Residents urged to call 911 after park incident


The 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District is urging residents to report suspicious behavior in Wilson Park, 4630 N. Milwaukee Ave., following a recent incident in which a group of local teenagers was found with a gun and drug paraphernalia.

"People must call it in. Give police a description and the location (in the park)," community policing sergeant Sherry Alvarez-Pena said. "Be specific so that officers know who to stop. You can always remain anonymous."

Officers reported that they saw five teenagers attempting to conceal a marijuana pipe as they were sitting on the rear steps of the park fieldhouse at about 8:30 p.m. Sunday, April 16, police said.

In addition, a semi-automatic pistol with seven rounds of ammunition was later found in one of their backpacks, police said. The serial number on the gun was defaced, police said.

A 16-year-old suspect told officers that he was holding the gun for somebody else, and he was charged in connection with the incident, police said. The other youths, each from the Jefferson Park area and age 15 to 17, were released without being charged, police said.

One of the teens identified himself as a gang member, police said.

There also were three reports of drug-related incidents in the park in March, and last year a homeless man was arrested several times there for trespassing and once for indecent exposure, according to police.

Security staff for the Chicago Park District plans to monitor the park more closely, police said.