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Police Reports: Domestic Incidents Dominate During First Week of April 2020

CSO Charles Harris 2019 Civilian Employee of the Year, PFPD
Community Service Officer Charles Harris, the Park Forest Police Department’s 2019 Civilian Employee of the Year. “CSO Harris is a well-known smiling face throughout Park Forest, a dedicated public servant and is a true asset to the Police Department,” the PFPD said in a statement. (Photo: PFPD)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- These police reports include arrests through April 7, 2020. Charges for those arrested are all related to alleged domestic incidents.

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.

Domestic Battery

Kevin A. Bass, 32, 9455 S. 85th Ave. #1N, Hickory Hills, was arrested on April 2 and charged with domestic battery after police were dispatched to the first block of Cherry Street in reference to a report of a domestic disturbance.

Upon arrival, officers observed a man and woman allegedly yelling and cursing at each other, according to police. An officer approached the man, later identified as Kevin A. Bass, who was sitting on the front porch of the home. Mr. Bass had several scratch marks that were bleeding on his face and neck, according to the report.

Mr. Bass told police that he had come home from work just moments earlier and asked the woman what was in the back of the pickup truck in the driveway, according to police. It turned out to be new furniture and their discussion about the furniture escalated into a verbal argument, according to police.

Mr. Bass allegedly stated that the woman kept “getting in his face,” so he pushed her, according to police. Mr. Bass allegedly claimed that he didn’t push her that hard and that she acted in an “over-exaggerated fashion when this happened,” according to the report. Mr. Bass said that the woman then began punching and hitting him in the face, according to police.

While trying to learn the details of the incident, Mr. Bass allegedly kept interrupting officers by yelling and cursing at the woman, according to police. In the presence of police, Mr. Bass allegedly admitted again that he pushed a woman and reiterated that he “didn’t push her that hard,” according to police.

The woman told police she wanted Mr. Bass arrested and would sign complaints against him on a charge of domestic battery, according to police.

Domestic Battery

Joel I. Brooks, 21, 543 Lakewood Blvd., Park Forest, was arrested on April 5 and charged with two counts of domestic battery after police responded to the 500 block of Lakewood Boulevard to investigate a 911 hang-up. Mr. Brooks showed in LEADS as a parolee from the Illinois Department of Corrections, according to police. As such, the arresting officer contacted the Illinois Department of Corrections which issued a warrant to Mr. Brooks on a charge of violation of parole, according to police.

The call came into SouthCom Dispatch at 11:48 AM. The caller hung up after being placed on hold due to other patrol units being busy on calls, according to the report.

The phone number that called 911 was listed as belonging to a resident in the 500 block of Lakewood Boulevard. There was no answer on callback, according to the report. An officer responded, but upon arrival, he heard screaming coming from inside the residence, according to police.

The officer notified SouthCom and approached to investigate further, according to the report.

Upon reaching the front door of the residence, the officer could see and hear several women arguing inside, according to police. The officer opened the outer unlocked screen door but remained outside the residence, according to the report. Someone approached and requested that the officer remove a man from the residence due to his alleged disrespectful behavior, according to police.

The officer saw the man inside, whom he recognized as Joel Brooks, according to police. Mr. Brooks was standing in the family room with four women. The officer had prior knowledge that Mr. Brooks was wanted by another Park Forest Police Officer in connection with another case involving charges of aggravated assault and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, according to the report. That other incident was reported on February 8, 2020, according to the report.

Mr. Brooks approached the door and allegedly informed the officer that he had a recording on his phone showing that he did nothing wrong, according to police. In order to separate Mr. Brooks from the others and to better control the scene until backup officers arrived, the responding officer asked that Mr. Brooks step outside to speak, according to police.

Mr. Brooks initially agreed and proceeded to walk out the door, according to police. At this time, a woman approached Mr. Brooks from behind, allegedly yelling at Mr. Brooks, according to the police.

While Mr. Brooks was still in the threshold of the doorway, he abruptly turned around, raised his right fist, and allegedly punched the woman in the face, according to police. As the woman retreated away from the doorway and into the residence, Mr. Brooks allegedly chased her while raising his right fist in the air and allegedly punching her about the head and body at least two more times, according to police. Mr. Brooks then allegedly pushed her against a wall in the family room, according to police.

