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Loose Dogs Kill Yorkie: Police Reports Through Nov. 15, 2022

A Yorkshire Terrier, Yorkie
A Yorkshire Terrier. (Image by Petra from Pixabay)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- A Yorkie dog was killed by two dogs who got loose from their yard and ran through an opening in a fence to a neighboring yard. The dogs took the Yorkshire Terrier in their mouths and left the tiny animal dead, according to police. This is one of the incidents where police responded to calls for service in the week of November 8-15, 2022. Other reports included a call for an animal bite, an obstruction charge, and a man taken into custody in connection with an outstanding warrant.

In the same week, a Matteson man was arrested on drug charges after he allegedly ran from police: Matteson Man Arrested on Drug Charges After Allegedly Running from Police.

Park Forest Police Blotter Reports Through November 15, 2022

Fierce Dogs

Reginald E. Woods, 35, 423 Shabbona Dr., Park Forest, was issued two municipal citations on November 9, charging dogs running at large and fierce dogs when police responded to Sangamon Court to investigate an animal complaint.

Police responded to Sangamon Court at 11:46 AM and spoke with the woman who said that she let her Yorkshire Terrier outside into her yard on November 9 at about 11:30 in the morning. She said that her neighbor to the west of her backyard had “two bully breed dogs,” according to the report. She told police the dogs ran into her yard from their yard, and picked up her Yorkshire Terrier with their mouths to carry it, according to the report.

The woman then contacted her neighbor, Reginald Woods, to have him get his dogs out of her yard. When the woman checked on her dog after the neighbor’s dogs had left, she found her Yorky dead.

Responding officers saw the deceased dog and also saw that the wooden fence which bordered the west side of the yard had multiple spaces where wood pieces were broken, according to police. The deceased dog had bite marks on its abdomen and fresh blood from the wounds it had sustained.

Police spoke with Mr. Woods, who said that he tied up one of his dogs in the backyard on the cable, but the dog was able to break away, according to police. Mr. Woods told police that he did not need to tie up his other dog because “she does not need to be tied on the cable,” according to police.

Mr. Wood said that he saw both of his dogs run into his neighbor’s yard, according to police. An officer saw that one of the tiedown cables in Mr. Woods’s backyard was broken, according to police.

The woman asked the police to dispose of the remains of her dog, according to police.

A search of PFPD records showed that Mr. Wood had received two previous animal complaints in 2022, one where the same neighbor complained about Mr. Woods’s dogs escaping and coming into her yard, according to police. At that time, Mr. Woods was issued a citation charging that he had not obtained dog licenses, according to police. As of this date, Mr. Woods’s dogs are licensed, according to police.

Animal Bite

Lauren A. Falkner, 30, 316 Merrimac St., Park Forest, was issued a municipal citation on November 9 charging animal bite and a municipal citation charging animal license required when police responded to the 300 block of Merrimac Street to investigate a report of a dog bite.

An officer who spoke with Ms. Falkner said that her Shih Tzu-type dog was outside on a leash with her children. Ms. Falkner said that a 10-year-old neighbor ran up to the dog after “being told not to do so,” according to the report. The dog, known as “Baby,” bit the child in the upper right thigh, according to police.

Ms. Falkner advised that “Baby” had bitten people in the past but that those bites “were not that bad,” according to police.

Ms. Falkner provided proof of updated vaccinations for “Baby,” which were scanned by the police.

Obstruction

Jahrel J. Henderson, 24, 620 Andover St., Chicago Heights, was arrested on November 10 and charged with an expired registration, driving with no valid driver’s license, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, and obstructing identification.

An officer was driving southbound on Western Avenue from Steger Road when he saw a black Chevy that had expired registration, according to police. The officer stopped the vehicle and asked the driver and sole occupant for his driver’s license and insurance. The driver allegedly stated that he did not have a license on himself. The officer continued to ask for identification and asked if the man had a credit card with his name on it. The driver insisted that he had no identifying items in the vehicle at that time, according to police.

The driver told the officer a name and gave a date of birth. When the officer searched for that name, the officer found a person with a different description than the driver, according to the report. The officer asked the driver for his address, and he provided 620 Andover Street. The officer asked for the last four digits of the man’s Social Security number, and the man was unable to provide the last four numbers, according to the report.

The officer ultimately used a law enforcement database to find a picture of the person the man named and found that the driver did not resemble the photograph of the person whose name the man had given, according to police.

