River Forest police finally nabbed an alleged Latin King gang member from Melrose Park who had been on the department’s radar for almost a month after eluding police by using phony blue and red flashing cab lights in this 2001 BMW and a mechanical device that covered his back license plate.

Melrose Park officers arrested Joseph Calamia, 37, of the 1300 block of 12th Ave. Dec. 27 and turned him over to River Forest for charges.

On Dec. 10, River Forest police had tried to assist a neighboring department in a traffic stop of Calamia, who had been “the subject of prior police intelligence notifications,” according to a River Forest Police press release.

While fleeing marked River Forest squad cars, Calamia lowered a mechanical shield over his rear license plate and activated flashing lights inside his car to appear to be a police officer, police said. Because of weather conditions and Calamia’s allegedly reckless driving, River Forest Police called off the chase when he exited River Forest.

River Forest police notified the Melrose Park department, and he was arrested in the alley behind his residence later in the month. Police said he fought with the arresting officer.

Calamia had outstanding no-bond criminal warrants for assault and drug possession. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office approved Class 3 Felony aggravated fleeing charges against Calamia. He was also charged with 11 driving violations in addition to being processed on the outstanding no-bond arrest warrants. The BMW was seized and impounded. Calamia is being held in Cook County Jail.

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