Oak Park and RIver Forest police reports Feb. 23- March 1

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OP man arrested for battery, child endangerment at zoo

Riverside police arrested an Oak Park man on Saturday afternoon at Brookfield Zoo, after an argument with his girlfriend escalated into a physical fight with the man allegedly punching the woman in the face as she held an 11-month-old child.

Patrick O'Meara, 28, of the 700 block of Wenonah Avenue, was charged with two counts of domestic battery and one count of endangering a child.

Riverside police were called at 3:45 p.m. to assist the Brookfield Zoo Police Department after the O'Meara allegedly engaged in a verbal argument with his 23-year-old girlfriend in the zoo's lion house. The couple argued over the 11-month-old child, whose hat was lost that day, according to a news release from police.

O'Meara's girlfriend ran from the lion house after O'Meara allegedly punched her in the face as she held the baby. He then pushed the stroller into the rear of her thighs, causing her to fall to the ground, still holding the baby, according to police.

The report noted that O'Meara "continued to run after her, grabbing the baby's blanket from the stroller and continuing to punch the female numerous times with his hand wrapped with the baby blanket."

O'Meara was apprehended by police and, while being transported to Riverside police lockup, he became violent and repeatedly struck his head against the squad car windows and metal cage dividing the front and back seats of the squad car, police report. He had to be restrained a second time before police got O'Meara to the station, police said.

O'Meara's girlfriend refused transportation to the hospital, and she and the child were treated by paramedics at the scene. She reportedly refused to cooperate with the police or state's attorney, who was called to weigh charging O'Meara with a felony, according to a Riverside Police press release.

"In this instance even though the victim refused to cooperate with the police in their investigation and the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, Riverside Police brought charges," Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said in the press release.

Weitzel said that under state law police are allowed to sign complaints on behalf of victims of domestic violence if there is great bodily harm or physical violence. Both were evident in the case, Weitzel said.

"Furthermore, in Mr. O'Meara's statement he told responding officers that he put the baby blanket around his fist in order to lessen the blows to his girlfriend so she would not be severely injured. This statement is completely irrational," Weitzel said.

 Burglary to auto

River Forest Police arrested a 25-year-old Skokie man on the first block of Franklin Avenue, Feb. 17, and charged him with burglary.

Police were called to the scene about 9:35 p.m. after the victim witnessed Johnson enter his car and take at least one item, according to police. 

Deputy Chief Jim O'Shea said police responded to the alleged burglary in a matter of minutes, pulling up just as Johnson began to leave the scene with stolen sunglasses in a carrying case. 

O'Shea said there was no struggle with officers making the arrest. 

"He said he believed that if a car was unlocked, it was OK to go into them and take things," O'Shea said in a telephone interview.

The charge of burglary was applied following review by the Cook County State's Attorney's Felony Review Unit, according to police.


Someone gained entry to a residence on the 1200 block of North Harvey Avenue on Feb. 15, sometime between 1 and 5 p.m., and stole a Nikon D-60 camera, a Beats wi-fi speaker, a silver bracelet and a pair of gold earrings, according to the police report. The items were valued at $1,500.

A business was burglarized in the 7000 block of Roosevelt Road on Feb. 24 between 2 and 3:30 a.m. The burglar broke the front glass to gain entry to the building. An air-compressor with hose attachment, black nail gun, power rodder motor with wire and Makita power saw were stolen. The items were valued at $3,350.


The contents of an unattended package were reported stolen from the vestibule of a building on the 200 block of South Maple Street, sometime between Feb. 18 and 20. The package reportedly contained a women's Chloe "Emma" handbag, valued at $2,000.

A package was stolen from the front steps of a residence on the 800 block of South East Avenue on Feb. 23, between the hours of 2 and 5:30 p.m. The package contained a necklace worth $58.

A blue Huffy Highland men's bicycle with blue fenders and a cable lock were stolen from a bike rack on the 800 block of North Boulevard between 6:50 a.m. and 10:10 p.m. on Feb. 25. The bicycle, valued at $100, was reportedly secured to the bike rack when it was taken.

A 32-year-old Des Plaines woman was arrested and charged with felony retail theft. The incident occurred at Jewel Foods on the 400 block of Madison Street on Feb. 25 about 4:50 p.m.  

Sex offender

Derrick Avery, 35, of the 800 block of North Austin Boulevard, was arrested and charged as a sex offender in a school zone. The arrest was made on Feb. 25 at 6:19 p.m. on the 200 block of North Scoville Avenue, about a block away from Oak Park and River Forest High School.


These items, obtained from the Oak Park and River Forest police departments, came from reports filed Feb. 23-March 1 and represent a portion of the incidents to which police responded. Anyone named in these reports has only been charged with a crime and cases have not yet been adjudicated. We report the race of a suspect only when a serious crime has been committed, the suspect is still at large, and police have provided us with a detailed physical description of the suspect as they seek the public's help in making an arrest.

— Compiled by Timothy Inklebarger

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