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O-L Police Chief Expects ‘Resolution’ in Sex Assault Case

Police chief discusses two, recent, high-profile crimes at public safety meeting, including sex assault case and an armed robbery where a resident was held up at gunpoint in his garage.

Oak Lawn Police Chief Bill Villanova said “resolution” is near in a high profile sexual assault case in which a woman claimed she was beaten and forced to perform sex acts by two men earlier this month.

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The police chief made his remarks to 200 residents gathered for a public safety town hall meeting at Hannum Elementary School on Monday night. Attending the meeting were Mayor Dave Heilmann, Village Clerk Jane Quinlan and Trustee Tom Duhig (Dist. 4).

The morning assault is believed to have taken place in the St. Catherine’s Parish neighborhood on the south end of Oak Lawn around 10 a.m. Oct. 1.

“All I can say is at this point detectives are working that case,” the police chief said. “It’s active.”

Villanova revealed new details about the alleged assault. The victim—a 46-year-old Orland Park woman—worked for a counseling service. According to a police report, a woman named Mary contacted her to talk about her multiple sclerosis. The two arranged to meet at a restaurant at 107th Street and Pulaski Road.

The woman arrived in Oak Lawn at the scheduled time, and realized there was no restaurant at the corner.

 “At that point she’s met by a man who says, ‘are you here for Mary,’ Villanova said. “She follows the man to a house in the south end of Oak Lawn. She goes in the hosue and there is another man there, and they allegedly sexually assaulted her.”

The woman described the house where the assault took place as a one-story ranch home with dark brown brick and dark windows. After the alleged assault and beating took place, the woman drove back to Orland Park where she reported the incident to Orland Park police. Oak Lawn police interviewed the woman at Advocate Christ Medical Center while she underwent a medical examination.

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Police drove the woman through the neighborhood but reports said she could not locate or identify the house.

“The case is ongoing; we are making great progress in it,” Villanova said. “All I can say right at this point is because of the nature of where the case is going, we expect resolution as soon as we get information that’s been subpoenaed.”

Villanova identified the subpoenaed materials as phone records

“As soon as we get those we should have some kind of resolution shortly after that,” he said.

The alleged victim did not know her assaulters, Villanova said.

A community alert issued by Oak Lawn Trustee Tom Phelan (Dist. 6) said that police do not believe the neighborhood to be in danger as a result of the purported incident.

Villanova also in which a man was robbed at gunpoint by two male blacks as he worked in his garage in the 9600 block of South Kolin Avenue around 8:40 p.m.

The men had apparently wanted to know where the victim kept a safe. After several minutes the alleged robbers decided there was no safe, but not before discussing whether they should “pop” the man as lay on his garage floor. The men left with his wallet and cell phone.

Police responded within moments of receiving the emergency calls, who searched the neighborhood with four police K9s.

Villanova said the police watch commander on the scene made a conscious decision not to release an emergency alert over that sends voice mail and text messages to residents informing them of emergencies.

“I think we made a mistake but I won’t criticize my watch commander,” he said.

In the future, Villanova said, he and his officers would be developing policies for use of the Everbridge System in cases of police emergencies.

“We have several different theories of how these two guys ended up at that house on Kolin,” Villanova said. “One of the theories being that the [man’s] credit cards were used very shortly after they left that home, in Englewood where the next door neighbor had a business. [The theory is] the neighbor was the intended target when no one was home.”

Referring to where a woman residing in the home was shot during a skirmish with four men, Villanova added: “The part I find a little strange is this is the second house that we had in Oak Lawn where people with businesses in the city have been followed home by people that have created issues in our neighborhood.”

Three of the alleged home invaders were apprehended after a multi-agency car chase and now await trial; the fourth man is still at large.

The town hall meeting was hosted by Heilmann, who wanted to get residents' feedback on ways to enhance community safety and well-being. The mayor said that more public safety meetings would be held throughout Oak Lawn in the near future.

