Oak Park police have received 113 calls as of early Thursday afternoon in response to over 25,000 Community Alert fliers they passed out on Monday and Tuesday. While he wouldn't discuss details of any active leads, Chief of Police Rick Tanksley said Thursday that Oak Park detectives have been looking into every tip. Those tips include information about the "person of interest" being sought by police, as well as reported sightings of the car he is believed to be driving.
"We're checking out each one," said Tanksley of the phone tips. He noted one tip in particular that led police to conduct a canvas in the 1300, 1400 and 1500 blocks of South Home Ave. in Berwyn Wednesday afternoon, though nothing panned out.
"There were no results," he said.
Tanksley also said that there was no connection between a police report of a June 22 incident in which a male juvenile was struck in the face, head and shoulder with a stick while walking his dog between 5:45 and 7:23 p.m. June 22 near the corner of Cuyler Ave. and Harvard St. That report noted that the young man suffered various head and facial injuries, as well as to the neck and chest.
Tanksley said that he and other village officials will attend a community meeting that has been scheduled for Thursday, July 7 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Oak Park Conservatory, East Avenue and Garfield Street.
Such a face-to-face meeting with village officials has been requested by members of the Southeast Oak Park Community Organization, (SEOPCO), several of whom have expressed concern and anxiety over recent events in their neighborhood. According to a flier being passed out by SEOPCO in the southeast section of the village, all interested individuals are invited to attend the event, which will feature a question-and-answer session.
Among the goals of the meeting are to collectively honor the memory of Peter D'Agostino, to raise commitment to heightened neighborhood vigilance, to seek reassurances that Oak Park police are doing everything they can, to learn about what neighbors can do to increase their sense of security within their neighborhood, and to discuss "any other crime-related issues that need to be addressed."
"It's to get some communication with our village [officials] that will ease the fears in the neighborhood," said Marion Biagi.
Biagi said Wednesday that her neighborhood group is not questioning the police response to the D'Agostino killing.
"They've been right on top of it," she said. "They're not sitting with their feet up."
However, Biagi said that the Thursday meeting will be a necessary discussion, primarily to calm raw emotions in the wake of a particularly brutal and pointless murder.
"I just feel that a meeting for the neighbors with village officials to ... allay fears, is needed," she said.