No hostages, no vandalism found in Oak Lawn incidents

  • Written by Jeff Vorva


There were no hostages.Page-1-2-col-screwsOak Lawn police officials do not think vandalism was the cause of screws and nails to protrude from the rocket slide at Memorial Park. Photo by Emily Smas.
There was no vandalism to hurt kids.
The Oak Lawn police department issued statements last week defusing two potentially dangerous situations in its village.
Last Thursday, police said they received a call from a subject claiming to hold three people hostage at a home in the 5700 block of 90th Place and made ransom demands.
It turned out to be a hoax.
“Oak Lawn Police responded and set up a perimeter around the home and sent out an Everbridge message to residents in the immediate area,” Division Chief Roger Pawlowski said in a statement. “Police were able to obtain information about the family that reside in the home in question and were able to make contact with family members who were not at home.  They advised Police that their teenage son should be home alone.  Police were able to make contact with the son who was directed out of the house.  The home was then searched by police and the incident was determined to be a hoax.’’
Pawlowski added that Oak Lawn detectives are following up on information regarding the teen son’s contacts through the internet and on-line gaming sites.
One day earlier, police announced that screws and nails found protruding through a slide at Memorial Park in June and again on July 21 were not a result of vandalism, rather, it was the result of a manufacturing flaw.
When the story was red-hot in June, there was speculation by some citizens that it was vandalism done to intentionally hurt children. Internet and social media speculation took it even further with some suggesting it was a hate crime. But the police called it a “design flaw or an installation error.’’
Police said in a statement they don’t believe anyone “placed nails into the playground equipment for the purpose of injuring park goers.’’