South Suburban DUI Arrests, Jan. 20

Driver 'knows he's under .08' • Driver speeds into McD's parking lot, flees on foot • Driver allegedly hits pedestrian, checks to see if he's alive, then flees—this week's roundup of drunken driving arrests in the Southland


Jan. 10: Abraham Ortiz, 33, of the 200 block of W. 14th Street, was arrested and charged with aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol after he disregarded a traffic light and almost hit a police cruiser near the intersection of 14th Street and East End Avenue, according to the report. 

Police stopped Ortiz and noticed he had bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol, according to the report. Asked if he had been drinking, Ortiz told police he had three beers about an hour before driving, but later changed the number to four. Ortiz was also unable to provide a valid driver's license, police said.

Ortiz took a Breathalyzer test and registered a blood-alcohol content level of .181, according to the report. He racked up additional charges of disobeying a traffic control device, driving on a suspended license and having a blood-alcohol content above .08. Ortiz appeared in Markham Courthouse on Jan. 13, when his bail was set at $50,000. He his scheduled to appear in court again Feb. 1.

Jan. 11: Jesus E. Munoz, 29, of the 300 block of West 15th Place, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after he sped through multiple intersections, ignoring stop signs with police pursuing him, according to the report. Police said they were driving more than 50 miles per hour and were unable to catch up with Munoz.

Munoz ignored police sirens and lights, disobeying four stop signs total on his trip from the intersection of 17th Street and East End Avenue to the 100 block of East 22nd Street, where he finally stopped, according to the report. Munoz immediately got out of his vehicle and stumbled into the middle of the street, according to the report. Police saw an open case of Bud Light in Munoz's vehicle, which contained nine empty cans and five full ones, police said. Munoz racked up additional charges, including four counts of disobeying a stop sign.


Jan. 3: A Mokena man faces charges after allegedly drunkenly driving into a shrubbery, according to Frankfort police reports. Frank J. Callham, 20, of the 19700 block of Glennell Avenue in Mokena, is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol content above .08, improper traffic lane usage, failure to reduce speed and operating an uninsured vehicle.

Frankfort police were dispatched to the intersection of Tanglewood Lane and Birchwood Road at 10:58 p.m. Jan. 3 in response to reports that a car struck a resident. When they arrived, the officers found a red Chevy SUV on the lawn of a residence in the 500 block of Tanglewood Lane. The car was sitting atop a cluster of landscaping bushes.

The police met with the homeowner and confirmed that no one was injured in the crash. They then spoke with Callham, detecting a strong odor of cannabis and alcohol. A Frankfort Fire Protection District ambulance arrived at the scene, evaluated Callham and transported him to Silver Cross Hospital.

At the hospital, police reported that Callham was abusive and belligerent. He yelled profanities and refused to comply with hospital personnel or the on-site police officer.

Callham was released from Silver Cross and taken into custody. His court date is Feb. 5.


Jan. 13: Thomas Vitelli, 39, Joliet, was stopped for improper lane usage at Route 30 and Interstate 80. At that time, police noticed that he had been drinking. He was ticketed for both offenses.  

Jan. 12: Adam DeCaire, 27, Manhattan, was stopped in his car for speeding and improper lane usage at Cedar Road and Third Avenue. According to the report, police discovered that he had been drinking. He was ticketed for DUI, speeding, improper lane usage and operating an uninsured vehicle.


Jan. 9: Rodney L. Riddle, 61, of the 7300 block of Sandlewood Drive, Tinley Park, was charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, leaving the scene of an accident and driving under the influence of alcohol, and cited for possession of cannabis, following an accident at the intersection of 159th Street and Laramie Avenue. 

Police stopped Riddle in the 5200 block of 159th Street after a driver called in a hit and run, describing the vehicle Riddle was driving. The victim told officers Riddle bumped into their car three times at the traffic light at 159th Street and Cicero Avenue and then drove off.

During the traffic stop, officers noted Riddle to have slurred speech, watery eyes, a flush face and a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. Riddle told officers he was not aware he was in a traffic accident while being interviewed during the stop.

Riddle failed field sobriety tests. He was taken to the police station, where he urinated in his pants during the booking process, before blowing a .208. Riddle was processed and issued a Feb. 8 court date. 


Jan. 5:  Eric J. Smok, of the 9800 block of South Ridgeland Avenue, was charged with aggravated driving under the influence and leaving the scene of accident after Oak Lawn police said he struck a 62-year-old man shortly after 2 a.m. Jan. 5.

Police were called to the 9500 block of South New England Avenue for a hit-and-run accident involving a pedestrian, reports said.Upon their arrival, police saw the male victim laying in the parkway. When they attempted to talk to injured pedestrian, police said the victim could only mumble.

Police located the witness who called 911 in a nearby parking lot. The caller said he saw the pedestrian walking south on New England as the caller was walking toward his apartment and a white car traveling in the same direction.

While the caller did not see the impact, he told police he heard a “boom” and saw the pedestrian airborne and landing on the west side of the street, reports said. The driver of the white car later identified as Smok got out and checked the pedestrian, before returning to his car and driving away, police said.

