Police Arrest A 17-year-old Juvenile Walking In Roadway

Park Forest Police Station, juvenile walking in roadway
Squad cars parked at the Park Forest Police Station. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)
Erratum: This story erroneously reported the arrest of 17 juveniles. Police arrested one juvenile, 17-years old. We apologize for the error.

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Park Forest Police reported Saturday the arrest of a seventeen-year-old walking in the roadway. According to police, the juvenile was obstructing the roadway on Lakewood Boulevard near Central Park.

In a separate incident, police say a man “became upset about being warned not to walk in the roadway, insisting there was no law against walking down a street.” Police added that the man insisted he could walk in the roadway even though there were  “perfectly good sidewalks just a few feet away.”

After police showed the man the law, his excuse, according to police, was that he was “from Chicago, not Illinois.”

Right.

For years, residents have complained about juveniles walking in roadways. The issue, as I see it, is not that the juveniles are walking in the middle of the road, or on one side of the road, obstructing traffic. When I was growing up (in another realm, far, far away, a place called “Pittsburgh”) we played in the road all the time. Touch football. Wiffle ball down in the “circle,” the cul-de-sac. None of us used the term “cul-de-sac,” of course.

But, generally, we cleared the street when cars were coming or going.

We did plenty of other things to upset adults, so it’s not like we were perfect. Far from it.

But obstructing traffic is serious, and our young people need to realize that.

“Whether you are from Chicago or Illinois, it is against the law to walk in the street where sidewalks are provided,” police said in their statement.

It’s beyond courtesy. It’s truly a matter of public safety: the safety of the juveniles who decide to obstruct traffic, as well as the safety of motorists who might have to swerve in the middle of one of the twists and turns of Park Forest streets.

If you have young people living with you, or in your neighborhood (“It takes a Village.”), please, please, stress to them the need for personal safety, the need for courtesy, the need to be responsible.

Better yet, demonstrate those things yourself.

We don’t always do that as adults. We all need to remind ourselves of the simple courtesies.

And about that from-Chicago-not-Illinois guy?

Don’t get that at all.