Hit and run driver arrested after Oak Park accident


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By Megan Dooley

Staff Reporter

Oak Park police have arrested a man for leaving the scene of a car accident that injured an 8-year-old boy on the afternoon of April 30.

Marcus M. Backstrom, 29, of the 1100 block of S. Austin, was arrested for leaving the scene of a personal injury accident and other traffic violations. The accident occurred around 4:30 p.m. on Saturday in the 1000 block of South Taylor.

Oak Park Deputy Fire Chief Kenneth Klemm said the young boy was taken to Loyola Hospital by ambulance but his injuries did not appear to be serious.

Oak Park Police Commander LaDon Reynolds said an eyewitness to the hit-and-run followed the offender to the location where police caught and arrested him.


Someone removed a boys green BMX Schwinn bicycle and a girls green Schwinn bicycle from the backyard of a residence in the 300 block of S. Ridgeland April 24-25. Estimated loss is $175.

An unknown offender removed a black duffel bag containing $7 in cash, a state identification card, social security card, medical card, and CTA bus cards from a location in the first block of Erie Court on April 26. Estimated loss is $27.

An unknown offender removed a black leather wallet containing various identification cards and credit cards from a victim's purse in an incident that occurred in the 100 block of N. Marion on April 28. The victim had left her purse in her child's stroller while she placed the child in the car. Estimated loss is $20.

Theft of motor vehicle

An unknown offender removed a gray Ford Focus from a location in the 1000 block of N. Humphrey on April 27. Estimated loss is $3,000.

Armed robbery

A victim in the 200 block of S. Austin, April 26, was approached by three offenders, who stole the victim's wallet and MP3 player from his pants pocket and fled northbound from the scene. The first offender is described as a black male in his 20s, 6-feet tall, with a thin build and dread locks in his hair. The second offender is described as a black male 18-19 years old, between 5-feet-9 and 5-feet-10, 145 pounds, with black hair. The third offender is described as 21-22 years old, 6-feet tall, with slits cut into his eyebrows and an "S" tattoo on the left side of his face. Estimated loss is $105.

Two unknown offenders approached a male and female victim as they were standing next to a parked car in the 400 block of S. Harvey on April 28. The offenders displayed handguns and said, "Empty your pockets, gimme the keys and your cells." The male victim gave the offenders his black leather wallet, Red LG flip cellphone and his keys. The female victim gave the offenders her blue Nokia cellphone. The first offender is described as a black male in his late 20s, 6-feet-2 with a heavy build. He was carrying a blue steel handgun. The second offender is described as a black male in his late 20s, 5-feet-9, with a thin build. He was carrying a chrome handgun. Estimated loss is $220.

Retail theft

An unknown offender removed a display case containing lottery tickets from behind the counter at a business located in the 6100 block of Roosevelt, April 21-24. Estimated loss is $800.

Burglary to garage

Someone used a pry tool to force open the side service door of a garage located in the 1100 block of S. Lombard between April 25 and 27, and removed a red and black snowblower. Estimated loss is $300.

Residential burglary

An unknown offender entered a residence in the first block of LeMoyne on April 27 by breaking a window with a brick. Once inside, the offender ransacked bedroom dressers and removed jewelry, a Nikon camera, and a Compaq laptop computer. A computer that was also taken was later recovered behind a residence located in the 1400 block of N. Austin. Estimated loss is $2,850.

Someone entered an apartment in the 400 block of N. Taylor through a closed but unlocked window on April 28. Once inside, the offender removed a black desktop computer and monitor, Sony speakers and $500 in cash. Estimated loss is $1,650.

Attempted burglary arrests

Robert D. Howell, 21, of the 1400 block of S. Canal in Chicago, and Gregory Dortch, 20, of the 4100 block of W. Wilcox in Chicago, were arrested and charged with attempted residential burglary, criminal damage to property, and criminal trespass to residence for an incident that occurred on April 25 in the 200 block of S. Scoville.


An unknown offender described as a male of unknown ethnicity, between 5-feet-8 and 5-feet-10, with a thin build, approached a victim from the rear at a location in the 200 block of S. Oak Park on April 27 and grabbed her purse. Estimated loss is $35.

These items were obtained from the Oak Park and River Forest police departments from April 26 to May 3, 2011. Not all incidents that occurred are listed. Anyone named in reports has only been charged with a crime and cases have not yet been adjudicated.

Reader Comments

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Comment Policy

Violet Aura  

Posted: May 6th, 2011 10:33 AM

Wassup with the truncated blotter? Too grim? This ain't cool, WJ! Tell it like it is! You report, WE decide (whether to move, for instance, LOL)

Oak Parker  

Posted: May 2nd, 2011 9:54 PM

There was a NEW Stop sign installed at Division and Hayes. Kudos to the Village or whoever else was responsible for this sign to slow traffic down(especially from the East). There is a park there as well as preschool within the park district building.

epic lulz  

Posted: May 2nd, 2011 9:24 PM

There are readily available removable speed bumps and speed tables, which can be installed during park season and removed during winter season. They've used such speed tables on East between Fenwick and OPRF.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 2nd, 2011 9:19 PM

Re Speed Bumps near schools and parks, I don't buy the snow plow excuse at all. There are plenty of communities in Illinois with speed bumps. We also have some speed bumps in OP (I thing East St is one).

OP Resident  

Posted: May 2nd, 2011 8:50 PM

Maybe they could try grating the road surface like they do along the side of the highway so you know if you are weaving off the road. That may slow people down a bit without the hassle for snow plows?

lives close to schools  

Posted: May 2nd, 2011 6:49 PM

My understanding is they don't put in speed bumps because of the trouble is causes snow plowing in the winter. Nice, right?

South East Oak Park Community Organization  

Posted: May 2nd, 2011 4:50 PM

SEOPCO thanks the first responders for getting there so quickly, the neighbors gave an accurate description of the car, and the Police Department for a quick apprehension. We are grateful the young victim was not seriously injured. A hit and run is tragic anywhere, but is felt more acutely when it happens in your own neighborhood. Sadly, no amount of prevention can guarantee protection against drivers with no conscience.

Tony from Oak Park  

Posted: May 2nd, 2011 4:07 PM

This accident happened right next to the playground at Barrie park (at 1100 S. Taylor). I was there with my three daughters and witnessed the accident. An ice cream truck had just pulled up to the playground and several kids were by the edge of the street. The sound of the car hitting the boy was absolutely sickening. The police, fire and ambulance were there within a few minutes. I am very glad to hear that the young boy was not too badly hurt and the driver was caught.


Posted: May 2nd, 2011 4:01 PM

Ummmm the East side of Barrie Park

also an Oak Park Resident from Oak Park  

Posted: May 2nd, 2011 3:52 PM

There is no school or park anywhere near the 1000 block of South Taylor. You misread the article.

OP Resident  

Posted: May 2nd, 2011 3:15 PM

Does OP not do speed bumps around schools or parks? I live by a park and motorists drive way too fast even when the park is full and they know kids are around. When the street is packed with cars kids do dart out between them. Just curious as to why there are no speed bumps or other ways to slow people down.

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