(JOLIET) A man attacked a 36-year-old woman and set a house on fire Sunday afternoon in southwest suburban Joliet, according to police.
Someone called 911 just after 2 p.m. to report a woman was outside a home in the 1000 block of Infantry Lane covered in blood and claiming that someone had tried to kill her outside a house that was on fire, according to Joliet Police Chief Brian Benton.
Officers responded and found the house on fire and the 36-year-old woman receiving first aid from citizens at the scene, Benton said.
The victim was taken to Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet for treatment, and the fire was extinguished, Benton said.
Officers saw 36-year-old Timothy S. Gregory standing nearby, Benton said. Based on statements from the victim and corroborating statements, Gregory, of Shorewood, was charged with aggravated battery and aggravated arson and taken to the Will County Jail.
(JOLIET) Police are asking for the public’s help in finding the person who installed a skimmer on an ATM last month in southwest suburban Joliet.
The skimming device was in place on an ATM at a gas station between the middle of February and the beginning of March, according to Joliet police. Skimming devices are attached to ATMs and steal data encoded onto the magnetic strips of bank cards.
Police released surveillance photos of a person suspected of attaching the skimmer. Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect is asked to contact Detective German at (815) 724-3029. Anonymous tips can be reported to Crimestoppers of Will County at (800) 323-6734 or via their website at crimestoppersofwillcounty.org.
(CHICAGO) Federal prosecutors have indicted a former Joliet police officer in the 2012 beating of a suspect three years after jurors in state court acquitted him in the case.
The U.S. Attorney’s office on Wednesday accused 40-year-old Thomas O’Connor of Joliet of using unreasonable force while on duty Feb. 9, 2012. Will County jurors found O’Connor not guilty in June 2013 of aggravated battery charges stemming from the incident. Authorities said O’Connor repeatedly punched Shantique Jackson, who claimed O’Connor broke her nose, among other injuries. O’Connor was responding to Jackson’s report of a fight with her boyfriend.
The (Joliet) Herald-News reported O’Connor was fired from the Joliet Police Department after the incident.
Defense attorney Jeff Tomczak expressed disappointment with the action by federal prosecutors, adding a jury was presented with all the evidence and found O’Connor’s actions justified.
O’Connor is to be arraigned Tuesday.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
(JOLIET) Authorities say a suspect has been injured in a shootout with U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency officers in the parking lot of a suburban Chicago mall.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Dennis Wichern tells The Herald-News the shooting happened Tuesday evening during an undercover drug bust operation outside the Louis Joliet Mall in Joliet.
Wichern says when agents moved in to arrest two men, one began firing at them. According to the newspaper, the officers returned fire, striking the suspect in the leg. He was being treated for injuries that are not life-threatening.
Joliet Police Chief Brian Benton says several vehicles were struck by gunfire but no one else was injured.
Wichern says charges are pending against both men.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Date: Saturday, May 14
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: The Morton Arboretum
There are only a few days each year when you can enjoy a “paw”fect day out with your pup, meandering down the Arboretum’s 16 miles of hiking trails. You can also shop from local businesses and organizations in the pet expo, test out the agility course, and join us for guided hikes. Meet dogs available for adoption and inquire about volunteering with local pet shelters. Sign your pooch up for some doggy games, including the crowd-favorite peanut butter licking contest!
May 14 is Spring International Astronomy Day (it happens twice per year)!
From the Facebook Event Page: Astronomer Joe Meyer will be guiding stargazers as we look at the moon and Jupiter and its four moons. No registration is needed. Meet near the entrance bridge. The program will be cancelled in the case of cloudy skies, rain or snow.
The Orchestra is formed by former members of the Electric Light Orchestra and ELO Part II. It is the continuation of ELO Part II following Bev Bevan’s departure and selling of the rights to Jeff Lynne.
With former ELO members and vocals from 90’s era Styx singer Glenn Burtnik, The Orchestra brings the one-of-a-kind ELO sound to Chicagoland.