Warrant

Todd Speight Jr., 33, 2611 W. Beau Bein Court #C, Lisle, IL, was arrested on November 13 in connection with a warrant out of the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office on a charge of driving while his license was suspended when police investigated a report of a suspicious person at the Park Forest Fire Department training site at 59 N. Orchard Drive, according to police.

About Police Reports

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.

eNews Park Forest has always 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 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.

All of the incidents in this report were captured on body-worn and/or dash-mounted cameras by officers at the respective scenes, according to police. All Park Forest police officers wear body-worn cameras. These devices are now typically abbreviated BWC in the reports.

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.

Matteson Man Arrested on Drug Charges After Allegedly Running from Police

TimStrong Squad 204 police pfpd
The #TimStrong Squad 204 of the Park Forest Police Department. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- A Matteson man was arrested on several drug-related charges after he allegedly took off running from an officer. The officer followed the man after he saw that the vehicle he was driving had expired registration.

Willie Banks, 46, 3635 214th PL, Matteson, was arrested on November 12 and issued citations charging expired registration, improper use of registration, failure to signal when required, and operation of an uninsured motor vehicle. Mr. Banks was additionally charged with one count each of the following: resisting/obstructing a peace officer, aggravated driving while license was revoked, manufacture/delivery of 1<15 grams of heroin, manufacture/delivery of 15<100 grams of cocaine, possession of cocaine 15<100 grams, and three counts of possession of a controlled substance.

An officer was traveling northbound on Western Avenue from Monee Road when he saw a black Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck traveling northbound on Western Avenue. The officer conducted an inquiry on the registration of the vehicle and learned that the registration had expired on March 28, 2022.

The officer followed the vehicle as it turned westbound on Sauk Trail from Western Avenue, allegedly failing to signal that turn, according to police. The officer then activated the emergency lights on his patrol vehicle as the truck pulled into the driveway of a home in the first block of Sauk Trail.

The officer exited his patrol vehicle and Mr. Banks also immediately exited his, according to police. The officer then ordered Mr. Banks three times to stay inside his vehicle, and Mr. Banks allegedly responded by asking the officer what the problem was, according to police.

The officer told Mr. Banks that the registration was expired on his truck, and Mr. Banks “immediately began to run northbound through the backyard of the home” where he had parked, according to police.

The officer gave Chase and pursued Mr. Banks northbound through the yard while continuing to order Mr. Banks to get on the ground, according to police. Mr. Banks allegedly continued to run after being ordered to the ground, according to police.

The officer pursued Mr. Banks to the rear of a home in the first block of Oak Lane, where Mr. Banks lay down behind a motor vehicle in the driveway, allegedly attempting to elude the officer, according to police. The officer found Mr. Banks hiding underneath the vehicle, drew his department-issued handgun, and ordered Mr. Banks at gunpoint to show his hands, according to police.

Mr. Banks began to plea with the officer not to shoot him while attempting to get back up on his feet, according to police. The officer then rushed forward and thrust his knees into Mr. Banks’ side to try to prevent him from getting back on his feet, according to police.

Mr. Banks again attempted to get on his feet, so the officer holstered his handgun and drew his department-issued Taser, according to police. During this time, Mr. Banks allegedly jumped to his feet and began to run northbound through the driveway of the home where he had initially hidden, according to police.

The officer provided Mr. Banks with a warning that he was going to be tased, according to the report. Mr. Banks continued to run, and the officer discharged his Taser at Mr. Banks’ lower back, according to police.

The Taser had no effect, according to police.

The officer asked dispatch for assistance, and other officers responded to the scene. Police secured a perimeter of the immediate area and found Mr. Banks hiding on the east side of a home on Apple Lane, lying against the side of the residence, according to police.

Police took Mr. Banks into custody.

Officers return to the home where Mr. Banks it on Oak Lane and found the following items on the ground by the vehicle where Mr. Banks was allegedly trying to hide: four plastic Ziploc bags containing a white rock-like substance which later field-tested positive for cocaine; 13 plastic Ziploc bags and three cleared mounted bags containing a gray chalk like substance which later field-tested positive for heroin; a clear plastic sandwich bag containing a white powder and rock-like substance which later field-tested positive for cocaine; a clear plastic sandwich bag containing a rock-like substance which later field-tested positive for cocaine; a clear plastic bag containing ten pills imprinted with the number 15 on one side and the letter M on the other side. These bills were later identified as morphine, according to police. Police also located oxycodone pills.

