Law and Order, Local Police Reports, Park Forest

Unlawful Use of a Weapon: Police Reports Through April 25, 2024

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—A Park Forest man who allegedly drove a car with suspended registration had a weapon under the driver’s seat, police said. He faces an unlawful use of a weapon charge and citations regarding the vehicle.

In another incident, a Chicago woman allegedly admitted to police that she damaged a rental car she believed belonged to a former boyfriend. Police found the car covered with eggs and cupcake frosting and with a damaged side mirror.

Park Forest Police Blotter Reports Through April 25, 2024

Criminal Damage to Property

Police arrested Cayla M. Harris, 26, Chicago, on April 20th and charged her with criminal damage to property.

Police responded to Park Street at 10:33 PM regarding a report of criminal damage to property. Upon arrival, they saw a silver 2018 Nissan Rouge parked at the intersection of Park Street and Forest Boulevard, impeding traffic. They identified the driver, the front seat passenger, and the rear driver’s side passenger. The latter was Cayla M. Harris, according to police.

Officers told those in the car there was a report about someone hitting a vehicle with the stick. While speaking with the people in the car, one officer saw a baseball bat in plain view in the backseat floorboard, according to police.

An officer asked who was hitting the vehicle down the road. According to police, Ms. Harris allegedly told officers it was her. She reportedly told police she had just broken up with her boyfriend and wasn’t sure if the vehicle she damaged belonged to him or his new girlfriend.

Car Covered with Eggs, Cupcakes and Frosting

One officer detected an odor of alcohol coming from the driver’s breath as she spoke. The officer asked her to perform field sobriety tests, which, according to police, later determined that she was not impaired.

Police located a black 2022 Toyota Corolla on Park Street, which had been hit with chicken eggs and cupcakes with frosting in assorted colors. The driver’s side mirror was heavily damaged.

Police learned that the car was a rental. The man leasing the vehicle said he was responsible for any damages. The officer told him that Ms. Harris allegedly admitted to causing the damage to the car. According to police, he asked to sign criminal complaints against her.

Coles County Warrant

Police arrested Corey J. Dean, 29, Park Forest, on April 21st and took him into custody in connection with a warrant out of Coles County. The warrant had a $4000 bond. Officers responded to the area of Logan Park near North Street at 3:40 PM to investigate a report of shots fired. They quickly determined there were no shots fired but lit fireworks going off, according to police.

When they arrived, they saw Mr. Dean. According to the police, they discovered the warrant when they checked the law enforcement database.

Cook County Warrant

Police arrested Montarico L. Bennett, 44, Park Forest, on April 21st and processed him in connection with a warrant out of Cook County.

Police responded to McCarthy Road at 4:56 PM to investigate a suspicious vehicle report. They discovered a silver 2018 Ford Fusion parked on the roadway.

They spoke with the driver and a man in the front passenger seat, later identified as Montarico Bennett. One officer saw fresh cannabis in the dashboard as well as a suspected cannabis cigar in the center console, according to police.

Police: Driver Answers, Passenger “Verbally Combative”

The officer asked the driver about the cannabis. She allegedly admitted they were smoking and driving around, according to police. Mr. Bennett, in the passenger seat, reportedly became “verbally combative and would not identify himself,” according to the report.

Officers told him to get out of the car so they could identify him. On his person, they found an Illinois identification that identified him by name and birth, according to police. When police conducted a law enforcement inquiry, they discovered that Mr. Bennett had a warrant with a $25,000 bond.

Unlawful Use of a Weapon

Police arrested Jeremiah M. Berry, 21, Park Forest, on April 22nd, and charged him with misdemeanor unlawful use of a weapon, suspended registration, uninsured vehicle, and possession of cannabis by a driver.

An officer was heading northbound on Western Avenue at 9:14 PM and approaching Main Street when he saw a black Kia sedan also traveling northbound in the curbside lane. The officer checked the car’s registration and found that it had a suspended status with a mandatory insurance flag, according to police. Jeremiah M. Berry was the registered owner, according to police.

The officer activated his emergency lights and positioned his squad behind the Kia to initiate a traffic stop. The officer curbed the vehicle at Western Avenue and Dogwood Street.

Approaching the car on the passenger side, the officer detected an odor of burnt cannabis coming from inside.

Two other officers arrived on the scene to assist.

The officer who had curbed the vehicle saw smoke from a paper cup in the center console area. He also saw a black plastic handgun holster in plain view on the front passenger seat near the center armrest, according to police.

Report: Driver Tells Police of Firearm Under Seat

Mr. Berry was the only person in the car. He told the officer there was a firearm in the vehicle under the driver’s seat, according to police. He gave the officer his Illinois driver’s license and an Illinois Firearm Owners Identification card, according to police. The officer found that the license and FOID card were valid. However, Mr. Berry did not have a Concealed Carry License, according to police. He told Mr. Berry using cannabis in a vehicle was unlawful.

He asked Mr. Berry to leave the car and patted him down. According to police, Mr. Berry had no weapons or contraband on his person. The officer told him that he pulled him over because the car’s registration had been suspended.

Police Find a Glock

Inside the vehicle, an officer found an un-cased .40 caliber Glock Gen 5 model 23 with one live round in the chamber and an empty magazine well. The officer also found a loaded .40 caliber Glock magazine with the firearm under the driver’s seat, according to police. The weapon had a “clear” status. SouthCom confirmed that Mr. Berry did not have a CCL permit, according to police.

Police also found a small tied plastic baggie with a green leafy substance, suspected cannabis. They found two .40 caliber Glock magazines in the center armrest console. Police recovered a total of 35 live rounds of .40 caliber ammunition from the three 13-round capacity magazines and the one firearm, according to police.

Police transported Mr. Berry to the Park Forest Police Department, where he agreed to perform a Standardized Field Sobriety Test. The test yielded negative results for apparent signs of impairment, according to police. As reported above, they charged him with misdemeanor unlawful use of a weapon, suspended registration, uninsured vehicle, and possession of cannabis by a driver.

Domestic Battery

Police arrested Khristopher L. Turner, 24, Park Forest, on April 25th and charged him with domestic battery.

Police responded to the 200 block of Indianwood Boulevard at 12:56 PM to investigate a report of domestic battery. They spoke with Khristopher Turner, who said he verbally argued with a family member. He allegedly told police he pushed the family member away and then grabbed her. They both subsequently went to the ground, according to police.

He reportedly said he got on top of her and restrained her by grabbing her from behind, according to police. He alleged that she tried to hit and scratch him, according to police.

The Other Side

The woman told police she and Mr. Turner got into a verbal altercation because she needed a ride to work. She alleged she was walking away from him when she felt a punch to her shoulder, and she went to the ground, according to police.

The woman told police Mr. Turner allegedly got on top of her and grabbed her from behind, according to police. She said Mr. Turner reportedly tried to flip her while saying, “Watch this,” according to police.

According to the report, since Mr. Turner allegedly admitted that he struck the woman first, they arrested him on suspicion of domestic battery.

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.