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Letters

Letter: Riverside police chief updates community on recent incidents

I wanted to update you on a few incidents that occurred last week so that you have the facts and current information.

On Monday, Oct. 19, at about 8:20 a.m., there was an individual who offered candy to a child on the 300 block of Fairbank Road. Within 48 hours, Riverside police made an arrest in this case.

Our detectives and police officers tracked down a 65-year old male resident of Summit and charged him with one count of disorderly conduct after he made a full confession. In his statement, he said he was only trying to be nice and had no intention of harming the child. The victim signed complaints because she was troubled by the incident. In this case, we had direct assistance from our residents, including some home video surveillance. No physical contact took place.

The following day at 6:30 a.m. , we had an incident on the 200 block of Nuttall Road adjacent to the park at A female jogger stated that a male subject jumped out of a car and yelled what she believed she heard as "come here" and then he jumped back in the car and fled.

When police arrived, they checked the area but were unable to locate the vehicle or subject. At no time did the male have any physical contact with the victim. Police walked the entire neighborhood looking for video surveillance, but were unable to locate any useful video. If you have any information on this incident, contact Riverside police.

On Oct. 24, the victim in the Nuttall Road case reported a suspicious vehicle in the area of Ames School on Southcote Road. In that incident, she was out jogging at around 7 a.m. when a male driving a gray sedan drove past her.

However, the driver then stopped, put the car into reverse along where she was standing. The male driver then began to "dance" in the driver's seat and then just proceeded to drive from the scene. There was no conversation between the driver and victim, and he never exited his car.

The victim described the subject as a young white male with curly black hair and a gauge type earring in his left ear. Riverside police were unable to get any further description of the vehicle or license plate.

Riverside police again searched the area for video but (at this time) were unable to locate any.

Any resident who has information on a possible vehicle or suspect may contact Riverside police at 708-447-2127. You can also anonymously send a tip tocrimetips@riverside.il.us.

All Riverside patrol officers were advised of these incidents and are on early morning patrols concentrated in this area. Additionally, police checked with neighboring police agencies to see if they had any similar incidents, but none had any similar incidents as the ones reported in Riverside.

Again, no one was approached or physically touched in these instances. While these incidents may be a criminal act and others just strange activity, all incidents should be reported to police to allow investigation by police to try to find the true purpose of the incident.

In the jogging instances on Nuttall Road and Southcote Road, it was still dark at the time and the victim was unable to get detailed information.

Police encourage joggers to carry cell phones so that they can call police immediately if needed and take pictures or video of anyone who may approach or harass them.  This would be good evidence and police can usually solve cases faster when they have photo/video evidence and/or license plate information.

Thomas Weitzel

Chief of Police

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