Law and Order, Local Police Reports, Park Forest

Police Charge Animal Cruelty: Blotter Reports Through November 26, 2019

Police tow car on Saturday, January 4, 2020.
An officer oversees the towing of a car Saturday off 26th Street. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- These police reports include arrests through November 26, 2019. Charges for those arrested include animal cruelty, driving while license was suspended, and aggravated assault.

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 DepartmentInvestigations Division at (708) 748-1309.

eNews Park Forest reports this information because the public in the United States has the right to know.  When that information is withheld or under-reported, it leaves questions.  We also want to show the work that the police force does every day that is not reported.  Police in Park Forest respond to thousands of calls per year, the vast majority of which do not end up with arrests.  Whether it’s conducting a routine investigation, pulling over a drunk driver, or responding to a possible theft at a store, the work of the police officer deserves acknowledgment by the public.

Animal Cruelty

Jimmie L. Bobbitt, 43, 356 Miami St., Park Forest, was arrested on November 22 and charged with animal cruelty after police responded to the 300 block of Indianwood Drive to investigate an animal complaint. The complainant alleged there was a man in the driveway of a home in the 300 block of Miami Street who was beating a dog.

An officer arrived and spoke with the Community Service Officer (CSO) who had already viewed video of the incident taken by the complainant’s and told the officer that he believed the man had allegedly excessively beaten and mistreated the dog, according to police. The CSO stated that he briefly made contact with the man and verified that it was the same man who was in the video, according to police.

The man, standing in a driveway, waived at the officer and said he know why the officer was there, according to police. The man, identified as Jimmie L. Bobbitt, acknowledged that he was walking the dog moments earlier when it got into someone’s driveway just down the street, according to police.

Mr. Bobbitt said that he apologized to the people whose driveway the dog was in, leashed the dog, walked it back home, and that was all he did, according to police.

The responding officer smelled an odor of an alcoholic beverage on Mr. Bobbitt’s breath, according to police, and asked him if he had been drinking. Mr. Bobbitt said he had not been drinking, according to police.

The officer observed the video from the complainants and saw Mr. Bobbitt walking the dog unleashed south on Miami Street, according to police. The dog ran into a driveway in the 300 block of Miami Street, according to police.

In the video, Mr. Bobbitt then walked up to the dog and allegedly whipped it twice with the end of the leash, according to police. Mr. Bobbitt then allegedly whipped the dog a third time, according to police. After leashing the dog, Mr. Bobbitt allegedly yanked on the leash and then kicked the dog in its stomach, according to police. Mr. Bobbitt then yanked the leash again and it appeared to the officer that Mr. Bobbitt allegedly dragged the dog in an attempt to get compliance from the animal, according to police.

Mr. Bobbitt then raised his arm with the end of the leash in his hand, appearing to prepare to whip the dog a fourth time, but does not, according to police.

Mr. Bobbitt then left the area with the dog, according to police.

The responding officer when asked for another unit to assist based on what he had observed in the video. The responding officer arrested Mr. Bobbitt on suspicion of animal cruelty, according to police.

A woman arrived on the scene and police learned that she was the owner of the dog. She acknowledged that Mr. Bobbitt was a friend of the family and she had left the dog in his care while she was away, according to police. Police informed the owner that Mr. Bobbitt was being taken into custody due to his alleged aggressive acts toward the dog, according to police.

For precautionary purposes, the dog was transported to the Humane Society in Chicago Heights for a medical evaluation.

At the Park Forest Police Department, Esther Bobbitt allegedly told police that he went with the dog to the 7-Eleven. On his way back, the dog ran onto someone’s property. Mr. Bobbitt allegedly told police that he did not have the dog on a leash at the time when it ran from him, according to police. He tried to call the dog over to him that it would not listen. He put the leash on the dog and it still would not come so “he booted the dog’s butt, because that’s what he (Bobbitt) does,” according to the report.

After the dog was examined at the Humane Society staff gave authorization informing the owner that the dog was cleared for release and could be picked up by the owner, according to police.

Mr. Bobbitt was processed and charged with animal cruelty and given a court date of December 13, 2019, at the Cook County Courthouse in Markham, according to police.

Driving While License Suspended, Violation of an Order of Protection

James M. Hunley, 30, 20 S. Arbor Trail., Was arrested on November 22 and issued traffic citations charging expired registration and driving while license was suspended after an officer observed a vehicle traveling southbound on Orchard Drive at Lakewood Boulevard that had expired vehicle registration, according to police. The officer activated the emergency lighting on his patrol vehicle and curbed the vehicle on Main Street just east of Orchard Drive.

