Kenilworth neighbors are tired of calling Oak Park police

Problems with dogs, noise and crowds bring regular visits

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By Devin Rose

Staff Reporter

Neighbors of a southwest Oak Park woman have had enough of the noise, crowds of teenagers and barking dogs that have resulted in dozens of police calls to the house in the last couple of years.

But police officers are hoping several neighborhood meetings and the involvement of social service agencies will help the woman's family and others who live in the 500 block of South Kenilworth Avenue.

According to police records, there were 41 calls to the house from December 2009 to this past December, with more than half of the incidents occurring in August and September of 2011. Many calls came from residents of the house for domestic incidents, like physical and verbal arguments, involving other residents or visitors. Neighbors have called police about suspicious cars on the street, dogs barking and people shouting inside and outside the house.

Despite suspicions of drug activity, two calls last year led to investigations that turned up no evidence.

During an interview at the house this week, the homeowner, Karen Nagel, 66, acknowledged she's had problems with her dogs, a boxer mix named Roscoe and a German shepherd named Bear. The dogs have bitten other dogs and people more than once, said Mike Charley, environmental health supervisor for the village.

In November, a vicious dog hearing was held after Nagel's dogs attacked another dog, and the dogs were impounded at the Animal Care League. To get the dogs back, Nagel reimbursed the owner of the attacked dog, installed a 6-foot solid fence in her backyard and bought a vicious dog sign for the yard's entrance, Charley said.

She also had to pay impoundment costs, provide muzzles for the dogs and walk them every day while they were impounded. Nagel said costs added to up more than $3,000 and she had to sell her car to pay.

"I'm sorry it had to happen," Nagel said while she petted 4-year-old Bear.

Community policing Sgt. Dave Jacobson said neighborhood meetings were held in July and October, and another is scheduled for the coming weeks.

Neighbors agree police have been responsive but they say the incidents haven't stopped.

"We're not asking her to move; we just need absolute relief," said one man, who did not want to be named for fear of retaliation.

Another neighbor said he's "worried for my children and my family's safety," adding that the house is usually loud because of all the people staying there who don't live there.

Nagel attributed the consistent flow of teenagers to her "very popular" 17-year-old granddaughter but said she's been trying to limit the house's visitors to two at a time. Nagel and her granddaughter live at the house, along with the girl's mother, Nagel's 38-year-old daughter, Nagel said.

Resident Beat Officer Paul Razzino and Jacobson said the family has shown a willingness to work with them, and they will continue to meet with social service agencies. Nagel said she would welcome the help.

"We want to help her," Jacobson said. "We want to be a part of the solution."

Reader Comments

60 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 29th, 2013 12:53 PM

"The neighbor from hell" occupied the house next door to our home. He abused and neglected animals, let the property decay into a dangerous state of disrepair,allowed the backyard weeds to grow up to 6 feet high, and eventually started dealing crack directly out of the house. Addicts were pounding on our front door at 3am; confused and looking for "Junior". On countless occasions, we saw them staggered out of this crackhouse and down the public sidewalk only to fall into our yard or pass out in the bushes. We witnessed violent fights and a seemingly endless stream of vehicles pulling up in front of the house for curbside sales. Police were called on countless occasions to disperse the troublemakers but the drug traffic continued uninterrupted for many, many months. Direct appeals for help to OPPD, the Community Relations department and even the Village Manager produced zero results. We were stuck with the problem and effectively trapped inside our home. Not a pleasant nor a healthy environment for us and our three young children. We finally thought that someone cared when Chief Tanksley assigned a detective to deal with the matter but those were hopes were dashed when it became apparent that Sgt. Lawton was more interested in negotiating his own private deal to purchase our neighbor's home than actually do anything about the ongoing criminal activity. He paid a reported 10K for the house and allowed the neighbor to remain in the house while repairs to the property began. The drug dealing didn't stop. My complaints to the Cook County Sherrif's office produced no action as did a letter to the Ilinois Attorney General. I brought my concerns to the chief and expressed my displeasure and belief that the OPPD officer was more interested in protecting his sweet deal than our family. Somehow, someway and somebody decided to act and the OPPD officer was no longer assigned to the case and the property was resold. "Junior" died a few months later and peace was restored.