Police captured all of this on body cameras. A responding officer and a detective also completed a Park Forest Use of Force report, according to police.

Two Men Arrested in Connection with Shooting of Two-year-old

Devin K. Galloway and Shaun D. Brown
Devin K. Galloway, left, and Shaun D. Brown. (Photos: PFPD)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The investigation took a week and continues still. Early this week, police expressed hope to ENEWSPF that the shooting of a two-year-old, tragic as it was, might have been accidental. But Friday night, Park Forest Police announced the arrest of two men in connection with that shooting.

The child has been stabilized and discharged from the hospital, police said.

Police announced the arrest on November 26 of Shaun D. Brown, a 34-year-old Park Forest resident charged with felony obstructing justice and two misdemeanor counts of resisting or obstructing a peace officer.

On Friday, December 2, police charged Devin K. Galloway, a 32-year-old resident of Matteson, and charged him with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon. Mr. Galloway had been taken into custody on December 1, according to police.

The case began when police learned at about 11:02 AM on Friday, November 25, 2022, that a 2-year-old child had been taken by Shaud Brown and Devin Galloway to a local hospital with a gunshot wound. Medical personnel determined that the child was in critical condition, and the little one was immediately airlifted to a Chicagoland pediatric trauma center.

Mr. Galloway allegedly identified himself as the father of the child and said that the shooting happened on the 300 block of Forest Boulevard in Park Forest, according to police.

Officers responded to that location on Forest Boulevard and encountered Mr. Brown, who had returned to that address. Mr. Brown provided a similar story about the incident to the one provided by Mr. Galloway, according to police. Mr. Brown then allegedly “began to physically obstruct officers’ investigation and was ultimately arrested,” according to the statement police released Friday.

During the course of the investigation, police learned that Mr. Galloway was not the father of the child as he reported but his caretaker at the time of the shooting, according to police. Detectives also learned that the shooting occurred inside a residence in the 100 block of Hemlock Street in Park Forest. The child had been taken to the Forest Boulevard address before being taken to the hospital, according to police.

Police said that Mr. Galloway, with assistance from Mr. Brown, allegedly “went to great lengths to conceal the location and circumstances of the shooting,” according to the statement.

As the investigation continued, police executed multiple search warrants, including one which resulted in the recovery of a stolen and loaded Glock handgun in the vehicle driven by Mr. Galloway, a convicted felon, according to police. The firearm is undergoing ballistic testing to determine if it was used in the shooting of the child.

Police took Mr. Galloway into custody on December 1.

The investigation continues, and the Park Forest Police Department anticipates additional arrests and/or charges, according to the statement issued Friday.

Police said in the statement said the facts surrounding the shooting “are still not conclusively known” due to an alleged lack of cooperation from those involved.

“We are happy to announce that the child was stabilized and discharged from the hospital,” police said in the statement.

Police expressed gratitude to “alert Park Forest residents who provided vital information.” Police also thanked the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force, who helped with the initial investigation.

Chief Winfrey Reports on what the SAFE-T Act Means for Police

police chief in uniform against a blue background
Paul Winfrey is the 13th Police Chief of the Village of Park Forest (VOPF photo)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Park Forest Police Chief Paul Winfrey reported in a statement Wednesday his analysis and concerns on the Illinois SAFE-T Act. Among other things, the Act will eliminate cash bail in Illinois, eliminates the “felony murder” statute, and prevents police from arresting people charged with DUI and other traffic offenses.

The SAFE-T Act goes into effect on January 1, 2023.

Chief Winfrey’s statement follows with some words in CAPS as originally written by the chief:

In the early morning hours of January 13, 2021, without adequate time for elected officials to review the legislation, the Illinois “SAFE-T Act” was passed. Many provisions of this law are already in effect, including phased-in implementation of body cameras, restrictions on use-of-force by police, and a large increase in mandated training. We all agree that reforms are needed in many areas, certainly including in law enforcement and the legal system, and this legislation addresses some of those issues. I have read the entire 764-page legislation and two subsequent “trailer bills”.

Having heard various claims over the past few months, I wanted Park Forest residents to get FACTS in order to determine if the changes coming in 2023 are a good thing for Illinois and Park Forest. Examples are provided not to influence residents’ opinions but to show the real-world impacts of the legislation.

Below is a synopsis of what appear to be the most controversial aspects of the bill for 2023. I apologize for the length of this post: It deals with important provisions that simply could not be shortened.

