Alleged False Insurance Card: Park Forest Police Reports Through February 8, 2019

smashed brick wall, traffic accident, pfpd, park forest police, false insurance card
This is a prime example of why we stress cautious driving even during light snowfall,” Police said on Facebook on Dec. 17, 2019. “A vehicle traveling west on North Street toward North Orchard Drive lost control while navigating a curve and drove through a brick safety wall. The driver related the primary cause of the accident was slick road conditions. Thankfully, no injuries occurred.” (Photo: PFPD)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- These police reports include arrests through February 8, 2019. During the week beginning January 29, through February 8, charges for those arrested include a DUI, possession of a controlled substance, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, aggravated driving while license was revoked (a felony), and providing an officer with a false insurance card.

Providing more details than readers will find in any other police beat reports, we invite readers to subscribe to get the whole story, every day.

In an online poll, our readers favored heavily (93% to 7%) to continue receiving more details in these reports. We will honor this request as appropriate for individual reports.

eNews Park Forest has always published 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.

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.

eNews Park Forest reports this information because the public in the United States has the right to know.  When that information is withheld or under-reported, it leaves questions.  We also want to show the work that the police force does every day that is not reported.  Police in Park Forest respond to thousands of calls per year, the vast majority of which do not end up with arrests.  Whether it’s conducting a routine investigation, pulling over a drunk driver, or responding to a possible theft at a store, the work of the police officer deserves acknowledgment by the public.

Possession of a Controlled Substance

Marko S. Gvero, 26, 204 Briarwood Dr., Schererville, IN, was arrested on January 29 and charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and issued traffic citations charging operating an uninsured motor vehicle, and disobeying a stop sign.

An officer was traveling south on Allegheny Street at approximately 10:30 AM when he saw a black 2014 Chevrolet Cruze allegedly stop several feet beyond a stop line at 26th Street and Allegheny Street, “causing the entire length of the vehicle to protrude into the intersection,” according to the report.

The officer asked the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle, Marko S. Gvero, for his driver’s license and proof of insurance. Mr. Gvero provided a valid driver’s license but was unable to produce any proof of insurance, according to police. The report notes that Mr. Gvero “appeared extremely nervous, as he was visibly shaking,” according to police.

The officer asked Mr. Gvero if there was anything illegal in the vehicle and he allegedly responded that he had drug paraphernalia. Mr. Gvero allegedly told the officer that he had a pipe that he used to smoke cocaine in his pocket, according to police. The officer asked Mr. Gvero if he possessed any cocaine and Mr. Gvero allegedly replied affirmatively and stated that there was a small amount of cocaine in the vehicle, according to police.

The officer retrieved a small plastic bag that contained a white powdery substance, suspect cocaine, that was in plain view resting on the door handle of the vehicle, according to police. Another officer arrived on the scene to assist and officers asked Mr. Gvero to exit the vehicle and he was placed in handcuffs. Mr. Gvero’s vehicle was seized and towed from the scene.

Aggravated Driving While License Revoked

Melvin C. Kennedy, 46, 234 Somonauk St., Park Forest, was arrested on February 1 and charged with felony aggravated driving while license was revoked.

An officer was traveling south on Somonauk Street from Blackhawk Drive at approximately 7:58 AM when he saw a silver Cadillac CTS driving north on Somonauk Street. In the report, the officer stated that he “had a clear and unobstructed view of the driver as he passed and immediately identified him as Melvin C. Kennedy.” The officer had prior contacts with Mr. Kennedy and was aware that Mr. Kennedy’s driving privileges were revoked, according to the report.

The officer caught up to the vehicle and conducted an in-car computer search which confirmed that Mr. Kennedy’s driving privileges were still revoked, according to police. The officer curbed the vehicle in a parking lot in the 300 block of Sauk Trail and asked the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle, Mr. Kennedy, if he should be driving, according to police.

Mr. Kennedy allegedly responded that he was not supposed to be driving but was doing so to get cigarettes, according to police.

Another officer arrived on the scene to assist and Mr. Kennedy was asked to exit the vehicle. He was then placed in handcuffs and secured in the rear of a squad car. Mr. Kennedy’s vehicle was towed from the scene and impounded per local ordinance on suspicion of aggravated driving while license was revoked.

The arresting officer reviewed Mr. Kennedy’s driving history and learned that Mr. Kennedy’s driving privileges had been revoked in Illinois since 2001 after Mr. Kennedy was convicted for driving under the influence in Wisconsin (case number 01TR002946).