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 29th, 2013 8:57 AM

A part of living successfully in Oak Park is being a good neighbor. Seriously, would you want to live next door to this house and it's associated problems. It's time for the inhabitants to step up.

Shivaun from oak park  

Posted: June 29th, 2013 8:33 AM

I was born and raised in oak park.This town used to be made up of people who cared and helped each other, not so anymore. I have witnessed on numerous occasions the neighbor, (MACKEY) provoking her dogs, throwing objects at the dogs, as well as the property. I have also seen and heard the names he yells at the homeowner as well as the CHILDREN that live there. This entire situation has been blown out of proportion and this homeowner and oak park tax payer now has a black mark on her back

OP Resident #792 from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: September 30th, 2012 9:55 PM

@Holly Elizabeth Nagel - the Jerry Springer show is calling, please pick up the phone.

Holly Elizabeth Nagel from Oak Park  

Posted: September 30th, 2012 1:35 PM

Read below comment first. Fear of retribution and the safety of your family? Julie Elmiger, you truly are an idiot...would everyone like to know why? Because a few years ago, her dog got out and attacked (almost FATALLY) a dog that lives 2 houses down from us. As for my dogs supposedly biting another person, this is false and I would like to see proof. If a dog's mouth touches you, that is not a bite, unless you are an overreactive hypochondriac. Comments? BRING IT ON.

Holly Elizabeth Nagel from Oak Park  

Posted: September 30th, 2012 1:30 PM

Let me make something very clear. As far as I know, residents are allowed to have visitors. On that note, when the visitors leave my house, they are no longer my responsibility. My dogs bark, but don't all dogs? It is a natural reaction for a dog to bark when the doorbell rings since they know someone new is coming into their territory. Ever watch The Dog Whisperer? Maybe you should. And, maybe you should mind your own motherf*cking business. I'm not done...see the above comment.

Crime Dog  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 8:59 PM

500 S. Kenilworth is back in the news. A white male, 45, was charged with three counts of domestic assault after striking three victims in the 500 block of South Kenilworth Avenue, police said. He also has an outstanding warrant from the Illinois of Corrections for a parole violation. http://oakpark.patch.com/articles/oak-park-police-blotter-computers-stolen-gas-tank-laced-with-sugar

j  

Posted: January 15th, 2012 3:54 PM

anyone claiming these people need to be left alone based on diversity or respect is out of their mind. this is why things are so bad, poor behavior is allowed and accepted because everyone is too afraid to say anything or be un-pc. bad stuff happens at this house (trust me i know) some people expect the neighborhood to lower its standards rather than have one family who is obviously a problem change their behavior. diveristy, pc, acceptance aside you cannot excuse this

OP Guy  

Posted: January 14th, 2012 8:57 PM

EP Mom, actually it was because of the color of my skin. It was obviously unmistakable because they basically told me to move on because I was a (insert racial slur for white person). I would chose neither, though my chances of physical survival would be much higher in Hinsdale.

ref  

Posted: January 14th, 2012 12:10 PM

ep mom, this: "some Oak Parkers just live to put others down for perceived faults" could of course be applied to any town, not just OP. Unless people elsewhere are perfect, which I haven't noticed.

EP Mom  

Posted: January 14th, 2012 11:28 AM

OP Guy- if you don't feel included in Harvey, it is far more likely you're being ignored because they have far to much on their minds: juggling multiple jobs if they're lucky enough to have them, getting kids where they need to be when they need to be there, etc. Unlike Hinsdale, they don't have au pairs and nannies to handle the offspring and are more concerned with the next meal on the table rather than how far they must drive for their third latte of the day. Harvey over Hinsdale any day.

EP Mom  

Posted: January 14th, 2012 11:20 AM

My kids go to school in OP, that gives me the right to comment. Also, I don't recall saying my town is any better; that seems to be an OP thing.

WhyWJ diasbaled comment on the rape story  

Posted: January 14th, 2012 10:44 AM

Violet. That is why. The family has suffered enough without the added insult of Violet's relentless, pointless, spewing irrationality.