  • Illinois will become the 1st state to eliminate cash bail, which is money that is posted as an assurance that a defendant will appear in court: if they fail to appear, they forfeit the money posted. Currently, a Judge first determines if there is probable cause to charge an arrestee officially, then reviews the seriousness of the crime, the defendant’s criminal history, history of appearing/failing to appear in court, and any mitigating factors that the arrestee may present before setting bail. Judges can and do release defendants without requiring bail if it is deemed appropriate. The new law requires the release of defendants except for any arrestee that the State’s Attorney’s Office can prove (within 48 hours) poses a “specific, real, and present threat to a person or has a high likelihood of flight,” even those charged with certain non-probational offenses (mandatory prison sentence if convicted).
    • “Willful Flight” means “Planning or attempting to intentionally evade prosecution by concealing oneself”. It is not clear how prosecutors can prove what a defendant is planning. The fact that a defendant has failed to appear on previous cases is specifically stated as not sufficient to show their intent.
  • Any defendant currently in jail awaiting trial will be released unless they meet the criteria above.
  • Much has been said about how this legislation will stop the jailing of those charged with low-level crimes such as shoplifting, etc. In my almost 28 years of law enforcement experience in 3 different counties, I have never seen someone charged with these crimes held in custody unless there are significant other aggravating factors, such as having many previous criminal arrests/convictions. This legislation does prevent those individuals from being detained.
  • Defendants can be assigned “Home Confinement,” which could mean Electronic Monitoring (EM) or simply a curfew. They must also be allowed free movement at least two days per week. Each day of home confinement will count as a day in custody off any prison sentence they receive if convicted. Currently, in Park Forest, we have two people who have been on home confinement/EM for over two years. Any sentence that they receive will be reduced by this time.
    • Those on Home Confinement or Electronic Monitoring must violate that monitoring for 48 hours before they can be arrested. A defendant could drive to Florida and back and not be arrested for a violation.
    • Those who violate home confinement or EM for misdemeanors such as Domestic Battery can only be cited for the violation and not arrested.
  • Those committing Traffic Offenses and Class B and C criminal misdemeanors, such as Criminal Trespass, Disorderly Conduct, DUI, and Driving with a Revoked License, must be cited and not arrested unless the person is an “obvious threat” to others or themselves. If someone comes onto your property and refuses to leave, Police cannot arrest them: they can only issue a citation, even if they continue to refuse to leave your property. Drunk drivers will be cited and released. These defendants will not be fingerprinted, so those arrests will not show on a criminal background check for future similar crimes. This conflicts with existing law requiring that anyone charged with misdemeanors (like DUI or Trespass) be fingerprinted, causing confusion as to which law Police should follow.
  • Judges are no longer required to issue warrants for defendants who fail to appear in court, even for the most serious, violent crimes. They can simply issue a “notice to appear” and set a new court date. This is in contrast to many cases that are dismissed if the VICTIM fails to appear in court.
  • Those currently out on bond for criminal offenses who have failed to appear in court and have warrants for their arrest cannot be arrested for those warrants. Let’s face a hard fact: those who commit crimes and then fail to appear in court very often continue their criminal behavior. This year Park Forest Police have recovered numerous illegal firearms after traffic stops in which the driver or passenger was arrested for an outstanding warrant. In 2023, those firearms (pistols, revolvers, and rifles) will still be on the street.
  • The “felony murder” statute is eliminated. Most of us heard, growing up, that if three people rob a store and someone dies during the crime, all three will be charged with 2nd-degree murder. This will no longer be the case.
  • The offense of “Habitual Criminal,” which involves those convicted of 2 felony crimes and charged with a 3rd, now only applies to crimes committed after the defendant turns 21. The convictions for any crimes committed from age 18-20 cannot be considered.
  • Anyone who is “cited and released” must have a court date within 21 days. Given the processing times required by the Clerk’s Office (at least ten business days once the paperwork is completed, reviewed, and transferred to the court), this is impossible to meet, and no mechanism is in place to address the issue.

There is currently talk in Springfield of making additional revisions to the legislation before the implementation of these provisions on January 1, 2023.

Former Cook County Land Bank Authority Employee Charged by Feds

Alleged Scheme To Fraudulently Purchase and Resell Properties

Justice, Albert V. Bryan District Courthouse, Tim Evanson
Justice outside the Albert V. Bryan District Courthouse in Alexandria, VA. (Photo: Tim Evanson – Flickr – CC license)

Chicago, IL-(ENEWSPF)- A former employee of the Cook County Land Bank Authority used “straw buyers” to fraudulently purchase and resell properties from the agency on his behalf, according to a federal fraud charge filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago.