Oak Lawn Gal October 16, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Did they talk at all about strategies to reduce crimes like this? For example the cameras the mayor mentioned earlier. Or improved and brighter lighting on side streets. Maybe hiring more police. Or what Oak Lawn residents can do to help. I think a message has to be sent that if thugs come to Oak Lawn they're going to get stopped and caught. I really agree that not putting out an alert on the Everbridge system was a mistake. Those guys reportedly headed south on Kolin toward St Germaine parish where there are often events at night at both the church and school. Anybody receiving mobile alerts could have warned any people at the parish that there were armed robbers in the neighborhood.
Lorraine Swanson (Editor) October 16, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Yes. I plan to do another story. Stay tuned.
Garbage October 16, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Perhaps start contacting your elected officials and support the Conceal and Carry (CAC) of firearms for private citizens. Illinois is the only start that does not allow this. Officials will not admit the facts the crimes have been reduced in other states that have CAC laws. It's time to give private citizens the right to protect themselves. There is not enough money to hire enough police to protect all the citizens all the time and the police cannot be everywhere.
QC?? October 16, 2012 at 04:54 PM
The Mayor has a community safety meeting?? Man there must be an election next year!!!! Get your requests in now ladies and gentleman you won't see any of them again after april of 2013!!!
gator October 16, 2012 at 05:32 PM
They discussed placing video cameras in places entering and exiting the village. One resident asked about adding police in the 4th district because of undesirables who flow into the area from the hospital, which was the most productive idea of the night. I found the lack of preparation for this meeting so disappointing! You would think they would have presented some crime statistics and presented ideas that have worked in other communities. The Mayor was just a blow hard saying it's up to the residents to fight crime. He had NOTHING prepared. Give me a break! He could've at least put an hour of forethought into what he would present. As for the turnout 200 seems generous. It seemed like under 100 to me. Although, I didn't actually count. 1/4 of Hannum's gym was filled.
Pat F October 16, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Police need to be tripled in that section of Oak Lawn. Both sides of 95th + Pulaski are a haven for thugs and thieves.. Just visiting any store or restaurant over there makes you want to lock your doors and run!! The hospital isn't much better. They congregate when one of them gets shot or hurt.They're standing around the entrance , the emergency room, and the lobby sometimes making it look like a gang banger meeting place. I wasn't even comfortable having my wife staying there after her surgery! There should be laws to protect us from them not the other way around..Stop that revolving door of justice where you keep throwing them back out to do their crimes again!!
OakLawnGuy October 16, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Security cameras can be a slippery slope, I'm not a big fan of constant surveillance, but installing them at parks, schools (in addition to those already put in by the districts) and major intersections might help. The bottom line for that will be if the taxpayers choose to foot the bill.
SmallManBigWoman October 16, 2012 at 10:00 PM
I thought it was very tacky and disrespectful for Heilmann to not have Clerk Jane Quinlan or Trustee Tom Duhig say a few remarks or at least acknowledge them. It's very telling - anyone who says this isn't political is lying. You're dead right. I think this was his first public safety meeting in the 7 years he's been mayor. We know your stripes Heilmann. I bet he'll use the list of names he collected for campaign purposes. That would be using public resources and is tacky tacky tacky. And yes, illegal too..
SmallManBigWoman October 16, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Joe Wilson - Trustee Duhig had every right to speak at a Village event in his district. More right than the Mayor had. Shame on Heilmann for making this political.
Mitchell October 17, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Lets go with a 1% property tax incease to put more policemen on the streets. e.g. if your property tax (with deductions) is say $3500.00, you would be assessed an addidtional $35 (1%) to pay for more policemen. Not alot or money per house but the life the extra policmen save my be yours.
Oak Lawn Gal October 17, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Thanks for the recap. I'd agree with Mitchell - we need more police on the streets. I'm guessing the cameras would be used after a crime had been committed to try to catch the bad guys on their way out of the village. I think we need to focus on prevention and the best way to do that is to have a stronger police presence. But we residents have to keep our eyes open and call the police if we see anything that looks suspicious. We have to make Oak Lawn as unfriendly to crooks and thugs as we can.
Joe October 17, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Dr. Burry, aka Small Man Big Woman, why in the world would Jane speak? Is she an authority on anything relating to the meeting? Mr. Duhig has had almost 4 years to have a "community meeting" in District 4 and this is the 1st one. Give me a break Dr. Burry do not use this for your own political propoganda. Nice touch with the add on this page. Well played Doctor.
andy skoundrianos October 17, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Mitchell if the Mayor would allow his buddies at advocate to give us the 1.7 million in impact fees we would be able to hire more police officers because of all the gang bangers at advocate!!!
andy skoundrianos October 17, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Look at the pot calling the kettle black " JOE " Your Mr. impartial right??
andy = waa waa October 17, 2012 at 03:28 AM
andys in ATTACK mode-------------again.
WhiteHeat October 17, 2012 at 12:41 PM
I wouldnt doubt that the mayor will hold these special crime meetings in all the districts that are up for re-election. Its a way of the mayor rounding up political support. Since he only invited his new running mate for clerk and trustee watch who attends these future hotspot meetings and where they are located.
Oak Lawn Gal October 17, 2012 at 03:04 PM
I'll be so happy when the election is over. Instead of discussing solutions to the very real problems we have in Oak Lawn, people just have to make it political and take a swipe at the mayor or Dr Bury. It's fiddling while Rome burns.
District 666 Resident October 17, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Now you claim the Mayor won't "let" the hospital give $1.7 million? Sure Andy, Keep smoking the Phelan Peace Pipe. I'm sure the hospital had the check all written and the Mayor said "no, I won't allow that". LOL
HeatFighter October 17, 2012 at 04:32 PM
i wouldn't doubt that WhiteHeat will be sending out more of his asinine e-blast venom! im pretty sure the meeting wasnt an invitation only event unlike the meetings at stoney creek
andy skoundrianos October 17, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Actually if you heard the meeting a deal was in place until the Mayor interfered.
MJ October 18, 2012 at 01:36 PM
What a pathetic exchange fellow citizens! And we wonder why these things go on with no solutions in the political arena? Look at how quickly we lost sight of what this story and meeting was really about. If the mayor did this for political reasons, who cares! Take it over, get from it what we want and need to find a solution for what is happening around here. Enough is enough! Neighbors, watch out for each other!

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