Officer Draws Weapon During Traffic Stop: Police Reports Through March 4, 2019

Officer Tim Jones, #TimStrong, PFPD
Police say of this photo, “While this picture was taken at end of summer of 2018, we can tell you Officer Jones is looking just as good today. March marks the 3-year anniversary of his line-of-duty injury, or as we prefer to think of it, the start of his miraculous come-back.” (Photo: PFPD)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- These police reports include arrests through March 4, 2019. Charges for those arrested include driving while license was suspended, felony possession of cannabis with intent to deliver, and failing to yield to an emergency vehicle. The circumstances surrounding the “failing to yield to an emergency vehicle” involved an officer drawing his weapon on a driver. No shots were fired.

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.

Driving While License Suspended

Darnae A. Gunn, 25, 177 Sycamore Dr., Park Forest, was arrested on March 1 and issued citations charging failure to signal when required, operation of an uninsured motor vehicle, and driving while license was suspended. Ms. Gunn was released from custody upon posting the required bond and assigned a court date of April 24, 2019, at the Markham Courthouse. Brikyle A. Walls, 23, 22442 Lawndale Ave., Richton Park, a passenger in the vehicle, was not arrested but was issued a Park Forest municipal citation charging possession of cannabis and released at the scene.

Ms. Gunn’s vehicle was towed from the scene. At administrative seizure was placed on the vehicle per village ordinance.

An officer was traveling westbound on Mantua Street from Minocqua Street at approximately 5:04 PM when he observed the vehicle Ms. Gunn was driving turn northbound onto Shabbona Drive from Mantua Street. The driver allegedly failed to signal the turn, according to police.

Felony Possession of Cannabis with Intent to Deliver

Julius Betton, 29, 133 N. Arbor Trail, Park Forest, was arrested on March 2 and charged with one count of possession of cannabis with intent to deliver (a Class 3 Felony), and one count of possession of cannabis. An officer was on patrol at 3:45 p.m. in the area of Sycamore Drive and North Arbor Trail attempting to locate Mr. Betton who was wanted by the Park Forest Police Department on a charge of aggravated domestic battery, according to the report.

At approximately 3:46 p.m., the officer noticed a grey Lincoln MKS traveling southbound on North Arbor Trail and then turn westbound on Sycamore Drive. As the vehicle passed, the officer noted that the driver was Mr. Betton. The officer curbed the vehicle on Western Avenue just south of Sycamore Drive. The officer requested Mr. Betton’s driver’s license and insurance. Mr. Betton provided his driver’s license but did not have proof of insurance, according to police.

While speaking with Mr. Betton, the officer noted a strong odor of fresh cannabis emanating from the vehicle. Another officer showed up to assist and Mr. Betton was taken into custody without incident.

Inside Mr. Betton’s vehicle, police found a Blender Bottle-brand water bottle under the driver’s seat with 16 small clear plastic baggies all containing a green leafy substance, suspect cannabis, according to police. Police also found two additional baggies of suspect cannabis on Mr. Betton’s person, according to police.

Failing to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle

Officer Draws Weapon

Andrew F. Veal, 31, 263 Miami St., Park Forest, was arrested on March 3 and charged with failing to yield to an emergency vehicle and two counts of disobeying a stop sign. The arrest became tense when the officer drew his firearm, pointing it at Mr. Veal when he allegedly failed to comply with orders by police during a traffic stop, according to the report.

It was Sunday afternoon shortly after 2 PM when an officer was conducting an extra patrol in the 200 block of Miami Street in an attempt to locate Andrew F. Veal. Mr. Veal was currently wanted by the Park Forest Police Department on a charge of domestic battery. The alleged victim in that matter told the police on February 25, 2019, that Mr. Veal allegedly battered her at his residence. The alleged victim also disclosed that Mr. Veal was driving a rental vehicle and suggested that Mr. Veal was in possession of a firearm, according to police.

During the course of several days of surveillance, the officer noted a white SUV with out-of-state registration parked in the driveway during various times of the day. On this particular Sunday, March 3, the officer noted the same white SUV parked in the driveway. Prior to that date, the officer had reviewed numerous booking photos of Mr. Veal, according to police.

At approximately 2:05 PM, the officer was parked on Mantua Street near the intersection of Shabbona Drive facing Northwest. At that time, the officer noted a white SUV turn northbound on to Blackhawk Drive from westbound Shabbona Drive. The officer followed the vehicle northbound on Blackhawk Drive and westbound on Miami Street. At the intersection of Miami Street and Central Park Avenue, the officer caught up with the vehicle and observed the vehicle allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign.