Wings Rockshow Artshow – Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Wings over America
Date: Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15
Time: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Saturday), 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Sunday)
Location: Tinley Park
WLS-AM 890 sister station 94.7 WLS-FM along with Bettenhausen Automotive present The Wings Over America 40th Anniversary Rockshow Artshow. The show will feature signed artwork from Paul McCartney, Photographs from Linda McCartney and a special appearance by Wings guitarist Denny Laine! For more information, click here.
And the Traffic Issues…
Weekend Ramp Closure on Jane Byrne Interchange
More Jane Byrne Intersection work is happening this weekend, beginning with the southbound ramp from the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94) to the westbound Eisenhower Expressway (I-290), on Friday, May 13.
Beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, the ramp from the southbound Kennedy to the westbound Eisenhower will be closed from Jackson Street to Morgan Street until 5 a.m. Monday, May 16.
There will be a posted detour for travelers planning to use the closed ramp. The project will result in a new auxiliary lane on the ramp.
Intersection Reconstruction at U.S. 6 and Parker Road
IDOT announced temporary lane closures on U.S. 6 at Parker Road in both directions, in New Lenox, beginning Thursday, May 12.
This project will add turn lanes and new traffic signals at the intersection.
The project is expected to be completed in Fall 2016.
Overnight Closures Under East River Road Bridge
Overnight lane closures along with full expressway closures on I-90 and I-190 begin Friday, May 13. This work is for beam removal, and should last about one week.
Lane Closures on Westbound Lake St. between Swift Rd. and Medinah Rd.
From the Illinois Department of Transportation, beginning at 6 a.m. on Saturday, westbound Lake Street (U.S. 20) will be reduced to one lane between Swift Road and Medinah Road.
The left turn lane from eastbound Lake Street to northbound Medinah Road and the left turn lane from northbound Medinah to westbound Lake Street also will be closed.
The pavement repairs are expected to be completed by 6 p.m. Saturday.
WHISKEY AND TEQUILA FEST Saturday, May 7, 2016
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Old Crow’s and Moe’s Cantina, River North, Chicago
Sample various whiskeys & tequilas with other whiskey & tequila enthusiasts while celebrating Cinco De Mayo & The Kentucky Derby! Over 50 unique whiskeys, bourbons, tequilas & mezcals available to sample.
Contests will be held for best Derby Hat & Best Sombrero, and all attendees will receive over $200 in “Freebies.”
Saturday, May 7, 2016
Time: Various Sessions (visit website for details)
Soldier Field, Chicago
Chicago’s largest beer festival just got an upgrade…to Soldier Field.
The price of a general admission ticket includes, but is not limited to, 48x two-ounce samples, a Chicago Beer Classic signature tasting cup, limited-release beers on the grass of Soldier Field, a fully-loaded pretzel necklace making experience, activities and beer education.
Also offered, a Stadium Tour during the event available for an extra $10 at the event or as an add on to the ticket purchase.
Free gift bags will be give to the first 500 attendees. More information can be found at the event planner’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/22CMevents/
SUPERCAR SATURDAYS AUTO SHOW Saturday, May 7, 2016
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Bolingbrook Promenade, Bolingbrook
Car owners are urged to bring their prized vehicles out the morning of May 7 for the first Supercar Saturdays event of 2016. The diverse event “welcomes everything from classics and muscle cars to exotics and modified contemporary cars.”
Immediately following the Supercar Saturdays event on May 7th, all participants and spectators are invited to Drive to Autobahn Country Club for a complementary car show, a touring session on track, autocross, and karting.
For the Kids:
FAIRY FESTIVAL – JOLIET Saturday, May 7, 2016
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Pilcher Park, Joliet
The Joliet Park District is hosting Fairy Fest at Pilcher Park. Families can “enjoy fairy flower walks, discover fairy food, make enchanted crafts and see entertainment from winged hostesses!”
It is urged to come “dressed in wings” because there will be wand making for all ages.
Regular admission is $10.
Breakfast with the Fairies runs from 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., costs $15, and includes admission to the Fairy Festival following the breakfast.
(JOLIET) Four suspected drug dealers were arrested and large quantities of cash, drugs and vehicles were seized in a heroin trafficking sting Tuesday in southwest suburban Joliet.
The arrests were the culmination of a five-month long joint investigation — dubbed “Operation Success” — between Joliet police, the Joliet Metropolitan Area Narcotics Squad and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to a statement from Joliet police.
