Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois on November 30, 2013 · Page 1-4
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Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois · Page 1-4

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Saturday, November 30, 2013
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4 Chicago Tribune Section 1 Saturday, November 30, 2013 (f liicaua tribune CHICAGOLAND JOHN J. KIMTRIBUNE PHOTO Shoppers cart their purchases past the scene of a police shooting Thursday night at a Kohl's store in Romeoville. A police officer chasing an alleged shoplifter was dragged through the parking lot by a Pontiac Sunfire until another officer shot the driver, according to police. Holiday shopping gunfire Driver shot by police, 2 men face theft charges at Romeoville Kohl's By Adam Sege, Juan Perez Jr. and Mitch Smith Tribune reporters A night of holiday shopping in the southwest suburbs was interrupted by gunfire when police shot a man who, while attempting to flee, allegedly used his Pontiac Sunfire to drag an officer through a department store parking lot. Two shoplifting suspects alleged to be working with the driver are facing felony charges. The driver, who was being treated for his injuries, had not been charged as of Friday evening. Debbie Turner and her daughter were leaving the Romeoville Kohl's store after 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving when Turner saw an officer, his shirt off and shoulder bandaged, getting into an ambulance. Nearby, other officers were arresting a man. Then she saw her car, surrounded by crime tape and not far from a black Sunfire with its side window shot out. Turner had been inside Kohl's with her daughter getting a jump on holiday shopping when the officer chased an alleged shoplifter to the Sunfire. As the waiting car sped off, police said, the door closed on the officer's arm, and he was dragged through the parking lot. After the driver ignored commands to stop, police said another officer fired three or four shots. The scene caused a spectacle in the bustling parking lot outside the store. People stared and took photos before walking around the yellow tape blocking one of the store's entrances. But inside the Kohl's, it was business as usual. "I didn't hear a thing," said Turner, of Gerald Chamberlain Jr., left, and Robert Russell Jr. face charges in the incident. Lockport The car's 52-year-old driver was struck by one of the bullets and wounded in his left arm, police said. The officer was treated and released from Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital. Two Joliet men, both convicted felons with lengthy criminal histories, were held in the Will County jail on felony theft charges. Robert Russell Jr., 51, also faced charges of attempted murder and obstructing an officer. Police said Russell, of the 500 block of Francis Street in Joliet, was a passenger in the Sunfire. Gerald Chamberlain Jr., 28, of the 1300 block of Englewood Avenue in Joliet, faced a single theft charge. Police said they arrested Chamberlain inside the Kohl's. He was not in the car when the shots were fired. The driver's two alleged accomplices both have criminal pasts and track records of disobeying law enforcement. Russell was arrested on suspicion of obstructing a peace officer in 2009. He also was sent to prison on theft and drug charges in 2002, according to online Will County court records. Chamberlain was jailed in 2008 for resisting a peace officer or correctional employee. He was sent to prison in 2009 on a cocaine charge, for which an Illinois Department of Corrections spokesman said he is on parole. Chamberlain is awaiting trial on another felony drug charge, records show. Employees at the Romeoville Kohl's location referred comment to company spokeswoman Sydney Hofer, who declined to say whether private security or off-duty police were at the store Thursday evening. Hofer said in a statement that Kohl's was cooperating with the investigation but would not provide additional information. The episode made for a grim start to the holiday shopping season, but it didn't seem to deter late-night consumers looking for the perfect Christmas gift. Several shoppers approaching Kohl's walked to the edge of the police tape without breaking stride, prompting warnings from officers not to duck under the tape. Observing the scene from the department store's window, Turner's daughter Meghan said she was still planning to shop elsewhere early Friday. "I just need a nap," she said, "so I can go back out at 5 am." While most retailers reported peaceful if hectic opening hours, some others saw the shopping craze erupt into violence, according to police and media reports. The incidents included a police officer injured while breaking up a fight outside a California Wal-Mart, a shopper shot in the leg over a TV in Las Vegas and a woman spitting on another woman's child in an argument over baby clothes at a New Jersey Wal-Mart. Black Friday, the biggest U.S. shopping day of the year, began a few hours earlier this season as many department stores for the first time opted to open or start discounts Thanksgiving night Tribune news services contributed. asegetribune.com jjpereztribune.com mitsmithtribune.com Illinois twisters claim 7th life By Deanese Williams-Harris Tribune reporter A seventh person has died from the tornadoes that slammed into Illinois this month. Rosamund Allison, 82, was pronounced dead at 11:15 p.m. Thursday at OSF St Francis Medical Center in Peoria, where she was taken after being found buried in debris in the town of Washington on Nov. 17, according to the Peoria County coroner. Allison was swept up by a tornado while at her home on Elgin Avenue, the coroner said. She suffered multiple injuries, the office said. Another Washington resident also was killed by the tornado, which flattened a large swath of the town with winds