The officer spoke with the driver, later identified as James M. Hunley, and learned that the vehicle belonged to his girlfriend, the passenger in the vehicle.

The officer learned that the passenger, Ariel S. Palms, 26, 4234 Greenbrier Lane, Richton Park, had an active Indiana Order of Protection with Palms as the respondent and Mr. Hunley as the petitioner, according to police.

The order prohibited Ms. Palms from engaging in any communication with the petitioner, Mr. Hunley, according to police. Other officers arrived on the scene to assist. The two were arrested and respectively charged:

  • Mr. Hunley was charged with expired registration and driving while license was suspended.
  • Ariel S. Palms was charged with one count of violation of an order of protection.

The vehicle was towed from the scene per village ordinance, according to police.

Domestic Battery, Aggravated Assault

Michael L. Lanz, 29, 1027 W. 104th St., Chicago, was arrested on November 23 and charged with domestic battery and aggravated assault after police responded to the 500 block of Wildwood Drive to investigate a report of a domestic dispute.

While on their way, SouthCom Dispatch told police that a gray van had left the area driving west on Wilshire Street, according to police. An officer stopped the vehicle at Save-A-Lot in Richton Park, according to police.

Back on Wildwood Drive, an officer spoke with the complainant who said she was at the Olympia Fields Walmart at approximately 4 PM when she noticed that another woman kept staring at her boyfriend, Michael A. Lanz, according to police. According to the complainant, the woman followed the two of them throughout the store, according to police. The complainant asked Mr. Lanz if he knew the woman and the two began to argue, according to police.

While in the parking lot at Walmart, Mr. Lanz allegedly grabbed the complainant’s arm and tried to pull her out of the passenger side of his vehicle, according to police. The two argued some more on their way to the 500 block of Wildwood Drive where Mr. Lanz parked in a driveway.

Upon arriving at the house on Wildwood Drive, Mr. Lanz allegedly told the complainant to get out of the vehicle. She began to retrieve her groceries from the car and place them by the front door. At this time, she alleged that Mr. Lanz attempted to choke her by reaching for her neck, but she moved back and was able to avoid this, according to police.

The complainant said she attempted to grab some chocolate mousse that fell out of one of the grocery bags that had rolled under the car. Simultaneously, she heard the “gears” of the vehicle shift and said that Mr. Lanz allegedly drove up on the driveway nearly pinning her between the vehicle and the garage as if he was going to run her over, according to police.

At that point, she dialed 911 for police assistance, according to the report. When Mr. Lanz heard her calling for police assistance he allegedly left the area, according to police.

Criminal Damage to Property

Anthony L. Williams, 45, 1919 Revere St., Chicago Heights, was arrested on November 24 and charged with criminal damage to property after police responded to Westwood Court to investigate a report of criminal damage to property in progress.

SouthCom Dispatch told police that the complainant said that Anthony L. Williams was allegedly outside her home damaging her vehicle, according to police.

While officers were responding, SouthCom Dispatch updated the officers saying the complainant alleged that Mr. Williams had shattered the windows of her vehicle prior to getting into a silver SUV and left the area, according to police. The complainant provided a description of the vehicle and said that Mr. Williams was possibly heading for his residence in the 1900 block of Revere Street in Chicago Heights, according to police.

An officer in the area of Western Avenue and Beacon Boulevard observed a vehicle matching the description provided by the complainant traveling on Western Avenue, according to police. That officer conducted a traffic stop and took Mr. Williams into custody, according to police. Another officer took him to the Park Forest Police Department pending an additional investigation, according to police.

At the home on Westwood Court, an officer discovered that the windshield of the complainant’s vehicle was shattered on the passenger side, according to police.

According to police, Mr. Williams had called the complainant asking if he could come to her residence. The complainant told him not to come to her residence and then allegedly began calling repeatedly, leaving threatening voicemail messages, stating he was going to come over and damage her vehicle, according to police.

Shortly after speaking on the phone with Mr. Williams, he showed up at the complainant’s home and began knocking on her front door, according to police. She refused to open the front door, according to the report. Mr. Williams allegedly began yelling that he was going to shatter her car’s Windows, according to police.

The complainant looked outside her home through the front door and allegedly observed Mr. Williams walking down her driveway, stop on the passenger side of her vehicle, and allegedly struck the windshield of her vehicle with an unknown object, according to police.