The responding officer was wearing an N95 mask because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The officer entered the residence in order to stop Mr. Brooks from his alleged attack on the woman, grabbing Mr. Brooks from behind around the shoulders after he allegedly slammed the woman into the wall, according to police. Mr. Brooks at this time was allegedly forcefully pushing his body into the woman and raising his right fist again as if he was going to strike her, according to police.

At this point, the responding officer turned and directed Mr. Brooks to the ground, according to police. Mr. Brooks landed on his stomach, according to police. This maneuver caused pain to the officer’s right hand and also caused the officers N95 mask to fall from covering his face, according to police.

As the officer straddled Mr. Brooks, Mr. Brooks said he would cooperate and follow the officer’s instructions, according to police.

During that time, another woman came from behind the officer and allegedly tried to strike Mr. Brooks while he was on the ground, according to police.

The officer gave commands to the women to stay back while notifying SouthCom Dispatch that additional units were needed, according to police.

After making sure that no one else posed a threat and Mr. Brooks was under the officer’s control, the officer placed Mr. Brooks into handcuffs, according to police.

Deputy Chief Winfrey was notified of this incident and a Use of Force report was completed, according to the report. The incident was recorded on the officer’s body-worn camera, according to the report.

Domestic Battery

Aaron L. Scott, 31, 3850 W. 84th St., Chicago, was arrested on April 6 and was charged with one count of domestic battery after police responded to the first block of Ash Street at 7:36 AM in reference to a report of a domestic disturbance.

When police arrived, the responding officer made contact with a woman who said that she lives at the residence with her boyfriend, Aaron L. Scott, and her two children. On this date, she said she was in her bedroom when Mr. Scott approached her and allegedly stated, “If someone said to you that they would never hit you and they actually do it, how would you feel?” according to the police. The woman said she told Mr. Scott that she did not know.

Mr. Scott then allegedly grabbed her by the face and threw her to the ground, according to police. She said in doing so a small tray table was knocked over and a glass cup broke on the floor, according to police.

The woman said they began fighting and Mr. Scott allegedly punched her in the face, according to police. The woman said that while fighting she believed her knees ended up getting cut by the glass that had broken on the floor, according to police.

She then called the police.

The responding officer observed the lacerations and bleeding on both of the woman’s knees, according to police. The officer also observed a small laceration to her left cheek, according to police. The officer photographed the injuries and later downloaded the photographs to the evidence database, according to police.

Two officers then attempted to speak with Mr. Scott, according to the report. The responding officer asked Mr. Scott what occurred and Mr. Scott allegedly said, “Whatever she told you. I’m not even going to argue,” according to the report. One of the officers told Mr. Scott to tell the officers what happened in his own words. Mr. Scott allegedly stated, “No. Whatever she said,” according to police. An officer asked Mr. Scott how the woman’s knees got cut. Mr. Scott then allegedly stated, “I’m gonna face this wall and put my hands behind my back,” according to police. Mr. Scott then allegedly stood up, face the wall, and placed his hands behind his back, according to the report.

Due to the visible injuries to the woman and her statement, Mr. Scott was taken into custody on suspicion of domestic battery, according to police. He was placed in handcuffs and transported to the Park Forest Police Department.

The woman was given an Illinois Domestic Violence form and the officer explained how she could obtain an order of protection.

While reviewing Mr. Scott’s criminal history, police learned that he had a prior conviction on a domestic battery charge, according to police. The officer who was first on the scene contacted the Cook County Felony Review Unit and spoke with an Assistant State’s Attorney (ASA). The ASA contacted the woman and learned that she did not want to proceed with felony charges against Mr. Scott. At 11:06 AM the ASA rejected felony charges against Mr. Scott, according to police.

Mr. Scott was then processed on one count of domestic battery, according to police.

There was one previous domestic dispute between the woman and Mr. Scott, according to the police.

The report was prepared after police reviewed body camera footage, according to police.