Talk about taking your work home with you. Oak Park Chief of Police Rick Tanksley was out driving in his department vehicle around 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning when he monitored a call of an attempted armed robbery in River Forest.
According to the report, a River Forest father was pushing his 8-month-old son’s stroller along Harlem Avenue when they were approached by a woman in a white auto who asked for directions. According to the victim, the woman then brandished a handgun and threatened “Give me your money or I will shoot the baby.”
Instead, the man grabbed the stroller with his son and ran south toward Division and called for help.
“A description of the offender and vehicle was immediately broadcast via police radio,” said River Forest Deputy Chief Greg Weiss. Tanksley observed the vehicle matching the description heading north on Oak Park at Berkshire. Backed up by other Oak Park units, he stopped the car in a strip mall on the Chicago side of North Avenue at Oak Park Avenue.
Police say they took a Crossman Air Pistol BB gun from the vehicle and arrested the driver, Valerie Nash, 39, of 602 N. Ridgeway, Chicago. The attempted robbery victim was then driven to the scene for what is called a street show-up. He identified Nash, who was charged by River Forest police with two counts of attempted armed robbery and two counts of aggravated assault.
According to Illinois Department of Correction records, Nash is on parole from an eight-year sentence stemming from Class X felony conviction for manufacturing or distributing a controlled substance. She was scheduled to be arraigned at the Maybrook courthouse in Maywood this morning, Wednesday, May 27.
Weiss praised Tanksley’s diligence Tuesday, saying, “He deserves all the credit.”
“It’s hard when you live in town,” Tanksley said with a laugh. “You’re always on duty.”