Man takes Bridgeview fire vehicle for a ride
By Bob Bong
A Bridgeview Fire Department SUV was taken for a joyride last week by the
homeless man who askeda Bridgeview battalion chief for
assistance outside the fire station near 100thPlace
and Harlem Avenue.
“The man approached the chief and said he was hurting,” according to
Bridgeview Police Chief Ricardo Mancha. “The chief gave him an ice pack and
told the man to wait while he went inside the fire station to get a paramedic.
While he was inside, the man jumped into the SUV and took off.”
Thomas Wrobel, 52, who had several addresses including one in Oak Lawn,
was charged Friday with a bevy of crimes including one count of aggravated
possession of a stolen motor vehicle, one count of aggravated fleeing/eluding,
one count of aggravated assault to a police officer, one count of aggravated
revoked driver’s license, and one count of resisting arrest.
Police said the SUV started its trek about 11:05 a.m. July 25.
Burbank police spotted the SUV near 87thStreet
and Harlem. It was spotted again by Chicago police at 71stStreet
and Stony Island Avenue and then was chased up Lake Shore Drive though the Hyde
Park neighborhood before Chicago police finally forced the driver to stop about
1 p.m. near Monroe Avenue by surrounding the vehicle.
A Chicago police helicopter assisted in the chase by keeping tabs on the
Wrobel allegedly refused to open the door, so Chicago police broke the
driver’s side passenger window and removed him from the SUV.
He was not injured.
He appeared in bond court at 26thand
California Saturday morning and was ordered held without bond.
His next court date is scheduled for Aug. 29.
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