New Year’s Gun Shots Yield Arrests

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)— Police arrested two men who allegedly shot guns into the air at midnight just after the arrival of the New Year.

On January 1, at approximately 12:01 a.m., Detectives Beilke and DeVries were on foot patrol and in full uniform in the court area between H-7 and H-10. According to police, Det. Beilke saw a subject, later identified as Luther Hill, 26, 121 Lester, Park Forest, standing near the light pole, allegedly discharging a firearm in the air approximately 5 times. According to police, the detectives announced they were police and ordered him to drop the gun, which he did. DeVries recovered the gun that he dropped and Hill was taken into custody. While at the Park Forest Police Department, Detective Beilke secured the gun, which was a Beretta 9mm handgun. Hill was charged with one count of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

A short while later, Detective DeVries was back out on patrol. At 12:13 a.m., he observed a man later identified as Richard B. Rhymes, 25, allegedly shooting numerous rounds from a revolver on the east side porch of a house in the 100 block of Hemlock. Detective DeVries was standing by a nearby residence on Hemlock when Rhymes started shooting. Once the shooting stopped, DeVries, who was in full uniform, ran up to Rhymes and another subject who was standing next to him. DeVries yelled twice, "Police, drop the gun." Both men ran inside of the residence and locked the door, according to police.

DeVries radioed for more units to respond as Officer Elliot secured the west door of the residence. On the porch, Detective DeVries observed numerous shell casings which were later determined to be seven spent .357 shell casings, six spent Winchester .45 caliber shell casings and five spent Wolf shell casings. Numerous subjects were heard going upstairs.

Detective DeVries knocked on the door three separate times announcing, "Park Forest Police Department, open the door." After receiving no response from anyone inside of the residence and fearing for the safety of the occupants of the residence, officers forced entry into the residence through the east door.

Seven people were found to be inside the house, including a woman with a two month old daughter, and all were brought down from the upstairs bedroom.

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While clearing the house, Detective DeVries smelled a strong odor of burnt cannabis, according to police. On the dining room table was a green leafy substance, suspect cannabis, and a box of Winchester .45 caliber rounds.

Detective DeVries learned that the woman was the lease holder of the residence. She signed a form granting police permission to search for the gun.

During the search, Rhymes went upstairs and agreed to show officers where he placed the gun, according to police. He pointed to a blue plastic tub inside the closet in the master bedroom. DeVries recovered a chrome .357 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver, a loaded .45 caliber Colt semi-automatic pistol, and a box containing 75 live Remington .357 caliber rounds.

The five men were brought to the Park Forest Police Department for further investigation. Once at the station, Detective Beilke performed gunshot residue tests on each subject.

According to Police, Rhymes was brought into the interview room where he was read his Miranda rights. He knowingly and voluntarily waived his rights and agreed to speak to Detective DeVries and Detective Beilke without the presence of an attorney. Detective DeVries asked him how many times he fired the gun. At that time Rhymes stated that he wanted to speak to his attorney. The interview was concluded and he was led to a holding cell.

Detective DeVries contacted Assistant States Attorney Reilly, who approved one felony count of reckless discharge of a firearm and two counts of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon against Richard B. Rhymes, 25, 417 W. 16th Pl., Chicago Heights.