Since that revocation took effect, Mr. Kennedy has had two additional convictions for driving while license was revoked, according to the report. The arresting officer contacted the Felony Review Unit of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. The assistant state’s attorney who took the call reviewed Mr. Kennedy’s driving history and confirmed that he was eligible to be charged with felony driving while license was revoked.

According to police, when he was interviewed at the Park Forest Police Department, Mr. Kennedy allegedly said that he knew his driving privileges were revoked because of the Wisconsin DUI conviction and he was aware that he should not be driving, according to police.

Mr. Kennedy was charged and held at the police station pending transport to the Circuit Court of Cook County for a mandatory bond hearing, according to police.

False Insurance Card

Eldra L. Norwood, 34, 475 Shabbona Dr., Park Forest, was arrested on February 1 and charged with operation of an uninsured motor vehicle, failure to wear a seatbelt, and display of a false insurance card (a Class A misdemeanor).

At 9:25 AM, an officer noted that the driver of a brown Oldsmobile was not wearing a seatbelt, according to police. The Oldsmobile was turning northwest on Blackhawk Drive from northbound Shabbona Drive, according to police.

When the officer spoke with the driver, later identified as Eldra Norwood, Mr. Norwood produced a valid driver’s license and a paper copy of his insurance card, “purportedly issued by Founders Insurance Company,” according to the report.

The officer determined that Mr. Norwood’s driver’s license was valid but noted that the insurance card looked generic and computer-generated. The insurance card did not have any company logos or a listed company telephone number, according to police. The officer further noted that there was a misspelled word on the rear of the card, according to police.

The officer contacted Founder Insurance Company via telephone, provided the policy number on the card, the VIN of the vehicle, and the representative from the insurance company confirmed that there was no such insurance policy on file, according to police.

DUI

Larrice Sweeny, 51, 453 E 166th Pl., South Holland, was arrested on February 4 and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, improper lane usage, failure to signal, and unlawful stopping/standing/parking.

An officer approaching the red traffic signal on Sauk Trail at Western Avenue at 12:13 AM noticed a black 2017 Ford Explorer in the left turn lane. The green left-turn traffic signal was illuminated for approximately nine seconds and the Ford had not moved in traffic, according to the report. The officer observed two vehicles in the westbound left turn lane complete their turns prior to the Ford beginning to turn, according to police.

The officer observed the Ford begin to perform its left turn, conducting a wide turn where both front and rear passenger tires traveled over the dashed lane lines on northbound Western Avenue, overcorrecting to the left, proceeding over the solid yellow traffic line, and onto the slightly raised median, according to police.

The officer followed the Ford and observed it maneuver back into the left northbound lane of traffic on Western Avenue. The Ford then allegedly traveled a short distance, approximately two seconds, over the solid white traffic lane line of the left turn lane at McCarthy Road, according to police, where both front and rear driver’s side tires were on top of the lane line.

The Ford then continued northbound and continued to weave left onto the double yellow lane lines near Chestnut Street for approximately two seconds and then proceeded back into the lane of traffic, according to police.

The officer was pacing the Ford which was traveling between 34 and 37 miles per hour, according to police. Just south of Indianwood Boulevard on Western Avenue, the driver of the Ford vehicle applied brakes and diminished speed to approximately 24 miles per hour, according to police, then proceeded to accelerate back to the 35 miles per hour.

After observing the Ford for approximately 0.7 miles, the officer initiated a traffic stop and informed the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle, Larrice Sweeny, that she was pulled over under suspicion of improper lane usage and failure to signal. The officer asked Ms. Sweeney if she felt a vibration in her car when going over the bumpy median and she replied that she did not, according to police. The officer observed that Ms. Sweeney displayed slurred speech and had bloodshot, glassy eyes, according to police.

The officer conducted Field sobriety testing and then informed Ms. Sweeney that she was under arrest on suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol.

At approximately 1:29 AM at the Park Forest Police Department Ms. Sweeney was afforded the opportunity to take a breath test which she attempted three times but gave an insufficient sample each time, according to police. While the officer was setting up the breathalyzer machine, Ms. Sweeney allegedly uttered spontaneously, “Yes I have been drinking tonight. I can’t tell you if I was drunk by 11:30, according to y’alls rules, well according to the state’s rules,” according to police.

Ms. Sweeney’s vehicle was impounded and towed. She was released at approximately 2:50 AM to a friend on an I-Bond, according to police.