By Bob Uphues
A 56-year-old Florida man faces felony weapons charges after police reported him to be sleeping within an arm's reach of a fully loaded handgun inside his illegally parked Jeep next to Harrington Park in Riverside in the early morning hours of July 1.
A police officer on patrol in the area of South Delaplaine Road and Robinson Road at about 2:15 a.m. reported a dark-colored 2011 Jeep with Michigan license plates parked illegally and facing the wrong way on the street next to the park. The driver, later identified as Frank Henry-James Neil, of Winter Haven, Florida, reportedly was found slumped over the wheel of the car.
While knocking on the window to wake up Neil, the officer reported a handgun in clear view in the center console of the vehicle, so he called for other officers to assist.
Roused from his sleep, Neil reportedly refused to unlock the door and get out of the vehicle and then began chanting "repeatedly and methodically in an extremely loud, repetitive tone."
Fearing Neil might attempt to grab the handgun, officers were able to open the door and take him into custody. The handgun was found to be a fully loaded FIE Titan .25-caliber pistol.
Neil reportedly told police he'd acquired a friend's car in Michigan and was "traveling the country looking for a place to live" when he decided to pull over in Riverside. Other than that, police said, Neil had no explanation about why he was in Riverside or about the handgun.
The Cook County State's Attorney's Office approved charging Neil with one count of felony unlawful use of a weapon and one count of felony unlawful possession of ammunition.
Police are still investigating how Neil came to be in possession of the gun and the Jeep.
Alleged garage burglar nabbed
Ian J. Klima, 21, of Oak Park, was arrested for burglarizing a Riverside garage after police looking for a stolen bicycle pawned at a North Riverside shop ran into him there and took him into custody.
A resident of the 400 block of Northgate Court called police on July 1 at about 12:35 p.m. to report that someone had just stolen a bike valued at $800 from his garage. The offender was last seen riding east on 26th Street towards Harlem Avenue.
On the following day, July 2, police discovered that the bike had been pawned at EZ Pawn, 7361 25th St. in North Riverside 20 minutes after the bike was reported stolen. Detectives went to the shop to view the bicycle and, when they walked in, saw Klima inside trying to pawn yard tools.
Police arrested Klima on the spot and are investigating whether the yard tools may have been stolen. The bike was recovered and returned to its Riverside owner. Klima reportedly told police he was walking up and down residential streets in Riverside until he found a house or garage with an open door that he could burglarize.
A North Riverside woman who was sunbathing in a swimsuit in her backyard in the 2300 block of Hainsworth Avenue called police on the afternoon of July 1 to report a man spying on her from behind a pine tree and possibly masturbating.
The woman told police she heard a vehicle with a loud muffler pass by and then back up, followed by the sound of a car door closing. A couple of minutes later, she opened her eyes and saw a heavy-set black male, bald and wearing a black tank top standing behind the tree staring at her.
According to the police report, the man had his pants on, but based on the man's actions she believed him to be masturbating. The woman jumped up, grabbed her towel and went into to her house to call police. The man left northbound in a black Chevy Impala, which police were unable to locate.
Brookfield police charged a 41-year-old Brookfield man with misdemeanor counts of unlawful use of a weapon, aggravated assault and disorderly conduct after he allegedly waved a baseball bat and a machete around in a threatening manner in the 3400 block of Grand Boulevard on July 6 at about 6:45 p.m.
A witness called 911 after seeing the man approaching the victim's residence with a baseball bat. According to police, the incident was related to a verbal altercation that took place about an hour and half earlier at the Veterans Memorial Circle.
No battery occurred and no one was injured.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, July 1-7, and represent a portion of the incidents to which police responded. Unless otherwise indicated, anybody named in these reports has only been charged with a crime. These cases have not been adjudicated.
— Compiled by Bob Uphues