The caller did not see the driver’s face and told police he didn’t think he could identify him. The Oak Lawn Fire Department arrived on the scene to treat the injured pedestrian. Chicago Ridge police were notified of the accident. A Chicago Ridge cop, without being informed of what happened, said he saw a white car travelling at a high rate of speed pull into the alley east of Ridgeland Avenue. The car, a white, 1997 Pontiac Trans Am, was parked in a lot off the alley.

Police were able to locate a name on an apartment matching the name on the Trans Am’s registration. Officers said a man identified as Smok answered the door. Smok allegedly said he had hit a person and left the accident scene. He was taken into police custody.

According to the report, Smok had been at a bar where his girlfriend works as a bartender. On the way home, he said that his windshield was fogged up and he didn’t see the pedestrian. After he hit the man, he got out of the car to check if the man was alive.

Police said Smok recognized the pedestrian and “freaked out.” Smok asked the man if he was okay. He allegedly admitted: “Yeah, I did the wrong thing. I went home and didn’t know what to do.”

Smok agreed to field sobriety tests at that police station, but refused to take a preliminary breath test, reports said. Eventually, Smok agreed to a breathalyzer test, where police said he blew a .136. In addition to the felony charges, Smok was also issued traffic citations.


Jan. 13: Stanislaw Czyszczon, 38, of the 12000 block of Lancaster Court in Orland Park, was charged with drunken driving, speeding and driving without insurance, according to a police report. A green Ford truck was spotted allegedly speeding at about 4 a.m. on 127th Street. Before police could stop the truck, it sped into a McDonald's parking lot before stopping. The driver then fled on foot through a creek and was found, wet and covered in mud, in the next block over. Czyszczon was given a $2,000 bond and a court date of March 5.

Jan. 12: Tanner Fleming, 26, of the 4800 block of 109th Street in Oak Lawn, was charged with two counts of DUI and speeding, according to a report. Police stopped a black Mercury that allegedly pulled a U-turn at about 6:32 p.m. and sped down Harlem Avenue. Fleming reportedly failed field sobriety tests and was arrested. He was given a $1,000 bond and a Feb. 5 court date.


Jan. 12: Andrew J. Broda, 52, of the 7800 block of Belle Rive Court, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, failure to yield while turning left, and BAC over .08, after police conducted a traffic stop at the intersection of 175th Street and Duvan Drive.

Police stopped Broda after he made a left turn in front of officers at the intersection of Harlem Avenue and 175th Street, causing officers to come to a nearly complete stop to avoid hitting Broda's car. Police then pulled over Broda and noted a strong odor of alcohol and asked him to perform standard field sobriety tests. Based on the tests and the odor of alcohol, officers arrested Broda. During the stop Broda told officers he was drinking before the stop and had two beers in the last hour.

Police took Broda into custody and transported him to the Tinley Park Police Station. While being transported Broda asked if he could walk home instead of being arrested and told officers they were making a mistake, 'because he knows he's under .08.'

At the station, Broda blew a .107, admitted to drinking '6 to 8 beers' and admitted to being under the influence of alcohol. Broda is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 25 at the Bridgeview Courthouse.

Police report information is provided by local police departments. Charges are not evidence of guilt. They are a record of police actions on a given day, and persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court. If you or a family member are charged or cited and the case is subsequently adjudicated, we encourage you to notify the editor. We will verify and report the outcome.

chris cochrane January 20, 2013 at 11:15 PM
Alcohol is worse most of the times than any drugs,and tho I do no drugs making alcohol illegal and marijuana legal makes real good sense to me,you can onl6 smoke so much weed but you can get black out drunk and just read some of the stories above lucky there were no people hurt thank goodness because there usually is...
TQ January 21, 2013 at 06:23 PM
Punctuation Dude. It makes your comments easier to process.
Dan Biernacki January 22, 2013 at 03:29 AM
You bring up a great point for people to ponder.Why is alcohol legal? It is addictive and dangerous to its users and other people as well. These are the very same reasons we are given as to why drugs are ILLEGAL. Since making things illegal doesn't seem to have a profound affect on their use, I think we as a nation should consider legalizing those substances, tax them heavily, and impose very harsh penalties for those who abuse them. It may take awhile to come to equilibrium, but we have spent a lot of time already with the 'war on drugs' and it has not solved any problem either. By the way, I don't use either legal or illegal substances myself.
Jennifer Bitunjac Lody January 25, 2013 at 10:00 PM
My concern with the legal/illegal, controlled/uncontrolled substances is a rights issue. So at what point is something illegal? Lithium from batteries, fertilizer, and cold medications used to make meth along with other legal substances you can get at hardware stores and grocery stores, so if you mix 2 together is that legal still? 3 makes it illegal? Why is something that is naturally grown from the ground illegal? Marijuania is a plant, poppies are a plant, cocaine comes from a plant and these substances are used all over the world for centuries for medical reasons but they are illegal? Is it only legal for government and pharmecutical companies to have them? Went to buy husband some cold medication recently, and I was asked for ID, put in a database, and was told I couldn't buy 2 different kinds. I asked if these were prescription, pharmacy said no. they are not a controlled substance? No. So why? No answer. Just making up rules as you go huh? ok. While we are at it why not make glue illegal? Spray paint, canned air and pipes? Rolling papers, syringes, and spoons. Spoons are the devil's frying pan and should be illegal. Just sayin'


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