Maceo Johnson, 35, of the 700 block of Oneida Street; Gerry A. Shannon, 36, of the 200 block of North Center Street; and Justin R. Rainey, 33, of the 1000 block of Ronald Drive, were each charged with calculated criminal conspiracy and unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, police said.
Johnson, also known as “Success,” was arrested in Chicago by ATF agents and had $938 in cash and several Ecstasy and Xanax pills on him at the time, police said. He is being held on a $6 million bond.
Shannon, also known as “Leon,” was arrested in Joliet and was in possession of $1,150 in cash and about 26.25 grams of heroin, police said. His bond was set at $3 million.
Rainey, also known as “Jay,” was arrested by Joliet police while being released from the Will County Adult Detention Facility on an unrelated charge, police said. He is being held on a $3 million bond.
After the three men were arrested, authorities executed several search warrants in Joliet as a second phase to the investigation, according to police. They seized 288.5 grams of heroin, $355 in cash and a 2015 Chevrolet Camaro in the 700 block of Oneida.
In the 200 block of Center, investigators seized $8,385 in cash and “small quantities” of heroin, cocaine and marijuana, police said. Nathaniel Shannon, 33, was arrested inside the home and charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.
A third search warrant was executed in the 3900 block of Mohican Court, police said. Investigators seized a 2015 Cadillac Escalade, a 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe and a 2015 GMC Terrain.
The third phase of the investigation involved a sting targeting drug purchasers at a motel in the 1700 block of McDonough Street, police said. A total of 12 suspected buyers were identified, with charges against them pending, and 10 vehicles were towed pending seizure review.
“We will continue to work diligently with our law enforcement partners, both local and federal, to target the drug dealers who are contributing to the heroin epidemic that is plaguing our community,” Joliet Police Chief Brian Benton said in the statement.
(JOLIET) State and federal authorities arrested 19 Latin Kings gang members Wednesday in southwest suburban Joliet, including a man accused of a 2010 murder.
In a multi-jurisdictional investigation, the U.S. attorney’s office, the Will County state’s attorney’s office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Joliet police and the Metropolitan Area Narcotics Squad arrested and filed charges against 19 gang members, according to a statement from the Will County state’s attorney’s office.
The sweep allowed Joliet police to charge 25-year-old Aaron M. Bowers of Joliet with first-degree murder for the 2010 shooting death of Nichole Rodriguez, the state’s attorney’s office said. She was shot twice while sitting in her car on Feb. 23, 2010, while her 8-year-old daughter was sitting in the backseat.
Bowers’ bond was set for $2.5 million, and he faces six more counts of weapons violations, the state’s attorney’s office said.
The following people were also charged with state weapons and narcotics violations:
Jordan Rent, 25, of Joliet, was charged with eight weapons violations;
Salvador De Los Angeles, 33, of Joliet, was charged with one narcotics violation;
David De Los Angeles, 29, of Joliet, was charged with one narcotics violation;
Miguel Antonino, 24, of Joliet, was charged with three weapons violations;
Miguel Holloway-Valadez, 21, of Joliet, was charged with one weapons violation;
Kimberly Ledwell, 31, of Joliet, was charged with one narcotics violations;
Samuel Williams, 27, of Joliet, was charged with two narcotics violations and five weapons violations;
Mario Quintero, 36, of Joliet, was charged with three narcotics violations and one weapons violations;
Richard Groth, 24, of Glendale Heights, was charged with two narcotics violations;
Salvador Lopez, 26, of Joliet, was charged with seven weapons violations;
Gabriel Travis, 26, of Lockport, was charged with one narcotics violation;
Juan Martinez, 37, of Joliet, was charged with one narcotics violation;
and Abiel Razo, 30, of Plainfield, was charged with one narcotics violation.
Five other gang members — 31-year-old Clemente Lopez, 30-year-old Carlos Lopez, 56-year-old Ralph Garcia, 32-year-old Collin Coon and 39-year-old Gabriel Rosas — were charged with federal weapons and narcotics violations, the state’s attorney’s office said.
