Police Break Up Brawl in Central Park

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– A verbal exchange between two 15-year-old girls that went sour was the alleged catalyst of a 75-person brawl in Central Park two Saturdays ago. According to police, the entire incident allegedly started when one 15-year-old girl looked at another 15-year-old girl and said, "What are you looking at?" When the second girl did not reply, the first girl allegedly pursued the question. Eventually, the first girl allegedly punched the second girl.

On Saturday, June 21, shortly after 5 p.m., Officers Joe Butler and John DeCeault were dispatched to the baseball fields at Central Park in response to a report of two girls fighting each other. According to police, the officers observed approximately 75 individuals near the baseball fields participating in two or three separate fights.

Officer DeCeault responded to three females fighting while Officer Butler responded to two males fighting. Officer Butler requested additional officers to respond due to the large number of individuals who appeared to be fighting each other.

According to police, Officer Butler drew his police baton and approached the actively fighting males. Butler told them to stop fighting because they were under arrest. According to police, one of the men, Raheme Jackson, 18, 33 Fir St., Park Forest, allegedly turned and pushed Butler’s hand away and fled southbound through the park. The officers who were en route were advised of the foot pursuit involving Officer Butler. Officers Butler, DeCeault, and Detective Obremski located Jackson hiding in a shed at a residence in the 200 block of Rich Road.

According to police, Jackson refused to follow verbal commands to exit the shed and placed his hands behind his back. Officer Butler pulled Jackson from the shed and placed him on the ground and tried to handcuff him. According to police, Jackson allegedly crossed his arms in front of his body so that they were under him. After Jackson refused a second set of verbal commands to stop resisting, Officer Butler used his department-issued Taser to stun Jackson on his lower back. Jackson still did not comply, according to police. After a second cycle of the Taser, Jackson still did not comply, according to police. Officer DeCeault and Detective Obremski forcibly pried Jackson’s arms from beneath him, and he was handcuffed, according to police.

At the Park Forest Police Department, Officer Butler learned that Jackson had three outstanding warrants. Jackson was charged with resisting a peace officer and disorderly conduct. He was unable to produce the bond amounts on the three warrants – criminal trespass to vehicle; possession of cannabis; and possession of liquor by a minor – so he was transported to the Markham courthouse for a bond hearing.

All the officers returned to Central Park where there were 200 plus individuals visibly and verbally agitated due to the fights that occurred, according to police. The officers attempted to calm the crowd and dispersed the family gathering at the pavilion.

Mark A. Amos, 39, 615 Brookline, Chicago Heights, was arrested and charged with battery and disorderly conduct. Areale D. Holmes, 19, 615 Brookline, Chicago Heigths, was arrested and charged with battery and disorderly conduct. Additional charges against a juvenile are pending.