Park Forest Teen Facing Felony Charge After Alleged Threats Against School

TimStrong police squad
The #TimStrong police squad parked in the DownTown on July 4, 2019. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Park Forest Police issued a statement indicating that a 16-year-old Park Forest teen has been petitioned to juvenile court on a felony offense of disorderly conduct after ” allegedly making threats of violence directed against Rich East High School on Tuesday, October 1, 2019.”

“The juvenile was taken into custody by Park Forest Police detectives shortly after the threats were reported by a fellow student to school faculty,” the statement reads. “Subsequent investigation corroborated the reporting student’s statements. The juvenile who made the threats was found to not have the means to carry out the threats. Despite that, and the arrest of the juvenile, Park Forest Police ensured extra police presence the following school day.”

“With two arrests so far this school year for threats of violence against an educational facility in Park Forest,” police said, “we continue to urge parents to discuss the seriousness of such threats with their children, and the admonition that all claims of threats are investigated and arrests made if they are determined to have occurred.”

“Finally, we thank the student for doing the right thing and reporting the threats to school staff, and for Rich East High School’s full assistance and cooperation in the investigation,” police said in the statement.

In November 2018, a different 16-year-old juvenile allegedly made threats on social media “to carry out acts of violence at Rich East High School,” police said in a statement at the time. That juvenile was petitioned on a charge of disorderly conduct, but there was no mention of a felony charge in that case.

Not the Norm

eNews Park Forest wishes to stress that neither of these incidences is or should be construed as being anywhere the norm at Rich East High School or any other school in Park Forest.

This reporter witnessed a disciplined football team play at the Rich East Homecoming game on Saturday. The game was spirited on both sides, and, even though the Rockets fell to Crete-Monee, all students — and parents, alumni, and visitors — in attendance exhibited the best for their respective school communities.

Rich East High School is a family, as Principal Dr. Albert Brass Jr. often says. That family demonstrates Rocket Pride every day.

#HonorTheRockets

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

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.