MUSTAFAA SALEH, 36, of Chicago, is charged with one count of wire fraud. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison. An arraignment in U.S. District Court in Chicago has not yet been scheduled.

The charge was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Machelle L. Jindra, Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Inspector General in Chicago; and John S. Morales, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI. Valuable assistance was provided by the Office of Special Inspector General for Troubled Asset Relief Program, IRS Criminal Investigation Division, Cook County Office of Independent Inspector General, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector General. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sean J.B. Franzblau, Brian Netols, and Kirsten Moran.

Saleh worked as an asset manager for the CCLBA, a governmental entity that promoted the redevelopment and reuse of vacant, foreclosed, abandoned, and tax-delinquent real estate by acquiring and transferring the property to private ownership. The CCLBA sold the real estate at below-market rates and prohibited the buyers from selling or renting a property until the CCLBA was satisfied that the buyer had adequately improved it. CCLBA employees were prohibited from purchasing a property from the agency unless it would be used for the employee’s primary residence.

According to the criminal information, Saleh, from 2016 to 2021, used nominee or “straw” buyers to fraudulently purchase six properties from the CCLBA on Saleh’s behalf and thereafter redeveloped, resold, and otherwise used the properties for Saleh’s financial benefit. The information states that the properties were located in Chicago and the nearby suburbs of Oak Lawn and Midlothian.

In addition to the alleged property fraud, the information also accuses Saleh of fraudulently obtaining maintenance work from the CCLBA. Saleh in 2016, formed a property maintenance company called Evergreen Property Services and directed another individual to pose as its owner, the information states. Over the next three years, Saleh caused the CCLBA to contract with Evergreen and pay it more than $1 million for property maintenance services. CCLBA employees were prohibited from having a financial interest in property maintenance companies contracting with the agency.

The public is reminded that a charge is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines if convicted.

This is a release from the United States Department of Justice.

Prairie State College Men’s Soccer Team to Host National Championship Celebration

Men's Soccer National Champs Prairie State College
Men’s Soccer National Champs Prairie State College

Chicago Heights, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Prairie State College (PSC) men’s soccer earned the school’s first national championship in athletics last week with a 1-0 win over Morton in the NJCAA Division II championship match.

Hard-working, team-oriented, blue-collared, resilient, and with maybe just a touch of a chip on its shoulder.
 
In many ways, the Prairie State men’s soccer team is a mirror image of the town where its school resides.
 
Chicago Heights is also a proud community; that night, those who live there could brim with pride over the hometown community college’s men’s soccer program.
 
Thanks in part to an incredible goal off the foot of freshman defender Josh Matiscik and airtight defense, the Pioneers downed longtime foe Morton College 1-0 in the NJCAA Men’s Soccer Final.
 
The national championship represents PSC’s first in school history in any sport.
 
PSC closes out the campaign with an overall record of 17-4.
 
Saturday’s title match puts the finishing touches on an amazing tournament run by PSC.  Entering the national championships as an at-large 11-seed, the Pioneers took down No. 2 seed Jones College, top seed Phoenix College and the fourth-seeded Panthers.
 
The championship bout also represented the third time that Prairie State faced Morton this year.  The Panthers bested PSC by a goal on both occasions, with the most recent coming in the Region IV championship match.
 
Both clubs picked their spots to attack in the opening half and went into the intermission scoreless.
 
Matiscik’s marker came after a PSC red card had given Morton a man advantage in the 67th minute.
 
The 6-foot Matiscik was upended and tumbled to turf in the 74th, losing the ball.  An alert Matiscik jumped to his feet, outrunning a Morton defender as the keeper strayed too far out and chipped in the would-be game-winner.
 
As he had been all tournament long,  PSC freshman goalkeeper Igor Mrvalgevic stood tall once again, turning away seven shots.

Now that the hard part is over, it is time to celebrate. PSC will host a gathering at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 1, in the atrium of the main campus, located at 202 S. Halsted in Chicago Heights.

Several PSC administrators will speak at the event, including President Dr. Michael Anthony and Director of Athletics Joe Belcaster. Head Coach Carlos Reyes will also say a few words. There will be picture opportunities with the team, Parker, the school’s mascot, and the national championship trophy. T-shirts, pom poms, and pizza will be given away while supplies last.

