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Evergreen Park police recover weapon used in several murders

  • Written by By Sharon L. Filkins

Evergreen Park Mayor James Sexton opened the Monday board meeting with a special recognition of the village’s police department and commendations for five individual officers for exemplary service.

“We have recently been flooded with commendations for our police department and while it is not possible time-wise to enumerate all of them, there is often one that deserves our attention and these five young men were part of it,” said Sexton.

Police Chief Michael Saunders introduced Evergreen Park Officers David Sass, Kent Borden, Thomas Ostrowski, Thomas Lehnhardt and Sgt. Anthony Signorelli. Also recognized was Oak Lawn Police Officer Scott Peterson, who participated in the case.

Saunders related that during the midnight shift in April, Sass was on patrol and noticed a car driving in the opposite direction with unusually bright lights. Saunders said Sass’ instinct kicked in and felt that something didn’t seem right. Sass then turned around and went back to pull the car over.

The driver of the suspect car refused to stop and sped off. Sass called for back-up. After a short pursuit, the driver of the car stopped and the occupants jumped out and ran off. Two men were quickly apprehended. In checking out the car, a loaded weapon was found in the front passenger seat. It turns out that the weapon was found to be the one used in a murder the week before in Harvey. Later investigations indicated the weapon had been used in a number of other murders in Chicago.

“This is an example of doing our job,” said Saunders. “Our officers do the job because they are dedicated to their work. We have been fortunate in Evergreen Park that we do not have drive-by shootings and drug violence. We are doing our job, but we also have a lot of support from our residents.”

“Our residents can sleep comfortably at night because these officers are on the street. We owe you a lot,” said Sexton. “You have our back and we have yours. Thank you for all you do.”

Trustee Mary Keane also thanked the officers. Her voice breaking with emotion, she said, “Thank you for all the sacrifices you make to keep our families safe here in our village.”

In other matters, the board approved a request from Mike McGrath, owner of Porter Cullens, at 3541 W. 99th St., to increase his hours of operation to allow for serving breakfast on Saturday and Sundays, beginning at 8:30 a.m., and to increase the hours on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to midnight. McGrath’s third request to add outdoor bistro tables was tabled for further discussion.

Approved with a vote of 5-1 was a payment of $14,455 to H & R Johnson for work completed at the Barn in the Village’s park area. The payment was designated as a payment for the company working in severe winter weather.

Trustee Mark Phelan cast the opposing vote, stating he didn’t think it was necessary.

“I worked in construction for 30 years and I have never heard of being paid for working in inclement weather,” Phelan said. “This is ridiculous.”

Sexton pointed out that the total cost of the project had come in at $100,000 less than the original bid from the company.

Also approved was a request to send out a proposal for sanitary sewer linings.