Violet needs to move!  

Posted: January 14th, 2012 10:41 AM

For the love of God, Violet, please move somewhere else you racist, xenophobic, narrow minded, nitwit. Rural Alabama loves people like you! I will start a collection to buy you a one way bus ticket. You've been soiling this website with your septic ranting to far too long. Move. Please move. Move now. Somewhere where you are surrounded by race baiting neo-cons who are filled with petty fear, just like you. Small town deep south would suit you better. Please, I beg of you, go away.

rez  

Posted: January 14th, 2012 3:48 AM

VA, I don't know why the WJ disabled comments... but on that story, I hope the guy gets tried as an adult, spends the better part of his adulthood in the slammer, getting the kind of attention he gives to minors. Another disgusting piece of waste draining our tax dollars for a cell... hope he's made to "earn it". One more down, so many more to go.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: January 13th, 2012 6:05 PM

Violet Aura, I don't have any idea why they disabled the comments section for the person, but if you let me know what your community bulletin board address is, we can discuss it there.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: January 13th, 2012 6:03 PM

Phil of Ideas, thank you for explaining how Oak Parkers and Oak Parker's are different. I will pay more attention now that I understand it.

Violet Aura  

Posted: January 13th, 2012 5:51 PM

Hey, does anyone know why WJ disabled the comments on the feller Armani? The dude's got a bail of 500K; that's serious business but we're not allowed to discuss the situation, eh?

Who's The Boss ?  

Posted: January 13th, 2012 3:38 PM

Where's Tony Danza when you need him.

conforming for the sake of peaceful coexistence  

Posted: January 13th, 2012 2:38 PM

Some families are so dysfunctional, they need reminding that they are part of a community instead of being a hazard. This family is spilling out all over the place, narcissistically placing the more importance on their own lives and lifestyle. Tolerance is great but not for "vicious dogs", crime if there, violations of noise ordinances, and other safety issues. That's asking too much of neighbors. Surely, ordinances can be enforced. It sounds like complainants are afraid of retaliation.

ref  

Posted: January 13th, 2012 1:04 PM

I agree, OP guy! I take it back!

OP Guy  

Posted: January 13th, 2012 11:32 AM

ref, maybe if some people took more interest in the local stories, in their local towns, as oppose to whining about people who care about their towns, there would be more positive action in the town. Some people have too many hobbies.

OP Guy  

Posted: January 13th, 2012 11:27 AM

Morally Superior, what exactly is "morally superior" about what I said? Is it the part where I mentioned the well deserved stereotype Hinsdale has, or Harvey has? I take it you believe Hinsdale and Harvey are the hives of acceptance? That ANYONE can just walk in and feel accepted despite their economic, social, ethnic, sexual differences? Time to get with reality! I don't feel superior, but grateful, that there is a place like OP where there is "more" acceptance of the "other".

ref  

Posted: January 13th, 2012 9:37 AM

You do have to wonder about how morally superior a person is who pops into a local story in a local paper about a local problem and pops off about how much better his or her town is in comparison. One might suggest that person get a hobby or something.

Morally Superior OP Guy  

Posted: January 13th, 2012 9:23 AM

I like in Oak Park, which makes me morally superior to everyone.

EP Mom  

Posted: January 13th, 2012 8:11 AM

And here I thought Harvey Guy lived on Harvey in OP. Then again, some Oak Parkers just live to put others down for perceived faults.

OP Resident from North Berwyn  

Posted: January 13th, 2012 7:33 AM

Sorry, you're south of the Eisenhower. The village doesn't care about you unless you want to open a gun shop, which they would encourage in a a heartbeat.

OP Resident from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: January 12th, 2012 9:54 PM

Sorry, you're south of Madison. The village doesn't care about you unless you want to open a beauty supply store, which they would encourage in a heartbeat.

Frosty The Snowman  

Posted: January 12th, 2012 9:40 PM

Let me guess, they don't shovel as well.