“The Latin Kings are a very organized gang with an extensive history of violence and drug dealing within our community,” Joliet Police Chief Brian Benton said in the statement. “This joint operation will have a lasting impact on the gang’s organizational hierarchy and overall effectiveness and will undoubtedly improve the safety and quality of life in the City of Joliet.”
(JOLIET) Police are searching for a man who sexually assaulted a young female jogger Sunday morning near southwest suburban Joliet.
The assault happened about 10:30 a.m. along the Illinois & Michigan Canal Bike Path, south of I-80 near Larkin Avenue, according to Illinois State Police.
The suspect was described as a Hispanic man in his late 20s or early 30s, between 5-foot-8 and 5-foot-10 with black hair and a heavy accent, police said. He was wearing dark sweatpants, white t-shirt and long-sleeved orange shirt.
Anyone with information should call police at (847) 722-2865.
(CHICAGO) An autopsy performed Wednesday revealed that a woman in southwest suburban Crest Hill was strangled, authorities said.
Laura Gonzalez, 22, was found unresponsive inside an apartment in the 1800 block of Marlboro Lane a few minutes before 9 p.m. Tuesday, according to Crest Hill Deputy Police Chief Ed Clark and the Will County coroner’s office.
She was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:38 p.m. An autopsy Wednesday determined the cause of death to be strangulation.
Her boyfriend, 27-year-old Cesar Garcia, was still inside the apartment when police arrived, Clark said. He was “incoherent” and was taken to Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet. Garcia and Gonzalez lived together in the apartment.
After investigating the scene and speaking with Garcia and witnesses, he was charged with first-degree murder, Clark said.
Garcia remains in the custody of the Will County sheriff’s office and is scheduled to appear in bond court Thursday.
He was previously arrested on a domestic battery charge in June, according to the sheriff’s office.
(JOLIET) A 66-year-old man was killed in a five-vehicle crash on Interstate 80 in Joliet late Sunday morning.
About 11:25 a.m., Michael B. McCoy was behind the wheel of a Chevrolet pickup truck that crossed from the westbound lanes of the highway into oncoming traffic near the Chicago Street exit, according to Illinois State Police and the Will County coroner’s office
The truck hit an RV and four other vehicles, and McCoy, a Joliet resident, was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.
Two people from one of the other vehicles were taken to Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox and were released Sunday afternoon, state police said.
The driver of the pickup was at fault and no citations will be issued, police said.
(JOLIET) A dead body recovered from the Des Plaines River last week was identified as a 19-year-old man who had been missing for five days in southwest suburban Joliet.
Lonnie R. Jones, of Joliet, was found in the Des Plaines River in the 700 block of Railroad Street on April 18, according to Joliet police and the Will County coroner’s office. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 4:15 p.m.
That day, fire crews doing a routine river-dragging training exercise found the body about 4 p.m. in the boat launch of the river, authorities said.
Jones was reported missing on April 13, the coroner’s office said. The body was identified on Tuesday using dental records, and his death was preliminarily ruled a drowning.
A final cause of death will be determined following toxicology tests and a police investigation, the coroner’s office said.
At the time of the incident, police said they thought the body might have been of a man who threatened to jump in an April 10 suicide attempt from the Cass Street Bridge, about 2 miles upstream of where the body was found.
Police could not be reached early Friday for comment.
(JOLIET) Railroad work will begin Thursday in Joliet, closing a street in the south suburb for six weeks.
Ragnor Benson Construction, LLC will be adding a third rail for the Joliet Bulk Barge and Rail at the crossing near Brandon Road and Woodruff Avenue, Joliet City Manager James D. Hock said in a statement.
Brandon Road will be fully closed for six weeks near the site, Hock said.
Drivers will be detoured to use U.S. Route 6 to the north, Route 53 to the east and Laraway Road to the south, Hock said.
(JOLIET) A clerk and gunman were killed in a shootout inside a store in southwest suburban Joliet on Monday afternoon during an attempted robbery, and police are searching for a second suspect.
Two males walked into the Gardner Food Mart at 1000 Gardner St. about 3:15 p.m. and pulled a handgun on the clerk, Joliet Police Chief Brian Benton said. The clerk also pulled out a handgun and they exchanged gunfire.
