Chicago man drives into businesses on Chicago Ave.

Police charge driver with driving under the influence

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

A Chicago man has been charged with driving under the influence after wrecking his SUV, which he drove into two commercial storefronts in the 200 block of Chicago Avenue at 2:17 a.m., according to Oak Park police.

The driver, Larell D. Jackson, 25, of the 4500 block of Wilcox Avenue in Chicago, was charged with driving under the influence, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, driving on the sidewalk and driving without insurance, according to Oak Park Police Commander Roger Grivetti.

Jackson drove his vehicle into Barber's Gallery, 252 Chicago Ave., and the adjacent Blind Creations Tattoos, 250 ½ Chicago Ave., tearing off the façade to the two storefronts and causing extensive structural damage to the building. It's uncertain whether Thai Oak Park Express, 250 Chicago Ave., was damaged in the crash.

No other vehicles were involved in the accident, Grivetti said in a telephone interview.

"He was driving at a high rate of speed and drove off the road and onto the sidewalk and hit the building," Grivetti said.

No one was seriously injured in the accident, but one passenger was taken to Loyola Medical Center for lacerations to the head, Grivetti said.

He said the Oak Park Fire Department also responded to the accident.

Jackson was taken into custody and was released on a 10 percent bond of $3,000.

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Bruce Kline  

Posted: October 12th, 2018 5:41 PM

Christine I sympathize. We all do. "There but for the grace of God go I ... or you ... or our kids etc." But Bill is right; as Is Wes. You are 100% incorrect in regard to the present law of the land.

Wes Gathings  

Posted: October 12th, 2018 12:52 PM

Christine, you are incorrect. Bill is right on the money. Most of what you talked about is outside of police discretion. Police do not set the bond, the state does. A DUI without felony approval from the county is a misdemeanor...same as shoplifting or driving with a suspended license. The police have no authority to go beyond the law as you suggest and if they do Oak Park will get sued...and either lose or settle.

Christine Vernon  

Posted: October 12th, 2018 12:37 PM

I understand where you very firmly stand Bill Dwyer, without all the facts. On the face of it, as reported, this was a very serious accident requiring one passenger to be treated at Loyola's ER. Neighbors said that there were children in that car, too, which is unsubstantiated in this article. Without all the facts, anything you and/or I say about this situation is simply our opinions. I stand by mine, too, that in the case of a life endangering accident involving an intoxicated driver, we, the public, deserve to know that our legal system will determine quickly if this is a person with a substance abuse problem and get him off the road as quickly as possible to protect passengers, other drivers, and in this case, peope in the businesses which this man drove his vehicle into. That requires an assessment by professional qualified, health care experts. The first job of law enforcement is to protect the public and they should conscientious do it on a regular basis.

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: October 11th, 2018 7:59 PM

@ Mary Pikul: it has been along time since I cracked open the uniform complaint book, however Criminal Damage to Property would involve intent or knowledge. Since this is a traffic crash , the absolute liability standard kicks in, the State on has to prove that he was driving and that a certain drivers action happened instead of knowledge or intent.

Mary Pikul  

Posted: October 11th, 2018 4:46 PM

I'm surprised that I don't see a charge for something like "damage to a property". Isn't there a charge for that?

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: October 11th, 2018 2:31 PM

Christine first. Yes, police took the guy into custody. And then, as per our Constitution and long legal practice, they release him on bond, with a court date. You have NO idea how long they held him. And Jeff, I've TWICE been rear ended by intoxicated motorists in my 45-plus years of driving, and had a drugged out idiot stop suddenly cross ways at an intersection. It sucks. Especially since both drunks were uninsured and the stoned guy was underinsured. But just because I was POed about it doesn't mean our law enforcement and judicial systems should ignore proper due process.

Alex Garcia  

Posted: October 11th, 2018 2:04 PM

@ Christine: This is SOP in cook county courts these days, I'm afraid. Even if the cops are lucky or skilled enough to catch 'em, they're released on recognizance bonds by Cook County judges, only to do something else (and sometimes worse). A multiple repeat offender in Chicago was just released by a Cook County Judge despite breaking into a North Side home, smashing a safe etc., and being caught directly outside that home with all the loot.

Christine Vernon  

Posted: October 11th, 2018 2:03 PM

Bill, I, for one, am certainly aware of due process, but this was no kind of just process. Do police actually take a person who is in an accident drunk, and who thereby has caused bodily harm to another person, into custody and then release him? Not even held overnight to sober up before he leaves the police station? Not released to a treatment center for assessment. How many offenses before a person finally loses his or her license? Does anyone track what happens in damage on the second arrest for a DUI? Alcoholism is a serious disease and until it is assessed if this driver has that... the assessment of the need for treatment this man needs goes unknown? Law enforcement sometimes has to take on an aspect of social work in cases like this to protect the public. This is not just any old accident. This is a case where a person was incapacitated to get behind a wheel and he endangered his passenger and anyone in range of him, including himself. This was not just a fender-bender between two sober people or a case where brakes failed or there was some other mechanical failure in a car being operated by a person who was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Where is the due process to protect the public?

Jeff Schroeder from Oak Park  

Posted: October 11th, 2018 1:58 PM

Bill, I was actually the victim of a similar case years ago when a drunk, uninsured motorist plowed into my car while it was parked on Scoville. We saw him get out of the car and stumble down the street where the police caught up to him at the end of the block. There was no "alleged" in that case. I wound up having to pay for it with my own insurance. And what happened to the gentlemen? Nothing, of course.

Ken Hayes  

Posted: October 11th, 2018 1:36 PM

It is just a matter of time, but at least no one was killer, this time. Chicago Avenue is a superhighway with people flying through Oak Park. In the end, the business owner is the one that has been screwed and this idiot walks away (probably forever) and pays $300. And, why was the passenger taken to Loyola when West Sub is a few blocks away. It's nice to see that West Sub is fine enough care for those in the area that are paying customers but for the best free care you go to Loyola? Sad...pathetic!

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: October 11th, 2018 1:15 PM

Wow, at the risk of seeming to defend this fool's ACTIONS, which I am not, I have to ask - are any of the commenters below the least bit familiar with the concepts of due process and of innocent until proven guilty?

Christine Vernon  

Posted: October 11th, 2018 12:59 PM

Released? After all of that damage done while drunk? This is seriously disturbing. No release until an assessment is done and a plan is made for the safety of the innocent people he might have hurt, and the one he was evidently instrumental in being hurt, the passenger taken to Loyola Hospital. Don't we have protocols and laws in a situation like this?

Jeff Schroeder from Oak Park  

Posted: October 11th, 2018 12:41 PM

Fortunately this happened in the middle of the night when no one was around. As it is, that is quite the trifecta: DUI, speeding and uninsured motorist.

Al Rossell  

Posted: October 11th, 2018 12:32 PM

so get out of jail for 300, drive with no insurance and of course being drunk at the time. Guess not a danger to society so lets give him a chance to roam the streets and most likely do it again.

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