Park Forest Police Blotter Reports Through July 14, 2020

Park Forest police shield
Inside the Park Forest Police Station. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- These reports include incidences through primarily from July 8 through July 14, 2020, with some incidences from prior weeks for which we ask for clarification. As always, the Park Forest Police Department is more than accommodating with information.

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.

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.

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.

Park Forest Police Blotter Reports Through July 14, 2020

Possession of a Controlled Substance

Paul E. Hill Jr., 24, 445 Illinois St., Park Forest, was arrested on June 29 and charged with possession of cannabis: 10 grams to 100 grams; possession of a controlled substance; cannabis delivering/manufacturing: greater than 30 grams; expired registration; and possession of adult use of cannabis in a motor vehicle.

At approximately 7 PM on June 29, a detective contacted an officer regarding a narcotics investigation. Two detectives were surveying a vehicle suspected of having relevance to the investigation, according to police.

At approximately 7:34 PM, an officer conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle suspected of purchasing illegal narcotics from Paul E. Hill Jr. who was inside the suspected vehicle, according to police. The driver in that incident, reported here by eNews Park Forest, allegedly told police that he had just purchased cannabis for $35 in Park Forest from an unknown man who was inside a black Chevrolet sedan, according to police.

At approximately 8:20 PM, the officer who conducted that traffic stop informed detectives of his findings. Mr. Hill was still inside his vehicle, parked on Illinois Street, according to police.

An officer parked his patrol vehicle behind Mr. Hill’s Chevrolet, approached the vehicle, and knocked on the driver’s window. The driver and sole occupant, Mr. Hill, opened the driver’s door, according to police.

The officer “immediately noted a copious amount of white smoke” emanating from the vehicle with “an overwhelming odor of burnt cannabis,” according to police. The officer noted that Mr. Hill was holding a small hand-rolled cigar, commonly referred to as a “blunt,” according to police.

The officer informed Mr. Hill that officers were called to the area to search for the vehicle playing loud music. Mr. Hill replied that he would turn the music down and go back inside his home on Illinois Street, according to police. The officer asked Mr. Hill if he had any additional cannabis inside the vehicle. Mr. Hill allegedly stated that he did, however, he dropped it inside, according to police.

Mr. Hill then allegedly said that he had about an ounce of cannabis inside the car, according to police.

Another officer arrived on the scene to assist.

During the course of what police call a casual conversation, Mr. Hill related that he is not currently employed but is looking for a job, according to police.

Inside the vehicle, police found one blue Ziplocked plastic bag containing 13.5 g of suspected cannabis; one blue color Ziploc bag containing four blue pills labeled “B707,” and one yellow pill, suspected Xanax; one black Ziploc bag containing three smaller bags which in turn contained a total of 12.1 g of suspected cannabis; to clear plastic bags each containing 28.5 g (57 g total) of suspected cannabis; three clear plastic bags containing a total of 13.8 g of suspected cannabis; two digital scales located in the center console of the vehicle; one box of sandwich bags located on the rear passenger floorboard; and one green plastic “grinder,” commonly used to grind cannabis prior to consumption, according to the report.

The officer informed Mr. Hill of his findings and Mr. Hill allegedly admitted that he began selling cannabis to his friends to make money, according to police. Mr. Hill allegedly stated that he sells cannabis at five dollars per gram from his vehicle but never from his home, according to police. Mr. Hill allegedly further stated that he purchased the cannabis from a nearby dispensary and brings it back to Park Forest for distribution, according to police.

Police took Mr. Hill into custody and transported him to the Park Forest Police Department. An administrative seizure was placed on his vehicle and it was towed. This incident was captured on body-worn cameras by the officers and by dash cameras in the police vehicles, according to the report.

Domestic Battery

David A. Rivera, 28, 148 Forest Blvd., Park Forest, was arrested on July 2 and charged with domestic battery after police responded to the 100 block of Forest Boulevard in reference to a report of a domestic disturbance.

A woman said that she went to pick up a relative, David A. Rivera, from Dunagains Irish Pub in Park Forest. She was able to convince Mr. Rivera to accept a ride home from her. After dropping him off at home, she was contacted by another relative who asked her to return to the residence because Mr. Rivera was drunk and was allegedly “acting up,” according to the report.

She returned to Mr. Rivera’s residence and attempted to speak with him. That conversation escalated into an argument and Mr. Rivera allegedly punched the woman on the right side of her face and cheek with a closed fist causing her to bleed, according to police. The other relative in the home said that she witnessed the altercation and saw that Mr. Rivera allegedly punched the woman, according to police.

Police took Mr. Rivera into custody on suspicion of domestic battery, according to the report.

Domestic Battery

Karies T. Dodson, 34, 177 Sycamore Dr., Park Forest, was arrested July 6 and charged with domestic battery after police were dispatched to the 100 block of Sycamore Drive to investigate a report of domestic battery.

Upon arrival, police proceeded to the second floor and saw a young woman standing in the doorway of an apartment crying and pointing inside the apartment.

“He’s in the room,” she said.

Police entered the apartment and announced, “Police,” according to the report. Upon entering the apartment, officers saw several different areas of apparent blood spatter on the entryway, living room, and hallway floor, according to police.

