By Megan Dooley
Oak Park police have confirmed that they have a suspect in custody following a July 4 battery incident that left one man hospitalized, but apart from that, details are few.
In an email to local media outlets, Commander LaDon Reynolds wrote: "We are investigating a battery that occurred around 10 p.m. on July 4; there was one person transported to the hospital. I have no further information at this time; we are still conducting interviews."
Reynolds confirmed that the incident occurred at the corner of Lake and Ridgeland, and that both the victim and suspect are males. The man in custody has not yet been charged with a crime. "We do have 72 hours to charge someone once we take them into custody," Reynolds said.
Chris Heeb, a St. Louis resident who is in Oak Park visiting friends, said he walked up on the scene after watching the Fourth of July fireworks with friends. "A gentleman was lying in the street, not moving at all," he said.
Heeb said police and paramedics had arrived and were trying to move people away from the scene, but no one seemed to be tending to the man lying on the ground.
About a block away, Heeb said he saw two black males being detained by officers against a police car. He said the two males appeared to be in their late teens or early 20s.
Lourdes Nicholls, the Oak Park resident who is hosting Heeb during his stay, said that she and her friends and family spread out on foot after the fireworks display ended. While not a witness to the battery or immediate aftermath, Nicholls said she had fallen behind, but was told of the incident when she came upon the scene a short time later.
"I was at Elmwood and Lake, and I saw ambulances coming," Nicholls said. "Ahead I saw a lot of police cars and activity, and then an ambulance was zooming to the intersection of Lake and Ridgeland. It drove away by the time I approached."
Nicholls said her friends were at the site, as were her husband and children.