“This is an opportunity to remember and honor a once-in-a-lifetime, history-making performance by these young men,” Dr. Anthony said. “I am so proud of the effort the team put forth. This accomplishment is something that will never be forgotten by myself or the College community.”

PSC’s championship squad features an eclectic mix of players from various local high schools and 12 countries, many of whom will speak at the celebration.

Local players are from Harvey, Chicago, Hammond, Homewood, and one player from Chicago Heights. International players hail from Montenegro, England, Montenegro, Switzerland, Congo, Togo, and Brazil.

JoseAngel Zapata of Chicago Heights
JoseAngel Zapata of Chicago Heights (PSC)

One player from Chicago Heights, Joseangel Zapata, is a sophomore from Bloom Trail High School.

A full list of players and where they are from is below.

Prairie State College Men’s Soccer Roster

  • Fernando Cervantez (Chicago, IL, St Laurence)
  • Igor Mrvalgevic (Montenegro)
  • Dylan Hawley (England)
  • Juan Zambrano (Harvey, IL, Thornton)
  • Eduardo Garcia (Hammond, IN, Hammond)
  • Mun Thang Thawng (Germany)
  • Khalis Toussaint (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Luis Ramirez (Homewood, IL, H-F)
  • Bruno Guggiari (Paraguay)
  • Jibriel Gedo (Moorhead, MN, Moorhead)
  • Jose Rico (Mexico, Reavis)
  • Stefano Mazzariol (Venezuela)
  • Julian Martinez (Whiting, IN, George Washington)
  • Mael Graf (Switzerland)
  • Joseangel Zapata (Chicago Heights, IL, Bloom Trail)
  • Leo Magana (Melrose Park, IL, St. Patrick)
  • Joshua Matiscik (Highland, IN, Illiana Christian)
  • Eli Garnica (Oak Forest, IL, Tinley Park)
  • Angel Arismendiz (Chicago, IL, George Washington)
  • Magloire Makila (Congo)
  • Leo Dutra (Brazil)
  • Agbokou Geoffroy (Togo)
Men's soccer celebration flyer Prairie State

Directions to Main Campus:

202 S. Halsted St., Chicago Heights, IL 60411

From the north:

  1. Drive south on I-94 to the I-80 west exit.
  2. Follow I-80 west about two miles to Halsted Street south exit (Route 1).
  3. Take Halsted Street south, about three miles to the campus.

Parking Lot A is closest to the atrium.

Crown Point Man Arrested on Felony Charges for Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

Washington, D.C.-(ENEWSPF)- A Crown Point, Indiana man has been arrested on felony charges, including assaulting law enforcement officers with a dangerous weapon, for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

Dale Huttle, 61, of Crown Point, Indiana, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon, interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder, and related felony and misdemeanor offenses. He was arrested on Nov. 9, 2022, in Crown Point, Indiana. He was released pending further court proceedings in the District of Columbia.

Huttle’s nephew, Matthew Huttle, 40, of Hebron, Indiana, was arrested today in Boise, Idaho. He is charged in the same complaint filed in the District of Columbia with misdemeanor offenses. He will make his initial court appearance later this week in the District of Idaho. The criminal complaint against Dale and Matthew Huttle was unsealed today. 

According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Dale Huttle and his nephew illegally entered the Capitol grounds. Dale Huttle then engaged in at least two violent confrontations with law enforcement officers on the Lower West Terrace. Shortly after 2:05 p.m., as a mob of rioters began to forcefully remove bike rack barriers set up to secure the area, Dale Huttle approached the front of a crowd of rioters with a long wooden flagpole in hand. He wielded the flagpole at officers, striking at least two officers. Approximately 30 minutes later, he became involved in another altercation in which he appeared to grab an officer’s baton, as he yelled “Surrender!”

Matthew Huttle, meanwhile, made his way into the Capitol Building at approximately 2:58 p.m., entering through doors next to the Senate Wing. He is believed to have exited the building briefly before re-entering at about 3:06 p.m. and remaining inside for another 10 minutes.

This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Indianapolis Field Office and the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Dale Huttle as #299 on its seeking information photos. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the Boise Police Department.

In the 22 months since Jan. 6, 2021, nearly 900 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 275 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing. 

Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.

A complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This is a release from the United States Department of Justice.

Park Forest Trustee Joseph Woods Announces Bid for Mayor

Trustee Joseph Woods
Trustee Joseph Woods. (Photo: VOPF)
This piece was submitted by Joseph A. Woods

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Park Forest Trustee Joseph A. Woods has announced that he will be a candidate for Mayor in the April municipal election.

