Spontaneous thespians or attempted robbery?

Inside Report

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Two Chicago men, Trenton Wooten, 20, and Vincent Deamon, 18, were arrested the night of Dec. 2 after police were called to the McDonald's at 624 Harlem Ave. by a silent alarm. Employees of the restaurant tripped the alarm after the two young men entered the business and one pulled a gun. After the man, who was holding a bottle of gin and speaking rather nonsensically, appeared to attempt a hold up, the other man tackled the gunman, and both fled the restaurant.

Responding River Forest police were directed to the Denny's restaurant across the street by McDonald's staff who had watched the men leave. When police found two men in the Denny's who matched the description, they brought over the McDonald's employees, who positively identified the pair.

Alas, poor Officer Yorick, t'was merely a case of life imitating not art, but armed robbery. The pair told police that they were in a theater production, and had taken the Green Line el in from the city to attend a cast party at the Harlem Avenue Denny's. When they arrived in River Forest, they were, they say, suddenly struck by inspiration.

"They decided to act out a scene they thought would be humorous," said a not-laughing Deputy Police Chief Kendra Sullivan.

Police say that Wooten, who entered the restaurant holding what appeared to be a bottle of gin, pulled out what turned out to be a toy handgun. He walked up to the counter, uttered a bunch of "random statements," and acted intoxicated. Deamon then tackled him, and they both ran out the door and down to Denny's.

Wooten and Deamon may have been playing, but police weren't. Wooten was charged with aggravated assault and disorderly conduct and Deamon with disorderly conduct. Both men were released on bond. The two have a command performance, er court appearance, on Jan. 20 at the Maybrook Courthouse.

Curtain goes up at 9:30 a.m.

Tinker to Evers to Chance to Curse?

Everyone familiar with Chicago baseball history has heard of Tinker to Evers to Chance, the great double-play combination for the Cubs back in the early part

of the 20th century. But did you know that Joe Tinker lived in Oak Park? We didn't until we spotted the hall-of-famer's mug on our own Wall of Fame, currently on display in the Community Bank lobby. Tinker lived here from 1908-1914. That means the Cubs haven't won the World Series since the year Tinker moved to Oak Park. Uh oh. You don't suppose we're the origin of the curse, do you?

Historical Society Director Frank Lipo, who put together the list of local legends, said the response to the display has been so positive that Community Bank asked to keep the exhibit through the end of the year.

Harried on Harrison

After the recent retail snafu with Harrison Street closing to traffic just in time for the beginning of the holiday shopping season, nerves are a little frayed. So you can imagine the reaction when construction workers showed up again last Saturday. Not to worry, said Village Engineer Jim Budrick. The construction company was simply removing those annoying (and loud) metal panels covering the affected areas and paving over the trenches at the request of nearby residents. Traffic was flagged through while they worked, Budrick said. The street was never closed off completely.

Quote of the Week

"This year I had three people (in my store) the day after Thanksgiving, and they were my girlfriends from my book club."

?#34;Karen Morava, owner of Morava Studios and Careful Peach Boutique, 11 Harrison St., commenting on the street being closed.


Literary legacy

One of the panels on the tall triptych next to the Wall of Fame at Community Bank contains a list of famous (and not-so-famous) authors under the title "Oak Park's Gift of Words." The collection is divided into four categories:


Robert St. John (died last year at the age of 100), William E. Barton (Lincoln historian), Alex Kotlowitz (current Oak Parker)

Imaginative fiction

Edgar Rice Burroughs (Tarzan creator), Mignon G. Eberhart, Jane Hamilton, Carol Shields (Pulitzer Prize winner)


Alta Halverson Seymour, Harriette Gillem Robinet (current Oak Parker), Elizabeth Enright


Charles Simic (Pulitzer Prize winner), Kenneth Fearing

If you noticed a glaring omission, never fear. Ernie gets an entire panel all to himself.

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