The clerk and one of the suspects were shot, Benton said. The other suspect fled the store immediately. The wounded suspect ran from the store a short time later.
The clerk, 24-year-old Mohammed Eid of Joliet, was taken to Saint Joseph Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, Benton said.
The wounded suspect later showed up at Saint Joseph’s, where he was pronounced dead a short time later, Benton said. He was identified as 24-year-old Troy Norris of the 400 block of Strong Avenue in Joliet.
Two patrons were inside the store at the time of the shooting, but were not hurt, Benton said.
The second suspect has not yet been caught.
“We’ve been working backwards since last night trying to identify the second robber,” Benton said.
He is described as 5-foot-9 or 5-foot-10, with a slim build and was last seen wearing a light-colored or gray hooded sweatshirt.
Police have surveillance video of the shooting, and are conducting interviews and search warrants in an attempt to track down the second suspect, Benton said.
Anyone with information should call Joliet police at (815) 724-3720.
(PLAINFIELD) A Joliet man died after his vehicle fell into a ditch Sunday night in the southwest suburbs.
Steve R. McMullan, 34, was driving southbound on Interstate 55 when his vehicle left the roadway and struck multiple trees, the Will County coroner’s office said. The vehicle then came to a rest in a ditch off Frontage Road.
McMullan was pronounced dead at 8:30 p.m. at the scene of the crash, the coroner’s office said.
An autopsy performed Monday found McMullan died of injuries from the crash. A final cause of death was pending more studies, including a toxicology report.
Illinois State Police could not immediately comment on the crash.
(JOLIET) A southwest suburban tax preparer pleaded guilty Wednesday to filing hundreds of false federal income tax returns for clients and causing the IRS to lose more than $5.3 million.
Jeffrey Shelby Jr., 31, of Joliet, pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false federal income tax returns, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Between 2009 and 2012, Shelby owned Shelby Investment LLC, which had locations in Joliet and Crest Hill, according to the stations.
He admitted to filing hundreds of individual income tax returns that fraudulently and intentionally reduced the tax liabilities and increased the tax refunds for his clients.
Shelby overstated and misrepresented taxpayers’ eligibility to claim tax credits, misrepresented their business income and expenses, and overstated their gifts to charity, according to the statement.
He caused the IRS to lose about $5,350,243 in tax revenue, according to prosecutors.
Shelby faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each count, according to the statement.
IRS officials said the charges should serve as a reminder to taxpayers and tax preparers as tax season begins.
“While most return preparers are honest and provide excellent service, others file false returns to defraud their clients and the United States government,” James C. Lee, Special Agent-in-Charge of the IRS division in Chicago said in the statement.
(CHESTERTON, Ind.) A Joliet man was arrested Thursday after he allegedly refused to pull over while speeding in northwest Indiana, crashed the car he was driving and then broke into a garage to steal shoes while running away from the scene of the crash, authorities said.
Indiana State Police Captain Keith Kopinski was monitoring traffic at 2:09 p.m. on I-94 in Chesterton near the 23.5 mile marker when he saw a red 2004 Chrysler Crossfire speeding in a construction zone, according to a statement from state police.
As the captain tried to catch up to the Crossfire, its driver, 23-year-old Ryan M. Alton, moved the car “recklessly” from lane to lane, apparently trying to avoid being stopped, police said. The captain had not yet activated the emergency lights on his police car at this point.
While driving on the shoulder, the Crossfire changed lanes and hit the back of a 2014 Volvo pulling a trailer, police said. Debris from the crash hit a third vehicle, a 2005 Subaru Impreza,
Alton and a passenger then got out of the car and ran away on foot toward a wooded residential area, police said. Captain Kopinski called for assistance and troopers and local police caught the passenger without incident. A nearby elementary school was placed on a temporary lockdown as the search for Alton continued.
Alton apparently entered a garage and took shoes to replace the ones he had lost while running away, police said. He was later found in a shed at another nearby home.
He was arrested and charged with burglary for breaking into the garage and stealing the shoes, police said. He was also charged with resisting law enforcement. The passenger was released without charges.
Alton was taken to Porter Hospital with minor injuries before being transported to Porter County Jail, police said. The drivers of the other vehicles involved in the crash were not injured.