Mount Prospect police to crosswalk vigilantes: Please stop

  • Concerns about the effectiveness of a pedestrian crosswalk signal in Mount Prospect have intensified since a cyclist was killed while crossing there in June, but police say residents hoping to catch drivers blowing through the signal may be making the situation more hazardous.

      Concerns about the effectiveness of a pedestrian crosswalk signal in Mount Prospect have intensified since a cyclist was killed while crossing there in June, but police say residents hoping to catch drivers blowing through the signal may be making the situation more hazardous. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
Posted9/16/2016 5:30 AM

Mount Prospect police have a simple request for anyone turning on the crosswalk signal across from a popular village park in hopes of video recording drivers blowing through it: Please stop.

"We're hoping to deter it, because it could cause a dangerous situation," Officer Greg Sill told us this week after police learned of a Facebook campaign encouraging people to activate the signal and then, instead of crossing, record vehicles that fail to stop.

 

Does the signal work?

The request is the latest twist in an ongoing -- and intensifying -- public debate over the safety of the crossing at Central Road and Weller Lane, across from Melas Park.

Complaints that the signal is ineffective grew louder in June, after Joni Beaudry, a 55-year-old mother of five, was killed when an SUV struck her as she rode her bike in the crosswalk. Police say Beaudry activated the signal before trying to cross and the SUV's driver -- who's since been ticketed -- didn't stop as legally required.

No evidence yet

Despite the Facebook campaign, Sill says police neither have received any videos showing drivers ignoring the signal nor seen anything like it posted online.

"We just want people to know, whatever the reason they're doing it, this could cause a safety hazard," Sill said.

Mount Prospect officials will hold a special neighborhood meeting at 7 p.m. Monday to discuss safety improvements at the crossing. They'll be joined at village hall by state Rep. David Harris and IDOT representatives.

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Prison for coffee cup bandit

Michael L. Feterick earned the label "Coffee Cup Bandit" after the Cary man robbed banks in Crystal Lake and Woodstock last year armed only with a cup of coffee and a note demanding money. He was sentenced this month to 49 months in federal prison.
Michael L. Feterick earned the label "Coffee Cup Bandit" after the Cary man robbed banks in Crystal Lake and Woodstock last year armed only with a cup of coffee and a note demanding money. He was sentenced this month to 49 months in federal prison. - Courtesy of Woodstock Police Department

Some bank robbers carry a gun. Michael Feterick of Cary toted cups of coffee when he robbed banks in Woodstock and Crystal Lake in March and April 2015, according to the FBI.

And he didn't waste a lot of ink on the notes he gave to tellers: "Money. No dye pack," they read.

Feterick, 46, was sentenced Sept. 7 to 49 months in federal prison, then three years of supervised release. He also has to repay $7,062. He had pleaded guilty to the two robberies May 25.

According to defense attorney John M. Nelson, who labels his client the "coffee cup bandit" in court filings, Feterick was as nonthreatening as a bank robber can get. He blames the robberies on Feterick's desire to help out a single mom for whom he had romantic feelings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"Mr. Feterick has possibilities. He can make something of himself and his future," Nelson wrote.

Heroism a habit for Batavia officer

Batavia police officer Mark Skorup
Batavia police officer Mark Skorup

This is getting to be a habit for Batavia police officer Mark Skorup.

For the second time in his two years on the force, Skorup has received a commendation for coming to the aid of a distraught person.

The latest occurred in the early morning of Aug. 13, when Skorup kept a suicidal man from leaping off the Fabyan Parkway bridge into the Fox River.

"(Skorup) was able to calmly talk to him and get him in a better (mental) place," Detective Kevin Bretz said. "He was just able to sit down and talk to a guy like a guy."

Tell us how you really feel

Some people dislike smoking. And then there's this sign maker in Des Plaines.

According to a police report, a Des Plaines resident found an 8-by-10-inch cardboard sign propped up against a rock outside her home Monday reading "ROT IN HELL SMOKERS I HATE YOU" on one side and "SMOKERS SUCK SMOKERS SUCK YOU'RE DAY IS COMING" on the other.

We're not sure if the sign counts as a criminal offense. The grammar, on the other hand...

Lake sheriff adds leaders

The Lake County sheriff's office beefed up its leadership team in recent weeks with the hiring of a pair of longtime law enforcement executives for administrative posts.

Dave Hare, the former police chief in Round Lake Beach, was hired Monday as the office's chief of administration. He'll oversee court security, warrants, civil process, records, community services, training and judicial sales.

Roy Garcia was hired as the director of homeland security. The former Illinois State Police trooper and police chief in Sycamore also spent time with the Illinois Terrorism Task Force.

Eaton trial delay

The trial of James P. Eaton, the man charged in the 1997 disappearance and slaying of Palatine teen Amber Creek, has been postponed again. Eaton, 38, of Palatine, was arrested in 2014 after fingerprints and DNA linked him to the killing of Amber, who vanished in January 1997 after leaving a Chicago juvenile home where she had been living. Her body was found about two weeks later in a Wisconsin nature preserve.

Eaton had been scheduled to face trial Oct. 21 on charges of first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse. It's now set to begin Nov. 28.

• Got a tip? Have a question? Please email Charles Keeshan and Susan Sarkauskas at copsandcrime@dailyherald.com, or call our tip line at (847) 427-4483.

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