The officer activated the emergency lighting on his patrol vehicle and signaled the driver to pull over. After the officer activated the emergency lighting on his patrol vehicle, the white SUV turned westbound onto Grant Street in Richton Park and allegedly accelerated at a high rate of speed, according to police.

The officer believed that the vehicle was attempting to elude the officer and informed SouthCom Dispatch.

The officer activated the emergency siren on his patrol vehicle and the white SUV began to brake and subsequently came to a stop at the intersection of Grant Avenue and Ridgeway Avenue in Richton Park. The vehicle again allegedly failed to stop at a fully visible stop sign and line at the intersection, according to police.

As the officer began to exit his patrol vehicle, the white SUV allegedly began to pull forward.

The officer remained in his patrol vehicle waiting for additional officers to assist.

While waiting, the officer gave numerous audible signals and hand signals to the driver to further pull over. After the officer did so, the vehicle again began to pull forward very slightly. The officer noted that the brake lights on the vehicle remained illuminated. The officer ordered the driver to put the vehicle in “Park.” The driver failed to do so, according to police, and the officer deployed his firearm in the “low ready position,” according to the report.

The officer gave eight additional commands telling the driver to put the vehicle in “Park,” according to the report. After the eighth command, the driver put the vehicle into “Park.”

While providing orders to the driver, the officer observed the driver in the driver’s side mirror of the white SUV and immediately identified the driver as Mr. Veal. Two other officers then arrived on the scene to assist. The first officer on the scene approached the vehicle on the driver’s side and pointed his firearm at Mr. Veal due to his alleged “failure to comply with lawful orders and previous report that Veal may be armed,” according to the report.

As the officer approached the vehicle, Mr. Veal was given 10 commands to step out of the vehicle. Mr. Veal replied to the officer, “Are you going to shoot me?” And “What did I do?” Mr. Veal subsequently raised his arms and told officers to open the door as he did not want to reach for it.

The officer who pulled Mr. Veal over holstered his firearm and open the door of the vehicle. Two officers then grabbed Mr. Veal by both arms and escorted him from the vehicle. He was placed into custody without further incident.

His vehicle was subsequently towed from the scene. Police provided a passenger in the vehicle a ride home, according to the report.

Disorderly Conduct

Johnny R. Neal, 21, 814 Purdue Lane, Matteson, was arrested on March 4 and issued municipal tickets charging disorderly conduct and resisting a police officer when police responded to the 200 block of Dogwood Street to investigate a report of a suspicious subject. While on their way, SouthCom Dispatch told police that an unknown man was walking in Court C-6, acting suspiciously walking up to vehicles that were running.

When the subject saw the complainant, he started to walk away, according to police.

The responding officer made contact with the subject and another officer arrived on the scene. The responding officer asked the subject for his identification and the subject, later identified as Johnny R. Neal, allegedly took off running north through the cooperative.

The responding officer pursued the subject on foot and the second officer pursued in a squad vehicle. The officer on foot caught the subject and took him into custody in the first block of Dogwood Street. At that point, the man identified himself as Johnny Neal.

Mr. Neal did not have any form of identification on his person, according to police. Police transported Mr. Neal to the Park Forest Police Department where his property was inventoried and he was fingerprinted for identification.

Police retraced the route that Mr. Neal ran and located a silver and black BB gun on the ground in the 100 block of Dogwood Street. Officers Mirandized Mr. Neal and he told police that he had been staying in Minnesota. On that morning, he took a bus from Minnesota to Chicago, arriving in Chicago at approximately 6:25 AM. He then had a girlfriend give him a lift to Park Forest so he could visit his brother. He told police that he was dropped off near Western Avenue and CVS Pharmacy. He told police that he enjoys subzero weather and decided to walk around before going to his brother’s residence in the 3000 block of Western Avenue. While walking through Court C-6, He recalled seeing the running car and seeing the complainant in the parking lot. He stated that he had no intentions of taking the vehicle and was just walking around.

When he was stopped by police he said he was walking to his brother’s residence, according to police. He advised police that he ran because he thought he had a warrant and because he had the BB gun on him. He told police he threw the BB gun while he was running in hopes that he would not get caught with it.

Mr. Neal was advised that he was banned from the Cedarwood Cooperatives. He was provided a hearing date of March 28, 2019, at the Park Forest Police Department.