up to 200 mph. Steven Neubauer, 51, was found near his home. He was a mechanic for a road construction company. Another tornado that hit the state that day killed an 80-year-old man and his 78-year-old sister in Washington County, about 200 miles south of Peoria, officials said. Three people were killed in Massac County on the Kentucky border when a tornado devastated several neighborhoods, officials said. A total of 24 tornadoes cut across Illinois during a violent four-hour stretch that Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. Ten of them traveled at least 10 miles, the weather service said. This week, President Barack Obama approved disaster funding for 15 Illinois counties. dawilliamstribune.com ALEX GARCIATRIBUNE PHOTO A Mercedes-Benz struck a median about 5:20 a.m. Friday and rolled over on Lake Shore Drive. Milad Mosadeghi, 24, of Niles, was pronounced dead at the scene. Lake Shore Drive wreck kills 1 2 others injured after vehicle rolls over near Lawrence Ave. By Adam Sege Tribune reporter A 24-year-old Niles man was killed and two others injured when a Mercedes-Benz rolled over on Lake Shore Drive early Friday morning, police said. The crash happened about 5:20 a.m. near Lawrence Avenue, police said, citing preliminary information. The 2002 Mercedes lost control and struck the center median before rolling over. Milad Mosadeghi, of the 7800 block of North Caldwell Avenue in Niles, was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:33 a.m., the Cook County medical examiner's office said. Two others, a 25-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman, were taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, police said. Their conditions had stabilized as of Friday afternoon. Police blocked northbound traffic at Wilson Avenue. asegetribune.com Court tosses conviction in rape case in Wheeling Prosecutors overstepped in questioning, judges rule By Robert McCoppin Tribune reporter An appeals court has overturned the sexual assault conviction of a Highland Park man, ruling that Cook County prosecutors improperly questioned him at his trial. The Illinois Appellate Court's decision, announced Wednesday, means that Matthew Schaffer, 35, is entitled to a new trial. Schaffer is serving 30 years in Menard Correctional Center for home invasion, armed robbery and aggravated criminal sexual assault. His lawyer, Ralph Mec-zyk, said he was "gratified" by the ruling and looked forward to a new trial. During Schaffer's trial in 2011, a woman testified that a man wearing a pantyhose mask entered the room where she was staying at a friend's condo in Wheeling in May 2010, held a knife to her throat, pointed a gun at her and threatened to kill her if she screamed. The woman, who was visiting from out of state, testified that he handcuffed her hands behind her back, sexually assaulted her and stole her wedding band, watch and $100. Police said someone had cut a hole in the patio screen door. Authorities arrested Schaffer after they said he sold the woman's watch at a pawnshop in Chicago, using his passport as identification. A DNA expert testified that Schaffer's DNA matched sperm from the woman's clothing. On the witness stand, Schaffer admitted he had sex with the woman but claimed it was consensual. He testified that he was a longtime marijuana dealer and that the woman had bought marijuana from him twice before. He said she gave him the watch and the money to pay for the drugs. During the trial, Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Michael Clarke repeatedly asked Schaffer whether the alleged victim and two detectives made up their testimony, and Schaffer answered that they did, according to the appeals court ruling. In the unanimous ruling by the three-judge panel, Judge Aurelia Pucin-sld wrote that prosecutors improperly forced the defendant to challenge the credibility of the other witnesses. "It is well-established that it is improper for a prosecutor to ask a defendant his opinion on the veracity of other witnesses, as such questions intrude on the jury's function to determine witness credibility, and (such questions) also demean and ridicule the defendant," the judge wrote. "While the practice may be deemed harmless error when evidence of a defendant's guilt is overwhelming, reversal is warranted when the evidence is closely balanced and the credibility of the witnesses is a crucial factor underlying the jury's determination of guilt or innocence. "In this case, where the evidence was close and the jury's decision hinged on a credibility determination, the prosecution's improper cross-examination denied defendant a fair trial." Courts were closed Friday, and a state's attorney's office representative was not available for comment. Schaffer remains in prison while prosecutors have an opportunity to appeal the ruling. rmccoppintribune.com Twitter RobertMcCoppin Winter parking ban starts Sunday Chicago's winter overnight parking ban lacks in this weekend. The Department of Streets and Sanitation posted fliers this week letting drivers know the ban begins at 3 a.m. Sunday. The ban covers 107 miles of city streets until April 1, regardless of snow, and is in effect every day from 3 to 7 am., according to the department Violators will have their vehicles towed with a towing fee of at least $150, plus a $20-a-day storage fee, in addition to a $60 ticket. Vehicles will be towed to either Pound 2 at 10301 S. Doty Ave. or Pound 6 at 701 N. Sacramento Ave., according to the department. Last year on Dec. 1, 301 vehicles were towed for violating the ban. A much more extensive network of arterial streets also is covered by the city's snow route parking restrictions, which ban parking on posted streets when a snowstorm results in an accumulation of more than 2 inches of snow. Maps and street lists for both parking bans are at http:bit.lyli8L0vh.

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