Math Night Fiasco: Park Forest Police Blotter Reports Through December 7, 2018

Talala Elementary School, Math Night
Some adults allegedly showed their worst during Math Night at Talala Elementary School. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Editor’s Note: These police reports bring us through December 7, 2018. Charges for those cited in this time period include incidences alleging of domestic battery, possession of cannabis, and one instance where several adults were charged with disorderly conduct at a grade school’s math night.

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.

Illegal Transportation of Alcohol, Cannabis: No Arrest

Brandy N. Lashley, 23, 647 E. 149th St. #1A, Glenwood, was detained on December 4 at 12:19 AM when an officer parked in the 300 block of Sauk Trail observed a vehicle traveling eastbound on Sauk Trail at a high rate of speed, according to police. The vehicle allegedly was traveling 53 miles per hour in a 35 miles per hour zone, according to police.

The officer curbed the vehicle in the 100 block of Sauk Trail. When the officer made contact with the driver, Brandy Lashley, she immediately stated, “I know why you stopped me,” according to police. The officer told her what his radar clocked her at on Sauk Trail and Ms. Lashley said, “Like I said, I know why you stopped me,” according to police.

While speaking with Ms. Lashley, the officer smelled burnt cannabis emanating from inside the vehicle. The officer informed Ms. Lashley of his suspicion regarding the cannabis and she told the officer that she did not have anything illegal inside the vehicle, saying, “You can check,” giving the officer consent to search the vehicle. The driver and two passengers were asked to exit the vehicle.

The officer searched the vehicle and located a brown rolled up cigar containing a green leafy substance, suspect cannabis, inside the center console. The officer also located an open bottle of Gallo Family brand wine on the back seat of the vehicle. Ms. Lashley immediately took ownership of the cannabis cigar and wine, according to police. Both of those items were later photographed and the wine was destroyed.

The cannabis subsequently field-tested positive for the presumptive presence of cannabis.

The passengers were released without charges. One of them was given a ride to Richton Park by one of the responding officers. Ms. Lashley was temporarily detained on the scene and then released. She and the other passenger requested a ride to the police station. At the police station, Ms. Lashley was issued citations charging speeding over the posted limit and illegal transportation of an alcoholic beverage. She was assigned a court date of December 20. She was additionally issued a municipal citation charging possession of cannabis.

Ms. Lashley’s vehicle was towed and an administrative seizure was placed on the vehicle per village ordinance regarding the cannabis found inside the vehicle. There was no arrest.

Disorderly Conduct Charges for Adults at Grade School Math Night

Carla P. Kee, 28, 759 Burr Oak Ln. #5F, University Park; Kyet L. Tate, 28, 3711 W 214th St., Matteson; Anthony D. Burton, 27, 435 Talala St., Park Forest, Erica L. Harris, 30, 10520 Corliss Ave., Chicago; and Africa N. Chambers, 24, 2616 Calumet Ave., Chicago, were issued municipal violations on December 4 at 6:24 PM charging disorderly conduct after police were dispatched to Talala Elementary School, 430 Talala Street, to investigate a report of a custody dispute.

According to the police, Ms. Kee And Mr. Burton have a child together who attends Talala School and both parents were in attendance for the school’s math night in the gymnasium. Ms. Kee was accompanied by her girlfriend, Erica Harris, and friend, Africa Chambers. Anthony Burton was accompanied by his girlfriend, Kyet Tate, according to police.

As the event was concluding, a verbal argument allegedly ensued between Ms. Kee and Mr. Burton over custody of the child. Mr. Burton then grabbed what he thought was the child’s coat from the floor to put it on her. Ms. Harris informed Mr. Burton that the coat he picked up did not belong to the child.

Mr. Burton then allegedly “got into the face” of Ms. Harris, according to the report, and began yelling obscenities at her before allegedly pushing Ms. Harris to the floor.

Everyone involved then continued to yell loudly with one another inside the school causing the school staff to run over and break up the altercation, according to police.

Mr. Burton then walked out of the school with Ms. Tate and placed the child inside of his vehicle. Ms. Kee approached Mr. Burton’s vehicle in an attempt to remove the child from the vehicle. Mr. Burton allegedly told his key to get away from his car or he would have Ms. Tate beat her up, according to police.

Another argument ensued and, once again, school staff intervened and separated all the parties from one another.

The principal of the school said she wished to proceed with municipal disorderly conduct charges against all subjects. Ms. Kee was advised that she could not return to any school activities without first contacting the school for approval. Ms. Chambers and Ms. Harris were banned completely from returning to the school. Mr. Burton was later advised that he could not return to any future school activities without proper approval from the school principal, according to police.

Domestic Battery

Earnest Walls, 24, 1621 Theodore Street, Joliet, was arrested on December 6 and charged with domestic battery after police were dispatched at 8:09 AM to the 200 block of Thomas Street to investigate a report of a domestic disturbance. Mr. Walls allegedly pushed a woman against a vehicle after telling her to go inside a residence.

Mr. Walls was intoxicated, according to the report. The woman told Mr. Walls to stop or she would call the police. Mr. Walls allegedly continued to yell and allegedly told her that he would “punch her in the face and mess up her life,” according to the report.

The woman told police that Mr. Walls had battered her before and she would sign complaints against him charging domestic battery. Mr. Walls was arrested and transported to the Park Forest Police Department where he was processed and charged with domestic battery and later transported to Markham Courthouse for a bond hearing, according to police.

The report shows that police responded to that location three times since October 2017 for incidences involving Mr. Walls. One of those reports also resulted in an arrest on a charge of domestic battery, according to the report.

Possession of a Controlled Substance

Najlah A. Muhammad, 34, 233 Brenner Ct., Crete, was arrested December 7 and charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance and no rear registration plate light when an officer observed a vehicle traveling south on Western Avenue toward Sauk Trail with no rear registration plate light, according to police. The officer initiated a traffic stop in the 300 block of Oswego Street.

Ms. Muhammad was also given municipal citations charging possession of cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The officer who initiated the traffic stop detected a strong odor of cannabis emanating from inside the vehicle. Ms. Muhammad at first denied possessing any cannabis, but eventually told police she smoked cannabis earlier in the evening and related that she may still smell like it, according to the report.

An officer asked her to exit from her vehicle. Just prior to exiting, Ms. Muhammad opened a small compartment in the dashboard of the vehicle and removed a clear plastic sandwich bag containing suspect cannabis and handed it to the officer, according to police.

After searching her vehicle, officers recovered a wooden pipe that contained remnants of suspect cannabis, a prescription pill bottle with different pills inside. One of the pills was Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, a schedule two controlled substance, according to police.

Ms. Muhammad’s vehicle was towed from the scene and impounded per local ordinance regarding illegal drugs in a motor vehicle.