park Forest Police Blotter Reports Through May 8, 2023

Battery – Causing Bodily Harm

Tammica B. Hawthorne, 38, 607 Brookline St., Chicago Heights, was arrested on May 3 and charged with battery causing bodily harm when police responded to a business in the first block of South Orchard Drive to answer a disturbance complaint.

When police arrived, they saw several vehicles leaving the area. It was 1:55 AM.

Officers saw one man who was holding onto his wife. They later identified the woman as Tamika Hawthorne, according to the report. She appeared to be upset, according to police. She seemed intoxicated and “aggressive toward another group of subjects” as her husband restrained her with his arms and guided her towards a vehicle, according to police.

Report: Police Witness

Police allegedly saw her strike the man with a closed fist approximately four times, according to the report.

An officer tried to disperse the large crowd when an unknown woman struck the officer on the face with her hand, according to police.

Other officers arrived to assist, including police from outside jurisdictions. The officers from outside Park Forest helped control the crowd, according to police.

Ms. Hawthorne entered the vehicle to which her husband directed her. Police ordered her out of the car and arrested her on a domestic battery charge, according to police. Police processed and charged her with domestic battery – causing bodily harm, according to police.

DUI, Knocks Over Light Pole, Police Say

Jose A. Vega, light pole
José A. Vega. (Photo: PFPD)

José A. Vega, 32, 139 W. Main St., Chicago Heights, was arrested on May 6 and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, speeding over the posted speed limit, improper overtaking, and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

Police responded to the 200 block of Arcadia Street to investigate a vehicle accident report at 3:28 AM. According to SouthCom, two vehicles were involved, and the Park Forest Fire Department was on its way. An officer notes in the report that the accident occurred on 26th St., a block south of Arcadia Street, according to police.

A Jeep and Volkswagon 480 Feet Apart

When police arrived, they saw a blue 2014 Jeep Patriot parked on the grass on the north side of 26th St. east of the west intersection of 26th Street and Allegheny Street, according to police. The Jeep was facing east, and three people were walking near it, according to police. Officers saw a Volkswagon Atlas about 480 feet east of the Jeep. According to the report, officers used a Google Maps measuring tool to determine the distance.

The officer saw that the westbound Lane on 26th Street had a black tire track starting approximately 30 feet east of the Jeep, according to police. The tire tracks led east, leaving the roadway north into the grass, all the way up to the Volkswagen, according to police.

Fallen Light Pole Near the Volkswagen

A wooden light pole was lying on the ground about 20 feet west of the Volkswagen, evidently struck down by the Volkswagen, according to police. The Volkswagen had front and rear end damage, according to police. The front driver’s side wheel of the Volkswagen was entirely disconnected from the vehicle and lying nearby, according to police. The rear passenger wheel was broken off at the axle but still hanging attached, according to police. The airbag of the Volkswagen had fully deployed, according to police.

Report: Driver Was Heading for Fast Food

An officer spoke to the driver and sole occupant of the Volkswagen, José Vega, who was standing near the open driver’s door, according to police. Mr. Vega told police he recently left his home in Chicago Heights and went to McDonald’s at 2400 Lincoln Highway in Olympia Fields to get food.

When he arrived, he realized he didn’t have any money, according to police. So he was on his way back home, driving westbound on 26th Street, according to the report.

According to the report, he allegedly told officers that he was going at least 60 mph.

According to the report, Mr. Vega was passing a vehicle in front of him on the left. He allegedly told police that he did not see another car, the Jeep Patriot, coming in the opposite direction, according to police. Mr. Vega reportedly said that he attempted to avoid the collision, but the Volkswagen’s passenger side collided with the passenger side of the Jeep, according to police.

Volkswagen Spins Out, Hits Light Pole

The Volkswagen then spun out and struck a light pole, knocking it over, according to police. Mr. Vega, according to police. The light pole did not hit anyone when it fell.

An officer then pointed out to Mr. Vega that McDonald’s and Western Avenue were in the opposite direction of where he thought it was, according to police. Mr. Vega said he got confused after he spun out and then said now that he was traveling eastbound on 26th Street when he was overtaking a vehicle and collided with the Jeep, which was traveling westbound on 26th Street, according to police.

While speaking with Mr. Vega, the officer noted that his eyes allegedly were glossy and watery. His speech was slightly slurred, according to the report. The officer asked him if he had anything to drink. Mr. Vega allegedly said that he had three beers about 30 minutes before at his residence, according to police. He allegedly said he finished drinking the three beers entirely before he left for McDonald’s, according to police.

Two Cook County Sheriff’s Police Deputies arrived on the scene to assist, according to police.

Field Sobriety Tests

The officer told Mr. Vega that due to him drinking and driving and getting in an accident, he would do a few checks on him to make sure he was okay to go, according to police. Mr. Vega allegedly told the officer, “Yes, sir,” according to the report.

The officer read all the instructions for the Standardized Field Sobriety Test. After conducting the field sobriety test, the officer arrested Mr. Vega under suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol, according to the report.

Paramedics took the driver of the Jeep to St. James Hospital in Olympia Fields to get checked out. The passenger in the Jeep did not go to the hospital.

Battery

Police issued a woman with dementia a municipal citation on May 6, charging battery after police responded to an address on Main Street to investigate a battery report. The woman allegedly struck another woman in the face multiple times. The woman she allegedly struck told police she wanted to sign a complaint.

Aggravated Driving While License Revoked

Police arrested Gary E. Moore, 52, 249 Spruce Lane, Chicago Heights, and charged him with one count of felony aggravated driving while his license was revoked. On patrol at 3:20 PM, an officer saw a black Nissan traveling northbound on Western Avenue. According to the report, the officer conducted a LEADS inquiry and learned that Nissan’s registration expired in December 2022. The officer curbed the Nissan on Dogwood of Western Avenue. He spoke with the driver and sole occupant of the car, later identified as Gary Moore, according to police. The officer told Mr. Moore why he stopped him, and Mr. Moore said to the officer that he did not have a license, according to police. When the officer asked for clarification, Mr. Moore allegedly said that his license was suspended on a prior DUI, according to police.

Driver Has Numerous Priors

The officer ran an inquiry and learned that Mr. Moore’s Illinois driver’s license was revoked and suspended, according to police. Another officer arrived on the scene to assist. Upon further review, police learned that Mr. Moore’s driver’s license was suspended on November 4, 2009.

Police also learned of the following convictions:

  • On July 10, 2010, Mr. Moore was convicted of driving while his license was suspended/revoked In Macon County, Illinois.
  • On March 22, 2011, Mr. Moore was convicted of driving while his license was suspended/revoked in Macon County, Illinois.
  • On November 19, 2012, Mr. Moore was convicted of driving while his license was suspended/revoked in Moultrie County, Illinois.
  • On April 8, 2015, Mr. Moore was again convicted of driving while his license was suspended/revoked in Macon County, Illinois.

About Police Reports

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

eNews Park Forest has continuously 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 charged, including their name, age, and address. This information is necessary to ensure the proper identity of those arrested.

Presumption of Innocence

An arrest does not mean that a person is guilty. The law presumes all those whom police arrest are innocent until proven guilty. It is the policy of eNews Park Forest not to remove items from the public record from publication. Suppose you find your name in the police reports. Our policy is that 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.

We do not strike, “unpublish,” or delete news.

Police captured all the incidents in this report on body-worn and dash-mounted cameras by officers at the respective scenes, according to police. All Park Forest police officers wear body-worn cameras. Officials typically abbreviate these devices as BWC in the reports.

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


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