Oak Park student struck by car while crossing Harrison Street

Agitated father arrested for aggravated battery after altercation with firefighter

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By Jean Lotus

Staff Reporter

An 11-year-old Oak Park boy suffered minor injuries when he was struck by a car while crossing Harrison Street near Lyman Avenue on March 21. But afterwards, the boy's father was arrested after reportedly assaulting a firefighter at the scene of the accident.

According to police, the boy was heading to Julian Middle School at 8:15 a.m. when he attempted to cross Harrison Street in the middle of the block, stepping from between two cars stopped in traffic. In the eastbound lane of traffic, the boy was struck by an oncoming Toyota Camry, which knocked him to the street.

As emergency personnel tended to the child on the scene, police reports said, the boy's 45-year-old father, who had been contacted by someone about the accident, arrived on the scene.

When told by a firefighter his son was being treated in an ambulance, the father reportedly shook the firefighter back and forth with both hands, demanding to know the whereabouts of the driver of the Toyota.

He then allegedly grabbed a utility blade from a D-ring on the firefighter's coat, striking the firefighter in the chest and swung into the crowd yelling, "Where is the driver?" said Police Commander LaDon Reynolds.

The father was taken into custody by police and charged with aggravated battery to a firefighter. The driver of the Toyota was not charged.

The boy was taken to Rush-Oak Park Hospital complaining of abdominal pains. He was treated for minor injuries and released, according to police.

Reader Comments

16 Comments - Add Your Comment

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G. Unnut from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2013 12:07 AM

None of this would have happened if we armed our firefighters. Now only the bad guys have guns, or utility knives, or toyotas.... Wake up people! We need to get assault weapons into the hands of all public servants!

Mario Andretti from Oak Park  

Posted: March 26th, 2013 4:41 PM

No one stops at the signs at Lombard and Harrison. No one. How about putting a cop there in plain clothes at one of the benches for a half hour someday just to observe? Not that anyhting will change but maybe some tickets need to be written on the straightaway that is Harrison.

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 26th, 2013 2:53 PM

So then, if the drivers on Harrison who were breaking the law by blocking the intersection and crosswalks, then the boy could have been in the crosswalk, and possibly he would have been seen by the driver who ended up hitting him, and then the boy's dad wouldn't have been upset and assaulted the fireman and been arrested. Maybe its time to put signs in the middle of Harrison during school hours.

OP Rez  

Posted: March 26th, 2013 12:09 PM

That's right, Franklin. A person can get it expunged from their record but unless they do that, it's still on the record even if charges are dropped.

Franklin  

Posted: March 26th, 2013 10:52 AM

"The Dad deserved it" Actually that's not true. If you are arrested, meaning you are taken to the Police station and fingerprinted, then that DOES go on your record. Your not necessarily a "criminal" per say. Even if charges are dropped, it still is on your record from my knowledge.

TheBrad from Oak Park  

Posted: March 26th, 2013 8:40 AM

Always interesting to see the subtle spin these writers put on a story. Subtle, mind you. "....the boy was heading to Julian Middle School at 8:15 a.m. when he attempted to cross Harrison Street in the middle of the block, stepping from between two cars stopped in traffic

clarity  

Posted: March 25th, 2013 10:38 PM

The young man crossed out of the crosswalk because the crosswalk was blocked by a car, not out of any blatant disregard for the law. He's not crossing in the middle of the block but also not in the crosswalk since it's blocked. In the mornings, traffic on Harrison backs up a couple blocks to get on the expressway at Austin. I generally try to avoid that traffic but was on Harrison that morning on business. I'd urge you not to form conclusions based on the limited facts presented here.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: March 25th, 2013 10:06 PM

Meanwhile - It's called accountability for your actions. Unfortunately this is a concept that most of our society has forgotten. If the father did disarm and assault the firefighter as was alleged, then the father deserved to be arrested and should get his day in court. Someone's son being hit by a car doesn't give them a free pass to commit aggravated battery.

The Dad deserved it from oak park  

Posted: March 25th, 2013 8:38 PM

@meanwhile You do not get a criminal record from being arrested. You get a criminal record from from being found guilty of a crime which, if accounts recorded here are correct he most certainly deserves. He attacked the first responder with a knife even if it is just a box cutter he could have seriously wounded or even killed him or someone in the crowd with. These actions are not acceptable under any circumstance. Especially if as it sounds HIS son was at fault for NOT crossing at a cross walk

Meanwhile from Oak Park  

Posted: March 25th, 2013 8:08 PM

I don't see the empathy in arresting the man. My point wasn't that his behavior was acceptable in any way. My point was that I'm sure, like most human beings, if he were asked what he would do in the moment of crisis his answered wouldn't have been "start attacking people". Detained? Yes. Subdued? Of course. Taised? If necessary! But giving a man a criminal record for temporarily losing his mind over his child just doesn't seem *necessary*. You don't have to arrest a person to slap cuffs on him.

Joel Lessing from Forest Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 25th, 2013 3:05 PM

The police were correct to arrest the father. His actions endangered public safety staff, the public, the driver, and even the health and well being of his own son. We don't live in a vendetta society. Self control means self control even when you are upset over a serious situation. And unfortunately, children often dash into the street without warning from concealed entry points. It is quite possible the driver was not the least bit at fault. Joel Lessing, Forest Park, Illinois 60130

Jerry Hudson from Phoenix  

Posted: March 24th, 2013 9:23 PM

Actually, arresting the father seems like the proper thing to have done. Empathy notwithstanding, you don't assault first responders. Especially when they had no responsibility for charging or arresting the driver.

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 24th, 2013 7:36 PM

To Meanwhile - After fear, I hope rage would not be the next response. Thank God that the boy is all right and Thank God no one indicated who the driver was. Thanks to Oak Parks fire fighters and police for protecting us all. Good Job!

Meanwhile from Oak Park  

Posted: March 24th, 2013 6:15 PM

If you've never been in that situation before, you can't possibly imagine what it must feel like to be so scared. I'll imagine speechless has no children. Save your judgements for after one of yours is struck by a car. Everyone reacts to traumatic situations differently. I wasn't there, but arresting a distressed father sounds pretty unnecessary. I hope the child and firefighter are both doing well.

Speechless  

Posted: March 23rd, 2013 9:16 PM

In another episode of "Citizens Behaving Badly," a dad takes a swing at a first responder on the scence to help his injured child because he's more concerned with getting to the driver involved in the accident.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: March 23rd, 2013 7:04 PM

any word on the condition of the firefighter?

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