Police: Impaired Driver Almost Hits Officer – Reports Through March 7, 2020

Police squad hit by what police allege was an impaired driver, pfpd, park forest police
A Park Forest Police squad vehicle that was hit by a person police allege was an impaired driver. (Photo: PFPD)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- These police reports include arrests through March 7, 2020. Charges for those arrested include battery, resisting, operation of an uninsured motor vehicle, and being under the influence of drugs or a combination of drugs. The last two charges involve an accident on Sauk Trail where police say an officer directing traffic was almost struck by someone police say was an impaired driver.

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.

Battery, Resisting

Crystal R. Hall, 39, 202 Morgan St. #1, Chicago Heights, was arrested on March 6 and charged with battery and resisting when police responded to a home in the 400 block of Dogwood Street at 11:47 PM to investigate a report of a domestic disturbance.

When police arrived, they saw a woman, later identified as Crystal R. Hall, on the back porch of the residence allegedly kicking and banging on the door and windows yelling at someone inside the home to open the door and let her in, according to police.

Officers approached Ms. Hall and told her to stop banging on the door and step away from the residence. Ms. Hall allegedly refused and continued to bang on the windows while yelling at the person inside, according to police. When officers tried to pull Ms. Hall away from the door, she allegedly turned toward the officers and said, “Don’t touch me,” and then turned back towards the door and continued to yell and bang on the door, according to police.

An officer tried to stop Ms. Hall from going inside the residence by detaining her, according to police. Ms. Hall allegedly pushed the officer against the exterior door and allegedly struck the officer’s left shoulder, knocking his radio microphone off his shoulder, according to police. Police then advised Ms. Hall that she was under arrest, according to police.

Ms. Hall then allegedly resisted arrest by pulling her arms away from the grasp of another officer, according to police. Two officers together succeeded in placing Ms. Hall into custody, according to police.

Ms. Hall was allegedly at the residence in Park Forest because of a relationship that no longer existed, according to the man inside the home, per the report.

Operation of an Uninsured Motor Vehicle, Under the Influence of Drugs

Holland N. Harmon, 31, 9125 S. Urban Ave., Chicago, was arrested on March 7 and charged with being under the influence of drugs or a combination of drugs, operation of an uninsured motor vehicle, failure to yield one full laying or reduce speed upon approaching emergency lights, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, disobeying a police officer, and leaving the scene of an accident with vehicle damage.

This incident report begins with some information about the arresting officer, who has been with the Park Forest Police Department since October 2005, has 18 years of total law enforcement experience, and recently attended an eight-hour class on enforcing Illinois cannabis laws, according to police. This officer was on the scene of a three-car accident on Sauk Trail just East of Oakwood Street on March 7 at approximately 12:05 AM.

A tow truck was on the scene and parked in an angled manner facing westbound in the curbside lane of eastbound Sauk Trail just east of Oakwood Street, according to the report. The tow truck’s headlights and oscillating amber lights were illuminated at the time, according to police.

The officer’s squad car was parked next to the tow truck. The squad’s emergency lights were on at the time. The tow truck and squad car had approximately 4 to 6 feet of space between them, according to police.

The officer was outside of his squad car standing in the middle eastbound lanes, approximately 5 feet west of the tow truck and squad car, wearing a reflective traffic safety vest while using his illuminated flashlight to direct traffic, according to police. A Park Forest Police Department intern was accompanying the officer for a ride-along and was seated in the front passenger seat of the squad car at the time, according to police.

While directing traffic, the officer observed a car traveling east on Sauk Trail that was allegedly approaching the officer at a high rate of speed, according to police. The officer began yelling for the vehicle to stop while waving his arms to get the driver’s attention.

As the vehicle continued to approach, the officer ran to the right or north, toward the center turn lane to get out of the way of the vehicle.

The car, a white Chevrolet Captiva, allegedly collided with the right front bumper of the tow truck and then struck the squad car on the passenger side before coming to a stop partially wedged between the tow truck and the squad vehicle, according to police.

The officer who had been directing traffic ran around to the front of the squad car and ordered the driver of the Chevrolet to get out of the car. However, the woman driving the Chevrolet allegedly accelerated and drove forward, east, allegedly further side swiping the passenger side of the squad vehicle and the passenger side of the tow truck before continuing to drive eastbound on Sauk Trail, according to police.

