Officer Makes Arrest, 3-year-old Finds Gun

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)— One officer’s suspicions regarding a man with two girl’s bikes on a Sunday morning resulted in an arrest, but it was a three-year-old girl who found the gun. Had her grandfather not been near, the results could have been tragic.

On Sunday, October 7, at approximately 9:15 a.m., Officer Jon Mannino observed a male subject, later identified as Clarence D. Wilder, 19, riding a girl’s purple mountain bike on Westgate Street approaching Wilson Street.  The subject was also pushing a second girl’s purple mountain bike next to him.

Due to a large number of recent bike thefts in the area, Officer Mannino attempted to detain the individual for a possible bike theft investigation.  Upon instructing the subject to stop, the subject dropped the second bike, dismounted the bike he was riding, and allegedly fled on foot southbound through residential yards, according to the report.   Officer Mannino chased the individual and ordered him to stop running while calling for assistance on his radio.  Other officers arrived on the scene.

Corporal Baugh and Officer Hoskins took Wilder into custody in the open field near Sauk Trail and Windsor.  Police recovered $284 in US currency from Wilder.

A short time after Wilder was transported to the police department, a resident came to the Park Forest Police Department and said he observed a male individual walking on the south side of his residence, and then observed Officer Mannino running after the subject.  Approximately 5 minutes later, he went into his backyard with his three-year-old granddaughter, and observed his granddaughter walking toward an unknown item on the patio of his backyard.  The resident then observed a black and silver revolver handgun lying in the patio area.  He brought the gun to the Police Department.

Wilder allegedly admitted in a statement that, while running away from Officer Mannino, he removed baggies of marijuana from his pocket and threw them in a yard.  A few moments later, while still running, Wilder allegedly stated he removed a handgun from the back pocket of his shorts and tossed it into a yard.

Police were granted permission by a parent to search Wilder’s room, and located a clear Ziploc sandwich bag containing 15 small clear Ziploc baggies, each containing a green leafy substance, suspect cannabis.

Clarence D. Wilder, 19, 406 Winnebago, Park Forest, was arrested and charged with one count of felony aggravated unlawful use of weapon, obstructing a peace officer, possession of cannabis, and possession of firearms and ammunition without a FOID card.