“Our Village is at a crossroads,” he said. “What we decide in the next four years will be critical to the future of Park Forest.” He said volunteers are currently circulating his nominating petitions.

“I’m not running against anyone. I’m running for ‘the urgency of now,’” said Woods, a Village Trustee since 2019. “I’m running to preserve the cultural traditions of our community, but also to be effectively visionary about where we want Park Forest to be in the years ahead.”

Woods laid out a five-point program on which his campaign will be based: (1) increased community involvement, (2) business development focused on the needs of the local community, (3) matters relating to schools and youth, (4) crime prevention, and (5) more focus on the needs of families.

As it relates to economic revitalization, Trustee Woods zeroed in on the needs of African-American and Latino communities in the south suburbs, pointing out how many are “food deserts.”

“Over the years the efforts of our community to attract a major grocery store have been disastrous,” he said. “Why do we continue to move in that direction?” He suggested as an alternative finding new ways to address the needs of local shoppers, including year-round pop-up efforts and closer work with convenience stores to provide more food staples.

Woods also stated that his economic revitalization efforts will focus more on advancing local businesses, including minority contractors. “Advancing our local businesses means the possibility for creating more local jobs while also improving our tax base,” he said.

According to Trustee Woods, the closing of Rich East High School has placed a tremendous burden on the youth of Park Forest. “I’m not delusional,” he said. “I recognize that the possibilities for re-opening Rich East are virtually non-existent. But to me that means we must be aggressive in developing new programs and approaches to service the needs of our young people. We’ve lost the Park Forest-based high school athletics and extra-curricular activities that used to provide after-school outlets for our teenagers. We must fill that gap, for their good and for the good of the community.” Trustee Woods said a major goal will be to create more programs to address crime in the community. “Our police force is well respected, and the work the officers do is renowned in our region,” but, he continued, “the elected officials need to provide the support needed to engage in more measures that prevent crimes rather than just address them after they have occurred.” According to Trustee Woods, “Enforcement is important, but prevention is ideal.”

A goal that relates to several needs of the community will be to create a Parents Advisory Council that will codify how parental input is provided to the Village, Woods explained.

“Park Forest is a family-oriented community,” he said. “It is my intention to lead the community toward more benefits for families. I will be reaching out to them and seeking their guidance and advice on the best ways to deal with their issues.

“But creating such a Council in and of itself is not enough,” he continued. “Most importantly, we must listen to what is being said to us. More than anything else, what citizens say to me is that they don’t feel as though anybody is listening. I intend to change that.” Woods said he hopes for their input on how matters such as schools, public safety, neighborhood issues, and taxes, impact families.

“In the council-manager form of government we have in Park Forest, it’s the responsibility of the Mayor and Trustees to be visionary, to create the pathway to improvement that then is carried out by the professional staff. As Mayor, I intend to involve both the Trustees and the community in important decisions. This will not be a one-person show.”

Trustee Woods’ full statement is available on Facebook at Citizens To Elect Joseph A. Woods.

Election Day is April 4.

This piece was submitted by Trustee Joseph A. Woods.

Finding Common Ground on Gun Violence: David Hogg

David Hogg with Eleanor
David Hogg in Pennsylvania where SenToomey refused to meet with his constituents after the Uvalde shooting including 7-year-old Eleanor. (Photo: David Hogg)
Op-Ed by David Hogg
A March For Our Lives Founder and Board Member

ENEWSPF- I’m exhausted of us focusing on what we can’t agree on after these shootings and not what we can. Now that the GOP has the house, I have a proposal for what common ground I think we could find. Even if you disagree with me, please read this.

We always hear the argument that it’s mental health and not guns. While I don’t agree with thinking it’s just mental health, I DO agree mental health is important- Here’s some common ground I would be open to working with House Republicans and Dems on.

In my view, there are two buckets we have to address if we ever want to reduce gun violence:

  1. Capability (HOW) someone gets a gun. This includes laws, trafficking, enforcing laws, etc.
  2. Intent (WHY) someone pulls the trigger. Mental health, hate, lack of resources, poverty, etc.

Republicans do not like discussing capability for a number of reasons we are all aware of. But they always point to addressing intent, and I do see that as important but in a slightly different way. (Sources to follow)

First Area: Gun Suicide

Area for common ground #1

I think there is room to work together on getting the CDC and NIH more funding to study how to prevent gun suicide because it gets little research funding in comparison to things like sepsis, which have similar death rates. Sepsis kills roughly as many Americans as gun violence, yet government funding to study gun violence is only 0.7% of sepsis.

