Shot Fired: Park Forest Police Reports Through September 22, 2020

Freedom Hall near capacity for Police Honors Ceremony
Freedom Hall was near capacity at the Police Honors Ceremony held on Saturday, February 8, 2020. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- These police reports include arrests through September 22, 2020. Charges for those arrested include battery, trespassing, and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

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.

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.

Park Forest Police Blotter Reports Through September 22, 2020

Battery

Michael A. Small, 34, 209 Ash St., Park Forest, was arrested on September 10 and charged with battery and driving while his license was revoked.

An officer was on patrol at 1:26 PM. While traveling northbound on Western Avenue and crossing North Street, the officer observed a stationary vehicle on Western Avenue and the right-hand lane facing southbound at the intersection with North Street. A man, later identified as Michael A. Small, was standing outside the vehicle waving traffic through, according to police.

Mr. Small told the responding officer that his vehicle had run out of gas. Officers assisted Mr. Small in pushing his vehicle out of the roadway. When Mr. Small returned to speak with officers, he appeared to be disoriented, according to the report. An officer was attempting to give Mr. Small a ride to put gas in his vehicle when Mr. Small became “extremely confrontational” according to police. The officer smelled an odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from Mr. Small, according to police.

While asking Mr. Small how much he had to drink, Mr. small allegedly stated, “How many females sucked your d—?” and “You is a f—–g b—-.”

Mr. Small approached one of the officers who instructed Mr. Small to back away. Mr. Small was backing away, stating, “Alright, you gon’ kill me, you stupid b—-?” the officer informed Mr. Small that he was going to be placed under arrest.

Mr. Small began to walk backward in the intersection. The officer grabbed Mr. Small by the wrists and turned him around, placing him in handcuffs. After police placed Mr. Small under arrest, Mr. Small allegedly began to resist being put into the rear of the squad vehicle. Mr. Small allegedly used his feet and legs to prevent officers from placing him in the rear of the squad, according to police.

While they were still on the scene, SouthCom Dispatch advised officers that Mr. Small’s driver’s license was revoked, according to police.

Domestic Battery

Eric O. Pate Jr., 31, 6513 Grey Hawk Dr., Matteson, was arrested on September 12 and charged with one count of domestic battery and one count of resisting a peace officer after police responded to the 100 block of Peach Street at 11:16 AM to investigate a report of a domestic disturbance.

When police showed up on the scene, they found Mr. Pate in front of the residence with a large open cut on the left side of his head that was bleeding heavily down his face, according to the report. Mr. Pate said that another subject had struck him with a metal pole, according to police.

At one point, a man arrived on the scene and told Mr. Pate to stay away from his sister, according to police. Mr. Pate then allegedly attempted to run past officers to fight the man who had just arrived, according to police. Mr. Pate allegedly attempted to break free from an officer who was holding him back to continue to fight the brother, according to the report.

An officer had to lift Mr. Pate off his feet and carry him several feet and then use force to take Mr. Pate to the ground, according to police.

Trespassing

Justin G. Bickhem, 25, 105 Indiana St., Park Forest, was arrested on September 12 and charged with trespassing when police were dispatched to the 300 block of Sauk Trail to investigate a report of a dispute between a landlord and tenant.

Aggravated UUW

Robert Williams III, 23, 159 W. Raye Dr., Chicago Heights, was arrested on September 12 and charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and reckless discharge of a firearm after police were dispatched to the 300 block of Indiana Street regarding a report of a domestic disturbance.

When police arrived, the complainant told them that a man named Robert Williams was armed with a gun and fired a shot while he was driving on Indiana Street. He was last seen traveling towards Western Avenue. The complainant believed that Mr. Williams was on his way to his mother’s house in Chicago Heights, according to police.

A number of officers responded.

The complainant told them she got in an argument with Mr. Williams and he threatened to “shoot up” her car. Mr. Williams later allegedly drove slowly eastbound on Indiana Street towards New Salem Street and fired one gunshot up into the air from his driver’s side window, according to police.

Aggravated Battery

Eric Tolbert Jr., 23, 313 Waldmann Dr., Park Forest, was arrested on September 15 and charged with aggravated battery and domestic battery after police were dispatched to the 200 block of Fir Street after a 911 hang-up call. Mr. Tolbert allegedly elbowed or punched a woman on’s her lower lip, according to police.

Domestic Battery, Resisting

Montell S. Hardin, 27, 325 Illinois St., Park Forest, was arrested on September 18 and charged with domestic battery and resisting a police officer after police responded to the 300 block of Illinois Street to investigate a report of domestic battery. Mr. Hardin allegedly struck a woman on the side of the face causing her lower lip to bleed, according to police.