RIVERSIDE – Police in Riverside arrested five juveniles and issued one with a citation for marijuana possession after police discovered a simple fort made of branches in the Cook County Forest Preserve near Riverside Brookfield High School that the students were using to smoke marijuana in.
All the juveniles taken into custody were males between 15 and 16 years old and were from Riverside and North Riverside, according to police.
Acting on a tip, police set up surveillance near the high school on Friday at the school's closing to watch for students going into the woods. An officer followed a group of teens into the woods and located a simple fort that had been built near Parkview Road and Forest Avenue.
When the officer approached the teens, police said one ran off with a black box in his hands. Police said the teen and the box were both recovered and a small amount of marijuana was found inside.
All five teens were transported to the police station. The four teens that did not run and were not in possession of marijuana were turned over to their guardians without being charged. The 16-year-old juvenile who was in possession of the marijuana was issued a local citation for possession.
Police believe students used the handmade fort before and after school to smoke marijuana. No criminal activity took place on the school's campus, police said.
Police have notified the Cook County Forest Preserve District to have the fort permanently destroyed.