Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- A Park Forest woman was charged with a felony DUI on June 27, 2021. These reports, which also include charges of domestic assault, DUI, and criminal trespass to real property, are for the week of June 22-28, 2021.
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.
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.
Felony DUI: Police Blotter Reports Through June 28, 2021
Felony Driving While License Revoked
Julio C. Lazala, 45, 246 Terry Lane, Villa Park, was arrested on June 22 and charged with felony driving while license was revoked, no insurance, and speeding over the posted limit when an officer conducting stationary radar observations at Monee Road and Tamarack Street saw a vehicle traveling northbound on Monee Road at 47 mph in the 30 mph zone, according to police.
Mr. Lazala allegedly told the officer that his license was not good because of child support issues. The officer learned that Mr. Lazala’s driver’s license was revoked because of a DUI he received on September 22, 2018, and that he had previously been convicted of driving while revoked one other time since, according to police.
Margaret D. Bankhead, 29, 20229 Mohawk Trail, Olympia Fields, was arrested on June 24 and charged with one count of criminal trespass to real property and one count of criminal damage to property after police were dispatched to a home in the 200 block of Berry Street to conduct a premise check.
Clifton R. Ross, 39, 323 Forest Blvd, Park Forest, was arrested on June 26 and charged with one count of domestic assault and one count of resisting a peace officer after police were dispatched to the 300 block of Forest Boulevard to investigate a report of domestic incident. Dispatch informed officers that the caller’s boyfriend allegedly threatened to kill her and her children with a gun, according to police.
One officer met with the complainant in the parking lot of the Park Forest Police Department. The complainant related that she returned home from work and noted that Mr. Ross was “already highly intoxicated,” according to the report. The two got into an argument when Mr. Ross began threatening her allegedly saying he would kill her and the children with a gun, according to police.
Kathleen J. McCullough, 25, 276 Ash St., Park Forest,was arrested on June 26 and charged with driving under the influence, driving under the influence with a breath alcohol content greater than .08, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, and operation of a motor vehicle with no insurance.
An officer responded to the area of 26th Street and Western Avenue at 11:16 PM regarding a report of a traffic accident. Officers observed a vehicle that appeared to have extensive front end damage, a cracked windshield, and airbags deployed.
Police made contact with the occupants of the vehicle, asking if they needed medical attention. The driver, Kathleen J. McCullough, said that she was okay but that the passenger said her chest was hurting. The passenger later declined medical care.
The officer asked what happened. Ms. McCullough said she was traveling northbound on Western Avenue when her vehicle was struck by an unknown vehicle that continued northbound on Western Avenue, according to police. Ms. McCullough then said that an unknown vehicle was in front of her, got behind her, got in front of her again, and then hit her vehicle, according to police.
While speaking, Ms. McCullough advised that her mother was calling her cell phone and she wasn’t sure where it was inside the car. The officer opened the driver’s door to assist and noticed a “significant amount of liquor in the driver’s side door map pocket,” according to police.
The officer asked if Ms. McCullough was drinking inside the vehicle. She allegedly responded that she had pop, water, and “a lot of other stuff,” according to police. The officer asked Ms. McCullough if the passenger was drinking due to the passenger’s slurred speech, and Ms. McCullough said that the two had just left the bar and had one drink, according to police.
The officer then asked Ms. McCullough for her driver’s license at which point she produced a picture of her driver’s license on her cell phone, according to police. The officer learned that Ms. McCullough did have a valid drivers license, according to police.
Police conducted Standard Field Sobriety Tests on Ms. McCullough, which Ms. McCullough agreed to perform. After the tests, police advised Ms. McCullough that she was under arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence and was taken into custody without incident. Ms. McCullough later submitted a breath sample yielding a BAC of point .174, according to police. Police located the vehicle with which Ms. McCullough was allegedly involved in the accident. That driver was not charged, according to police.
Bria N. Smith, 28, 326 Merrimac St., Park Forest, was arrested on June 27 and charged with felony aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, a Class 2 offense, misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while license revoked, leaving the scene of an accident, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, and failure to use due care.
An officer was summoned to the scene of an accident in the 300 block of Merrimac Street at 7:20 PM. According to witnesses, two men were allegedly engaged in an altercation at 326 Merrimac Street. After the altercation, one of the men left the area in a white vehicle. Ms. Smith then exited her residence, entered the driver’s seat of a black Pontiac that was parked in the driveway, and a man entered the front passenger seat of the vehicle, according to police.
The Pontiac then drove in reverse at a high rate of speed, cross the roadway, and allegedly drove into the driveway of a home on the other side of the street, according to police. The rear of the Pontiac collided with the passenger side of the car that was parked in that driveway, according to police.
The officer already on the scene investigating that accident requested that the second officer conduct Standard Field Sobriety Tests with Ms. Smith.
Ms. Smith allegedly told the officer that she consumed two “Dixie cups” of wine, the last approximately one hour prior, according to police.
Ms. Smith initially agreed to perform the tests then abruptly refused, according to police.
Ms. Smith’s speech had a distinct slur, according to the report.
Ms. Smith refused to perform any field sobriety tests and denied operating a motor vehicle, according to police. Police advised Ms. Smith that she was under arrest and placed her in handcuffs, according to the report. According to police, the owners of the vehicle’s car Ms. Smith allegedly struck know Ms. Smith and said that she entered the Pontiac, reversed that vehicle into their car, and then fled the scene, according to police.
As the arresting officer transported Ms. Smith to the police station, he noticed “an odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from the rear of [the] squad 16-2 that was not present at the beginning of his shift,” according to the report.
Ms. Smith told police at the station that she was not going to provide a breath sample, according to police. The arresting officer reviewed Ms. Smith’s driving history and learned that she had three prior DUI convictions and was eligible for felony charges, according to police.
Police issued a warrant for a 21-year-old Park Forest man after they were dispatched to the first block of Apache Street on June 28 at 1:09 PM. Police spoke to a juvenile who had injuries to an arm and leg. The case is under investigation.