Officers could hear a man and a woman in a bedroom. The door to the bedroom was closed.

Police announced themselves and entered the bedroom, and countering a woman and Karies Dodson, according to police. Police immediately detained Mr. Dodson in handcuffs without incident due to the report that the woman allegedly was beaten along with observing blood on the floor, according to police.

The woman in the bedroom had blood her lip and mouth, scratches on her neck and arms, and the right side of her face was so swollen she could not fully open her mouth, according to police.

The woman said this was the first time Mr. Dodson allegedly battered her, according to police. She was visibly upset and started crying multiple times as the police spoke with her.

Domestic Battery

Robert T. Cunningham, 46, 7607 S. May St., Chicago, was arrested and charged with one count of domestic battery after police were dispatched to the 100 block of North Arbor Trail in reference to a report of an unwanted subject.

While en route to that location, SouthCom Dispatch advised that the alleged victim stated that she and Robert T. Cunningham were in a domestic altercation the previous night at which time he allegedly battered her, according to police. She said she saw him on her Ring doorbell at which time he allegedly threatened to burn the house down if she did not let him in, according to police.

Upon arrival, an officer located Mr. Cunningham standing on the rear porch. He was holding a pipe wrench and appeared to be attempting to repair the door frame to the door, according to police. The officer saw that the inner portion of the door frame was damaged and also saw fresh shards of wood from the door frame lying on the porch and inner threshold of the residence, according to police.

The officer told Mr. Cunningham that complainant called the police and told them Mr. Cunningham had threatened to burn the house down, according to the report. Mr. Cunningham denied making those claims and allegedly stated that he lived at that address but did not have keys to the residence, according to police. He further stated that he was just at the residence the previous night but left via an Uber to see his grandmother in Chicago, according to police.

The officer asked Mr. Cunningham why the complainant might have called the police and told them that they were separated and that he did not live at that address, according to the report. At this, Mr. Cunningham allegedly said that the complainant always calls the police on him for no reason, according to the report.

Police spoke with the complainant who said that on July 6 at approximately 9 PM, Mr. Cunningham allegedly became angry with her during an argument, grabbed her by the neck, and threw her down to the floor, according to police. As a result, she suffered pain to her left elbow, neck, and back, according to police. She said she did not call the police at that time but asked Mr. Cunningham to leave and he complied, according to police.

She said Mr. Cunningham allegedly apologized to her about the incident at which time she allowed him to come back to her residence on July 8 for the day, according to the report.

Later in the evening of the same day, they got into another verbal argument at which time she said Mr. Cunningham allegedly became verbally abusive and she asked him to leave for the night, according to police. She called him an Uber and he went to stay at his grandmother’s house in Chicago for the evening, according to police.

On July 9, at approximately 2:22 PM, the complainant received a voice message from Mr. Cunningham in which he allegedly cursed at her and told her to pick up the phone, according to police. He allegedly called back and left another aggressive message and then, at 4:28 PM, Mr. Cunningham allegedly called back and left a message in which he threatened to blow up her car and residence, according to police.

At 4:34 PM, he left another voice message in which he allegedly threatened to harm her adult children and the police if she called them over to the residence, according to police.

An officer listened to the voice messages which were captured on his body-worn camera, according to police.

No Valid Driver’s License, Resisting, Speeding

Natasha A.N. Grayson, 24, 634 Westgate St. #55, Iowa City, IA, was arrested on July 13 and charged with resisting a peace officer and issued traffic citations charging driving with no valid license and speeding.

An officer patrolling at 11 AM saw a vehicle traveling westbound on Monee Road from South Orchard Drive at 50 mph where the posted speed limit was 30 mph, according to police. The officer determined the speed of the vehicle using his radar, according to the police.

The officer activated the emergency lights of his squad, pulled up behind the car after the car pulled into a driveway in the 100 block of Monee Road, according to police. Natasha Grayson was the driver and only occupant of the car, according to police.

Ms. Grayson got out of the car and stood by the open driver’s door, according to police. The officer repeatedly told Ms. Grayson to get back inside the car, that she was being stopped for speeding, but she allegedly refused and walked to the back of the vehicle, according to police.

The officer asked SouthCom Dispatch for an additional unit and another officer responded to assist.

Ms. Grayson eventually provided the officer with her state of Illinois ID and proof of insurance. Ms. Grayson allegedly said that she did not know she was going so fast, according to the police.

The officer conducted a LEADS inquiry and SouthCom advised the officer that Ms. Grayson had an invalidated/surrendered Illinois driver’s license and an invalidated driver’s license from Iowa, according to the report.

The officer asked Ms. Grayson why her Iowa driver’s license was invalidated and she allegedly said that it was because she was charged with “driving while under the influence of weed” in Iowa, according to police.

While an officer was checking Ms. Grayson’s driver’s license inside his squad, Ms. Grayson allegedly locked up the car she had been driving and started to walk away from the police and the car, according to the report.

The officer in the squad exited his vehicle and told Ms. Grayson to put her hands behind her back. When police attempted to place Ms. Grayson’s hands behind her back, she allegedly kept pulling away from them, pulling her hands to the front of her body, to prevent herself from being handcuffed, according to police.

The car she had been driving was seized per village ordinance and towed.