OP Guy  

Posted: January 12th, 2012 4:08 PM

Dog Owner, I was thinking the same thing. If it just a scary looking barking dog, that would be one thing, but a dog who has attacked people is a completely different story. If the dog bit someone because someone tried to strike it, that's one thing, but if the dog attacked unprovoked, that's again completely different. Just imagine if the person attacked was someone's toddler that ended up disfigured, or worse... We'd have a completely different headline.

OP Guy  

Posted: January 12th, 2012 3:54 PM

Harvey Guy, Harvey is probably one of the LAST places ANYONE other than ex-project tenant, criminals and corrupt officials, would feel included. It is equally as exclusive as Hinsdale, on the complete opposite end of the scale. The fact that YOU feel included in Harvey brings up a few questions about YOU.

Phil of Ideas  

Posted: January 12th, 2012 3:45 PM

Q, when you say "Oak Parker's," you mean to say more than one Oak Parker. You mean to say Oak Parkers. If you mean that a single Oak Parker posesses something, you would use Oak Parker's, as in: The Oak Parker's dog on South Kenilworth is a source of angst to his fellow Oak Parkers.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: January 12th, 2012 3:03 PM

epic lulz, yes, getting along with others does mean tolerating. That is why it's difficult to get along with others who aren't the same as yourself.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: January 12th, 2012 3:02 PM

Phil of Ideas, thank you for the proper usage of an apostrophe. Still don't get the right idea but it gives me some idea. Having a scary dog next door is never any fun. Make sure you have a very secure and high enough fence so you and your family are safe.

Purple Halo  

Posted: January 12th, 2012 2:08 PM

Violet Aura is for "truth, justice and the American way." Period.

epic lulz  

Posted: January 12th, 2012 1:53 PM

"Learning to get along with others does NOT mean tolerating boorish, selfish and disruptive behavior!" Good to see that Violent Aura understands why the rest of us keep fighting back against her constant, virulent racism.

j.oakpark  

Posted: January 12th, 2012 1:40 PM

when in doubt use the village code: http://www.sterlingcodifiers.com/codebook/index.php?book_id=459. In the case of the bad dog and the house chapter 16, nuisance is probably your best bet. call the police, site the code...probably not a huge, I know.

Phil of Ideas  

Posted: January 12th, 2012 1:18 PM

Q, an apostrophe is to be used to show possession, not plural. I know you are skewering the Oak Parkers who hate guns and now (to your mind) see their liberalism challenged when the rubber hits the road. And, you are right. Nothing can be done except repreated calls to the police for offenses. My next door neighbor has a really aggressive German Shepherd that scares the life out of all of us (incl. my 4 and 2 year old). It sucks, but what can I do?

Dog Owner from Oak Park  

Posted: January 12th, 2012 11:32 AM

I thought if a dog bit another person, that dog had to be put down? If these dogs have done that why is she still allowed to have them? These dogs need to be put down, they are dangerous to the community.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: January 12th, 2012 11:27 AM

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park Your friends have a few options. Sound proof their homes, put up fences and call the Police when there are loud noises. Not much else you can do except possibly buy them out. There is no rule that you need to be polite to own a home. Where are all the good Oak Parker's who like to embrace their fellow Oak Parker's, reaching out will all their goodwill and understanding. This is a good lesson in reality to Oak Parker's who find no fault in others.

Harvey Guy  

Posted: January 12th, 2012 9:50 AM

The great thing about Harvey is that it's one of the few places that people from "different" backgrounds can move to and have a good chance of feeling included, in comparison to places like Oak Park or the like... saying that, there are still expectations that people behave respectfully towards others, and retain a certain amount of peace and quiet. There are those who abuse these social decencies, and should learn to be respectful, and teacher their children to be respectful also.

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park  

Posted: January 12th, 2012 8:50 AM

Q, I think you're being sarcastic, but this situation is not amusing at all. Several friends of mine live on that block, and this home is a huge problem.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: January 11th, 2012 10:55 PM

Lets get the Villagers together and all chase them out. That would fit a lot of people who like people only if they are respectful to others, keep the music down, and do what other want. Oak Park High School has a lot of unruly students. Anyone want to chase them out too?

Colors  

Posted: January 11th, 2012 9:26 PM

Did this family move from the 200 block of south Lombard by any chance? or from 400 South Taylor?