 2017 Journal of the American Medical Association
(2017 Journal of the American Medical Association)

Area for common ground #2

More block grants for states to fund their mental health care systems and suicide prevention programs- especially in schools because rates of anxiety and depression amongst kids are going up and have been for a while.

Area for common ground #3

Passing The Preventing Suicide Through Voluntary Firearm Purchase Delay Act would curb gun suicides by allowing people to voluntarily enroll themselves onto a “do not sell” list.

Sponsored by: @RepJayapal (D) & John Curtis (R)

Some stats:

  • 2/3 of gun deaths are suicides
  • Nine out of ten people who attempt suicide and survive will not go on to die by suicide at a later date.
  • Guns are the most lethal method of suicide (85% fatal) but not the most common attempt method
  • Gun suicides are disproportionately impacting the Republican constituency. The people who are most likely to die by suicide are gun-owning, older men in rural areas.

Next Area: Gun Murder

Area for common ground #4

Getting more funding for schools and communities for after-school programs, better training for counselors and teachers to know warning signs of students who actually are a threat, and funding hospital-based violence prevention.

Plus, getting communities most impacted and traumatized by daily gun violence more mental health resources could be done through federal block grants.

Hospital-based violence intervention works by stopping retaliation by getting the loved ones of someone who was shot a therapist, and trusted community leaders in the room to support the family and stop retaliation.

Read more here.

A strong predictor of violence is also unemployment. We need to fund the best programs working with communities most impacted by gun violence to help those most at risk to get them the resources they need to break the cycle of trauma, poverty, and violence.

I have one nonstarter: We have to stop acting like someone being mentally Ill automatically means they are going to kill people. As mentioned before, being mentally ill makes you way more likely to hurt yourself than someone else.

I fear if done poorly, this leads to a nightmare situation: kids go to their school counselor and say they have anxiety or are depressed and then are treated like a potential mass shooter. That must be prevented.

Progress Without New Laws Is Possible

Notice how none of the above are gun laws? It’s because while I see gun laws as part of the solution, they are just that — part of the solution. We will never reduce gun violence if we don’t also address why someone picks up a gun in the first place.

I am so tired of seeing shooting after shooting happen, and the cycle of debate and inaction continues. We all want this madness to end, so this is me saying I’m willing to do my part and work together because I’m interested in ending this, not debating it.

There are obviously many things we all disagree on, but as we saw this summer with the bipartisan safer communities act, bipartisan action on gun violence is possible. I can respect those who disagree with me, but I can’t accept there’s nothing we can do.

Until we make our response to these shooting actions and not debate, nothing will change. If you are a house Republican interested in working on this in good faith, either privately or publicly, my DMs are open.

Sources

UPDATE: 2-year-old Child Shot in Park Forest Now in Stable Condition

Autism-awareness squad car of the Park Forest Police Department.
The autism-awareness squad car of the Park Forest Police Department. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Update 10:02 PM on Nov. 25, 2022

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- A 2-year-old child was shot today in Park Forest and was listed in critical condition, police said in a statement Friday afternoon. Police Chief Paul Winfrey contacted eNews Park Forest to say that the child’s condition has been upgraded to stable.

“The child victim successfully came through surgery and has been upgraded to stable condition,” Chief Winfrey said. “We hope to have more information tomorrow.”

Chief Winfrey said Comer Children’s Hospital is only providing updates to police in person, not via email or phone.

Police have not determined if the child was shot accidentally or on purpose, police said.

According to the statement, a 2-year-old child was brought by a family member to a local hospital with a gunshot wound to his abdomen at approximately 11:15 AM today. The child was immediately airlifted to Comer Children’s Hospital to undergo surgery and is in critical condition. Representatives for Comer Children’s Hospital could not be reached for comment.

The family member who brought him to the hospital indicated that the child was shot while at a residence in the 300 block of Forest Boulevard in Park Forest but police are uncertain of the exact location of the shooting, police said.

Park Forest Police Officers and Detectives are investigating with the assistance of the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force.

Anyone who may have information is urged to call the Park Forest Police Investigations Division at 708-748-1309.

“The men and women of PFPD pray for the recovery of this child,” the statement said.,

This is an active investigation, police said; additional information will be provided when it becomes available. eNews Park Forest will update this article accordingly.