Local Police Reports, Park Forest

Running Man Taken in by Police After Internet Date Goes Awry

Officers salute family and Park Forest citizens, pfpd
Officers salute family and Park Forest citizens. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- For this story, you’re going to have to know about the man, the running man, and the neighbor. There was a woman, too. And it turned out to be a really, really bad day for the man who took off running.

The moral of the story? Be careful of online dating, perhaps.

A man was outside his home in the 300 block of Oakwood Street on Friday, September 26, just before 1 PM, when he saw his neighbor chasing a man running down the street. The man who was outside was in his early 60s and decided to help his neighbor. He ordered the running man, who was in his mid-20s, to stop and to get on the ground. The running man complied and the older man held him on the ground until police arrived. His neighbor who had been chasing the running man was in his mid-20s.

Police arrived to find the older man holding the running man on the ground. Police then spoke with the neighbor who was chasing the running man. He told police he pulled up to his house when he saw the other man on his property. He saw the man walk down his driveway from the back of his home. When he confronted the man who was on his property, that man began to run south on Oakwood Street. The younger man then gave chase, eventually catching up to him when his older neighbor ordered him to the ground and held him for police.

Police asked the running man why he was at that residence. The running man told police that he met a woman on PlentyOfFish.com, had been talking to her for about a month, and was there to give her about $50 to get her nails done. When police asked to see the messages on PlentyOfFish.com showing the woman’s address, the running man could not produce any message with her that stated that address. He then told police that he was communicating with her via Snapchat, not PlentyOfFish.com. The running man showed the officers that the messages had already expired and that the woman had deleted him as a “friend” on Snapchat.

Police asked one woman who lived at the house where the running man was discovered if she knew him. She said she did not know him. Officers then placed the running man in handcuffs and transported him to the Park Forest Police Department.

The running man then told police that he recognized the woman at the residence while he was sitting in the back of the squad car. An officer asked him how he recognized her and he said that he remembered what she looked like from her photos on PlentyOfFish.com.

Once at the police station, officers read the running man his Miranda rights. He told them the same story, that he had met a young woman on PlentyOfFish.com and had been communicating with her via Snapchat for about a month. He said that the young woman had been talking to him that day about getting her nails done. He said he would give her $50 so she could get her nails done. She told him she would meet him at the specified address on Oakwood Street. When he arrived at the house, he parked his truck and walked up the driveway to the back of the residence. He knocked on the door and got no answer. He was about to leave when the other man showed up, yelling and asking why he was on the property.

At that point the man began to run.

Police then had the running man open his PlentyOfFish.com app on his phone so they could see the young woman’s profile. He pointed out the profile name and officers also recognized the woman in the photo as the daughter of the man who chased the running man.

Police return to the home on Oakwood Street to make contact with the woman from the photos. They met with the man who chased the running man and he told police that he suspected there was more going on than he had been told. The woman who had apparently been in contact with the running man was his sister, also in her 20s.

Police were unable to find the young woman but, given what they had learned, they released the running man without charges due to the trespassing being unfounded, according to police.

Police then transported him to A1 Towing in Chicago Heights where his vehicle had been towed.

All in all, it turned into a bad day for a man visiting Park Forest.