T.J. from OP  

Posted: January 11th, 2012 7:23 PM

So sad. Life really is like a box of chocolates.

OP Guy  

Posted: January 11th, 2012 6:04 PM

edit: "Hinsdale parents DO a..." Leif, I had a good laugh too. You don't do into Bagdad without your body armor and M-16, and you don't go into Hinsdale without your Prada shoes and your Lexus.

OP Guy  

Posted: January 11th, 2012 6:00 PM

The great thing about Oak Park is that people have thoughts of their own, as oppose to just parroting the thoughts of others... The great thing about Hinsdale is parents good a great job of raising middle schoolers who all was Gucci handbags... oh wait, that's not great at all!

Leif from Oak Park  

Posted: January 11th, 2012 5:44 PM

LOL @ Hinsdale being a place where you can fit in. Oh, thank you--I haven't laughed so hard in a while. Hinsdale, the place where they look at me strange for having black hair, sneer at my Taurus, and where they honk at you for actually stopping at a stop sign (and that means just stopping for a second). Yeah...

Hinsdale Guy  

Posted: January 11th, 2012 4:52 PM

The great thing about Hinsdale is that it's one of the few places that people from "different" backgrounds can move to and have a good chance of feeling included, in comparison to places like Oak Park or the like... saying that, there are still expectations that people behave respectfully towards others, and retain a certain amount of peace and quiet. There are those who abuse these social decencies, and should learn to be respectful, and teacher their children to be respectful also.

OP Guy  

Posted: January 11th, 2012 4:24 PM

The great thing about Oak Park is that it's one of the few places that people from "different" backgrounds can move to and have a good chance of feeling included, in comparison to places like Hinsdale or the like... saying that, there are still expectations that people behave respectfully towards others, and retain a certain amount of peace and quiet. There are those who abuse these social decencies, and should learn to be respectful, and teacher their children to be respectful also.

Phil of Ideas  

Posted: January 11th, 2012 3:20 PM

Q will need a crowbar to remove the tongue from his cheek. I just wonder what it is like there on Halloween!

In A Perfect World...  

Posted: January 11th, 2012 2:22 PM

... they wold sell the home and move in right next door to "Q from Oak Park".

local  

Posted: January 11th, 2012 1:26 PM

It's a "peace" flag. How ironic.

JMitchell  

Posted: January 11th, 2012 1:02 PM

They paved paradise...and put up a 1960s squat brick house that doesn't fit in to the block. Life at 514S is efficient and beauty free...

What Kind Of Flag Is That ?  

Posted: January 11th, 2012 11:59 AM

Anyone ?

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: January 11th, 2012 11:13 AM

W.J. shows your stupidity or possibly your own willingness to incite anyone who may want to take their own retribution against the residents by identifying the house on the 500 South Kenilworth block with two pictures. Really trashy reporting.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: January 11th, 2012 11:06 AM

Come on now, Local and Violet. Are you expecting others to live up to your expectations? Wouldn't it be boring if everyone was just like each other? From the haves to the have not's, and the straight to gay's, everyone should be welcomed. Oak Park strives to be the model city of the World, and that means accepting everyone, including what some may call, White Trailer Trash.

Violet Aura  

Posted: January 11th, 2012 10:55 AM

Q, methinks you need to be schooled a bit. Learning to get along with others does NOT mean tolerating boorish, selfish and disruptive behavior! One reason we moved out of our last apt. was when confronting the third-floor neighbor about her blasting hip-hop music with a serious soundsystem and asking to please use headphones, she replied that we needed to learn how to get along with other people! She saw it as OUR problem! So we realized what we were working with and SPLIT.

local  

Posted: January 11th, 2012 10:24 AM

Good?? I'd hardly call it good. Drug activity, inconsiderate youths... Someone needs to take some lessons in parenting. The fix is simple. Don't allow your granddaughter to have her "friends" over. She lacks discipline. Constant traffic in and out of the house, usually very short visits from visitors. Looks and sounds like a drughouse to me.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: January 11th, 2012 9:33 AM

This is actually good for Oak Park, because Oak Park is a very diverse Village, and this is just one part of learning to live with others.

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