Another officer was standing in the outer eastbound traffic lane of Sauk Trail and had to run out of the way of the Chevrolet as it continued eastbound on Sauk Trail, according to police. The Chevrolet drove to Sauk Trail and Western Avenue and stopped before the intersection, according to police. The woman driving exited the Chevrolet and walked to the front of her car, appearing to look at the damage, according to police. The driver then reentered the Chevrolet and remained stopped at the light as if waiting for the light to change, according to police.

The driver allegedly made no indication that she was going to return to the scene and the officer who had been directing traffic entered another squad vehicle and chased after the Chevrolet, catching up with it at Sauk Trail and Western Avenue, according to police. When that officer approached Western Avenue Sauk Trail, the Chevrolet allegedly began to drive away, according to police.

The officer activated the siren of the squad car and followed behind the Chevrolet as it drove through the intersection eastbound and then continued eastbound on Sauk Trail through the Forest Preserve area, according to police. The officer had the emergency lights and siren activated the entire time, according to police.

The Chevrolet traveled approximately 1/2 mile before pulling over and coming to a stop, according to police.

The officer exited the squad car and approached the Chevrolet with his flashlight in his left hand and his duty weapon in his right hand, according to police. The officer yelled at the driver several times to place her hands on the steering wheel, according to police. Two other officers arrived on the scene and the driver eventually complied and the first officer who pursued the Chevrolet holstered his duty weapon, according to police. That officer opened the driver’s door and grabbed the driver by her left arm, ordering her to exit the vehicle.

The driver, identified as Holland N. Harmon, exited the vehicle and police immediately placed her in handcuffs, according to the report. Ms. Harmon was escorted to a squad car and placed in the rear seat.

At the time of the arrest, Ms. Harmon did not say anything that appeared to be incoherent, according to the police. The arresting officer did not smell alcohol emanating from her person at the time of the arrest, according to the report.

The arresting officer transported Ms. Harmon to the Park Forest Police Department and escorted her to an interview room, according to police. Ms. Harmon allegedly told police that she did not need medical attention, according to the report.

Back on Sauk Trail, an officer conducted an inventory of the Chevrolet prior to the vehicle being towed and located an open purse on the front passenger floorboard. “In plain view,” according to the report, the officer searching the vehicle found a clear plastic bag that contained a green leafy substance, suspect cannabis, inside the purse. The cannabis was not in a sealed, odor proof, child-resistant container and it was accessible to Ms. Harmon, according to police.

No additional items of evidentiary area value were recovered from the Chevrolet, according to the police.

At the station, Ms. Harmon allegedly told police that she saw the tow truck lights and the squad car emergency lights prior to crashing into the tow truck and squad car but she couldn’t slow down in time, according to the report. Ms. Harmon allegedly stated that she pulled right over and later allegedly stated that the reason she continued driving was that she was fearful because “she is a single black female and that she is fearful of police officers,” according to the report.

Ms. Harmon told police that she had not been drinking, smoking cannabis, or taking any other drugs prior to the accident, according to police.

In a statement on the Park Forest Police Department’s Facebook page, police said:

On 3-7-2020 at about midnight, Park Forest Police Officers were investigating a three-vehicle crash on Sauk Trail. There were multiple police vehicles with their emergency lights activated, a tow truck with oscillating orange lights, and a fully uniformed officer, wearing a neon yellow reflective safety vest, waving a flashlight and yelling.

Yet, despite all of the above, an impaired driver tried to drive through the accident scene. The vehicle sideswiped a police vehicle and a tow truck, and almost struck two officers on foot.

The driver initially fled the scene but was stopped down the road and arrested for numerous traffic offenses, including driving under the influence of drugs. Thankfully, no one was injured.

We can’t say this enough… DO. NOT. DRIVE. IMPAIRED.

Park Forest Police on Facebook

Criminal Damage to Property: Citation, No Arrest

Rashi W. Patrick, 25, 138 Ash St., Park Forest, was issued a municipal citation on March 7 charging criminal damage to property after police responded at 10:03 AM to a residence in the 400 block of Stanton Street to investigate a report of criminal damage to property. A person inside the home said she was upstairs giving her baby a bath when she heard the doorbell ring and knocking on the door. She said that Mr. Patrick had contacted her multiple times via telephone that day but she refused to answer, according to police. After a short time, while still in the bathroom, she heard the vent-style window rake by unknown means, according to police. She told police she assumed it was Mr. Patrick who broke the window but did not see him enter the backyard or throw anything at the house or window, according to police.

Mr. Patrick told the responding officer that he did not break the window or enter the backyard, according to police.