Felony Charges Follow High-Speed Chase from Park Forest to Chicago Heights

CSO Charles Harris 2019 Civilian Employee of the Year, PFPD
Community Service Officer Charles Harris, the Park Forest Police Department’s 2019 Civilian Employee of the Year. “CSO Harris is a well-known smiling face throughout Park Forest, a dedicated public servant and is a true asset to the Police Department,” the PFPD said in a statement. (Photo: PFPD)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- A Park Forest man found himself facing three felony charges and a host of other charges following a high-speed chase that ended with a one-car crash in Chicago Heights, according to police.

The high-speed car chase then became a footrace, according to police.

The incident began when an astute sergeant from Park Forest noticed a car one night that was wanted by Matteson in connection with an alleged attempt to break into a mobile phone store. It would take four days from first finding the vehicle driving in Park Forest before the officer chanced upon it again.

And the chase began.

Jamaris D. Fleming, 21, 3552 Western Ave., Park Forest, was arrested on June 7 and charged with two felony counts of aggravated fleeing and eluding and one felony count of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon after an incident that began at 12:01 AM when an officer saw a gray Pontiac G6 traveling northbound on Western Avenue through the intersection of 26th Street.

That officer ran a LEADS inquiry on that Pontiac on June 3 when he first saw the vehicle at the same intersection, according to police. At that time, he discovered a Matteson Police Department report from May 31, 2020, that indicated the Pontiac was wanted in connection with an incident where subjects allegedly attempted to break into a Boost Mobile store and the vehicle allegedly fled from Matteson officers, according to the report.

So, on June 3, the officer from Park Forest, a sergeant, radioed his findings, and an officer from Matteson confirmed that the vehicle was wanted by the Matteson Police Department, according to the report. After learning this information that night, the officer was unsuccessful in locating the vehicle again that night, according to the report.

Throughout shifts that followed on June 5, 6, and 7, the officer checked the registered addresses for that vehicle but did not locate it, according to police. The officer also performed local inquiries which indicated that the vehicle had not yet been located, according to the report.

On June 7, however, the Pontiac passed the officer just after midnight, and the officer noted that it did not have a front plate, according to police. The officer pulled onto Western Avenue behind the G6 and confirmed that the license plate was that of the wanted vehicle, according to police.

The officer radioed his findings at which time the G6 turned into a gas station on Western Avenue in Chicago Heights, according to police. The officer monitor the area and observed that the G6 quickly left the gas station, now traveling south on Western Avenue, according to police. The officer followed south on Western Avenue behind the Pontiac which signaled a left turn onto Beacon Boulevard.

Another Park Forest officer was in the area to assist, according to police.

After the Pontiac G6 made the turn onto Beacon Boulevard, the first officer activated his vehicle’s emergency lights and sirens, according to police. At this point the G6 allegedly accelerated and traveled east, allegedly disobeying a stop sign at Andover Street and Beacon Boulevard, according to police.

The two Park forest officers pursued the G6 as it traveled eastbound on Andover Street to northbound on Division Street, ending at MacArthur and 207th Street, according to police. During this pursuit, the officer from Park Forest had the emergency lights and sirens activated, according to police. The G6 allegedly “traveled at extremely high speeds, exceeding 60 mph multiple times in 25 mph zones,” according to the report.

The vehicle allegedly crossed Lincoln Highway at Division Street at approximately 80 mph, according to police.

Upon reaching Gregory Drive on Division Street, the officer slowed in anticipation of terminating the pursuit due to the distance gained between the G6 and the patrol vehicle as well as the unreasonably high speeds, according to police. However, the officer saw that as the G6 took a right turn at Division Street and 207th Street, it was involved in a serious single-vehicle crash, according to police.

The officer continued to MacArthur and 10th Street (a.k.a. 207th Street) and found the G6 disabled in a church lawn, according to police.

The officer then saw a man, later identified as Jamaris Fleming, reach into the driver’s side of the Pontiac from outside “in a panic,” according to the report. Mr. Fleming then allegedly took off running, initially northbound from the G6, then doubling back and running south, according to police.

The officer exited his patrol vehicle and pursued Mr. Fleming on foot. The other officer from Park Forest remained in his vehicle.

Mr. Fleming ran east to Marian Way where he entered the backyard of a home in the 900 block of Marian Way, according to police. The officer on foot cut off Mr. Fleming on the south side of that residence.

Mr. Fleming then allegedly ran back west and then north on the east side of Marian Way, according to police.

Mr. Fleming then turned around and faced the officer at which time the officer ordered him to the ground at gunpoint, according to police. Mr. Fleming complied, got onto his stomach, and placed his hands behind his back, according to police.

The pursuing officer handcuffed Mr. Fleming in the 900 block of Marian Way and placed him in the rear of his squad vehicle which was brought to that location by the other Park Forest officer, according to police.

Police drove Mr. Fleming back to the crash site and determined that Mr. Fleming allegedly attempted to make a right turn at too high a speed, causing him to strike and remove a stop sign, after which he struck a fire hydrant, according to police.

A Chicago Heights Police Department officer completed a crash report and issued Mr. Fleming a citation charging no insurance, according to police.

Mr. Fleming’s vehicle was not drivable, according to the police.

An officer from Matteson responded to the scene and informed the arresting officer from Park Forest that at this time he only knew that the Pontiac itself was wanted by Matteson Detectives, according to the report. Furthermore, he was unable to contact the Detective Sergeant at that time to ascertain whether or not the Matteson Police Department wanted to take custody of Mr. Fleming, according to police.

The officer from Matteson said that because the Pontiac was severely damaged the Park Forest Police Department could tow it and the Matteson PD would not take custody of Mr. Fleming at that time, according to police.

Mr. Fleming was transported to the Park Forest Police Department and a tow truck was summoned, according to police.

During an inventory search of the Pontiac, police located a black Glock model 22 handgun, .40 caliber, on the driver’s floorboard, according to police. The gun had one round of ammunition chambered and 14 rounds in the magazine, according to police.

Police made the gun safe and put it in a gun box, according to police.

Police also found a plastic bag in the glove box which contained suspected ecstasy, according to police.

Police learned that Mr. Fleming did not have a FOID or a concealed carry license, according to police.

During an interview, Mr. Fleming allegedly admitted that the gun was his and that he bought it for $300 in Chicago Heights from a person he would not identify, according to the report.

In addition to the felony charges, Mr. Fleming was issued criminal complaints charging possession of a controlled substance and resisting a peace officer, according to police. Mr. Fleming was also issued two traffic citations charging aggravated speeding, leaving the scene of an accident, eight counts of disobeying a stop sign, failing to yield to an emergency vehicle, and no front plate, according to police.

Mr. Fleming was held at the Park Forest Police Department pending transportation to Markham Courthouse for a felony bond hearing, 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.

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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.

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.