Police seize 20 lbs. of pot after drug deal gone bad in Forest Park

High speed car chase in River Forest started with shots fired in Forest Park


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By Ben Meyerson and Katie Drews

Police are still investigating an incident from last week that began with gunshots fired outside of a Forest Park sandwich shop and led to a high-speed chase that careened through River Forest.

The two men arrested in Maywood after the car chase have continued to remain silent and uncooperative with Forest Park police.

Even so, police still suspect it all started with a drug deal in the parking lot of Submarine Tender, Randolph and Desplaines, that went bad around 10 p.m. on Oct. 26.

Police allegedly found 20 pounds of marijuana and $1,200 in cash in the suspects' van, as well as $1,000 in cash on one of the suspects' person.

Forest Park Deputy Police Chief Tom Aftanas said his department thinks the two men they arrested, Carlos Garcia of Melrose Park, 20, and Juan Flores of Bellwood, 33, were shot at as they were trying to buy drugs. It remains unclear who was doing the shooting.

"We believe they were the buyers," Aftanas said. "They were the ones that had the weed on them."

It started as a call about the gunshots came in to Forest Park police around 10:20 p.m., just as an officer in an unmarked car saw a conversion van driven by Garcia speeding down Elgin Street northbound from Randolph Street. The officer chased the van through Forest Park and into River Forest, following them as they blew through stop signs, swerved through the streets and eventually hit an innocent bystander's car at the intersection of Lake Street and Ashland Avenue in River Forest — then kept driving.

River Forest police, who had been listening in via police radio, picked up the chase at the intersection of Keystone Avenue and Lake, where they pursued the van westbound into Maywood.

Forest Park officers arrested the van's passenger, Flores, in the driveway near 6th Avenue and Erie Street. Garcia ran from police, however, and was chased by River Forest police before he was eventually caught on the 300 block of 7th Avenue in Maywood.

Both were taken into custody by Forest Park, and were each charged with possession of more than 5,000 grams of cannabis, as well as manufacture or delivery of more than 5,000 grams of cannabis — both felonies.

Meanwhile, at the scene of the crime in front of Sub T, someone fled the restaurant and ran up Lathrop Avenue into River Forest, going inside a home. Officers allegedly entered that home, guns drawn, and took a man into custody. Forest Park police believe the man arrested at that home was involved in the incident, but aren't sure quite how. He's being treated as a witness, they said, and has not been charged with any crime at this point.

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Reader Comments

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Comment Policy

Ed Itingneeded  

Posted: October 28th, 2010 1:38 PM

Your logic is faulty. Thousands of stories arewritten each day without comprehensive information. No need to sit on the story or have all of the information. This story was not edited well if at all and Is just confusing. All I wanted to see was a narrative that madesome sort of sense. So your justification is wacky at best.

Violet Aura  

Posted: October 28th, 2010 12:19 PM

For all the critics of this story's writing, did it ever occur to you that the cops don't yet know the whole story? Maybe they are not getting cooperation or they want to make sure that what they are being told is factual. To sit on the story is nonsense! I heard this chase and wondering what the eff was going on. It's a shame that these characters are coming here from other areas because they don't have anything constructive to do with their lives.


Posted: October 28th, 2010 8:03 AM

Legalize it, destigmatize it, sell it at Starbucks and Walgreens alongside the Alchohol, Tobacco, Prozac, and coffee. That would eliminate situations like this.

Bil from Berwyn  

Posted: October 28th, 2010 6:27 AM

I'm glad I'm not the only one who got "lost" in this story. I had no clue who shot whom or when or why...

John McCarthy from Berwyn  

Posted: October 27th, 2010 9:33 PM

I agree with the other two comments. This story sounds like what a kid tells his parents about a playground skirmish. Factual, detailed timeline reporting this is not.Until & unless you can run a clear, concise report, sit on the story. Lazy reporting reflects badly on every other word printed in the publication.


Posted: October 27th, 2010 8:41 PM

This article is unusually incoherent. There is no cohesive narrative at all. Please re-write and list the events and actors in a clear and concise way, who shot whom, what happened and when, and so on.

Editor from Yours Truly  

Posted: October 27th, 2010 8:00 PM

If Garcia and Flores were shot trying to buy drugs, who did the shooting? Was the 20 lbs from the buy, or was it already in the van? Who was the man found in the home?

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