May 28 police blotter

By on May 28, 2010

The following reports were obtained from local police departments. The individuals charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

• A side rear window of a pickup truck parked in front of a residence in the 1100 block of Berry Street in Elburn was shattered sometime between 7 p.m. May 16 and 5:40 a.m. May 17. Damage was estimated at $400.

• A chrome and purple Huffy bicycle was left for about a week in the bike rack at Town & Country Public Library in Elburn. The library turned the bicycle in on May 17 to the Elburn Police Department, 301 E. North St., where it was secured in bike storage.

Sugar Grove
• Justin A. Elfano, 19, of the first block of Augusta Court, Glendale Heights, Ill., was stopped by Sugar Grove police for traveling 73 mph in a 45 mph construction zone. Elfano was also charged with driving while his license was suspended and not having proof of insurance. Elfano was also found to have a failure-to-appear warrant out of Lombard.

• The owner of a home on the 100 block of Brompton Lane, Sugar Grove, reported on May 21 that numerous items had been stolen from the vacant home sometime in the past three weeks. Two ceiling light fixtures valued at $100 each, a ceiling fan valued at $150, a ladder valued at $25 and 10 sets of blinds valued at a total of $700 were reported missing.

• Sugar Grove police found a stone column and street sign damaged by a vehicle that left the road near Whitfield Avenue on Merrill Road May 11 near the Hannaford Farms subdivision. The vehicle had left the scene.

• Sugar Grove police arrested Matthew Longmire of the 500 block of East Altgeld St., Glendale Heights, Ill., for driving while his license was suspended on May 13. Longmire was stopped after he was observed driving around cones set up on the eastbound lane of Route 56 due to a bridge that was out on Route 56 at Golfview Drive. Longmire posted bond, and a court date for June 18 was scheduled.

• Victor M. Barrera-Algantar of the 500 block of Colorado St., Aurora, was taken into custody May 14 for driving without a driver’s license after Sugar Grove police stopped the truck he was driving due to debris blowing into the roadway. Barrera-Algantar was taken into custody, and was also found to have an outstanding warrant for deceptive practice through the Wheaton Police Department. He posted bond and has a June 16 court date.

• The parent of a Harter Middle School student reported to Sugar Grove police May 17 that their child’s iPod Nano with nearly 200 purchased songs, valued at $350, and a black sweatshirt valued at $20, was stolen from a locker that was left unlocked at the school three weeks prior.

• Someone stole an ELEMENT skateboard grindrail valued at $120 from a residence on the 300 block of Meadows Drive two- to three-weeks prior to the report on May 18.

Kane county
• A Wayne man was sentenced to probation and 180 days in jail on May 13 for a June 2009 drunken driving crash that killed a West Chicago man and seriously injured two others.

Onofrio J. Lorusso, 19, of the 4N block of Honey Hill Circle, Wayne, was given a sentence of three years probation and 180 days in the Kane County jail.

On March 31, Lorusso pleaded guilty to one count of reckless homicide, a Class 2 felony, and three counts of aggravated DUI, one a Class 2 felony and two counts Class 4 felonies. Circuit Judge Timothy Q. Sheldon accepted the plea.

Lorusso must serve 120 days in the Kane County jail this year, 30 days in 2011 and 30 days in 2012. However, the judge said that for every speech Lorusso gives on the dangers of drunken driving, his sentence will reduced by one day after 2010.

In addition, Lorusso must pay $30,061.42 in restitution to the family of the deceased.

Lorusso was given credit for time served in the Kane County jail, where he has been held since April 30, 2010.

• An Aurora man has been convicted of drunken driving in the death of a Batavia man who was killed while walking his dog on the sidewalk just after dawn.

Edward O. Cook, 25, of the 600 block of Galena Boulevard, Aurora, was convicted Friday by Associate Judge T. Jordan Gallagher of reckless homicide, a Class 3 felony, 15 counts of aggravated driving under the influence (five are Class 2 felonies and 10 are Class 4 felonies), one count of unlawful possession of a converted motor vehicle, a Class 2 felony, in the July 2009 death of 57-year-old David Long of Batavia.

Cook had waived his right to a jury trial.

At about 6:45 a.m. July 29, 2009, Long was walking his dog on the sidewalk in the 1000 block of Woodland Hills Road on Batavia’s southeast side when a 2003 white Acura driven by Cook left the roadway and struck and killed Long and the dog. Cook had been drinking and smoking marijuana the previous night and early into the morning at a residence in Aurora and later in DeKalb. After being given a ride to the residence of an acquaintance, Cook took the car without permission. A blood sample taken at least three hours after the crash revealed that Cook’s blood-alcohol concentration was .106, and he had marijuana and cocaine in his system.

Cook previously had had his driving privileges revoked for a 2008 aggravated DUI conviction, and he has never had a valid license to drive a motor vehicle.

Cook’s next court appearance was set for 1:30 p.m. July 23, for motions and sentencing. Cook faces a sentence of probation or between three and 14 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Cook remains in custody in the Kane County jail. He had been held on $750,000 bail since the crash. Bond was revoked upon conviction.

• An Aurora woman has been indicted for her role in a May 2009 crash on Route 47 in which two people were killed and several others were injured.

Alia N. Bernard, 20, of the 1500 block of West Galena Boulevard, Aurora, was indicted May 18 by a Kane County grand jury, on two counts of reckless homicide, each a Class 3 felony, and one count of driving under the influence, a Class A misdemeanor.

Bernard surrendered May 19 at the Kane County Sheriff’s Office, posted $5,000 bond and was released. Bernard was ordered to appear at 9 a.m. June 2 in Courtroom 217 in front of Associate Judge James C. Hallock.

According to the Kane County Sheriff’s Office, the crash occurred at about 8:20 a.m. May 23, 2009, at the intersection of Route 47 and Smith Road in Blackberry Township south of Elburn. A vehicle in the southbound lane on Route 47 had stopped to turn left onto Smith Road, waiting for several northbound motorcycles to pass. Two additional southbound vehicles had stopped behind it. A fourth southbound vehicle, a 1999 Toyota Solara driven by Bernard, approached and struck the third vehicle in the rear.

The collision created a chain reaction that ultimately pushed the first vehicle into the path of the oncoming motorcycles. A 2000 Harley-Davidson Softtail struck the first vehicle, and motorcycle’s driver, Wade Thomas, 44, of St. Charles, and the passenger, his wife, Denise Thomas, 45, also of St. Charles, were killed.

According to the indictment, Bernard was acting recklessly, performing acts likely to cause the death or great bodily harm to some individual in that she operated a motor vehicle while failing to keep a proper look out and thereby caused the deaths of Wade Thomas and Denise Thomas. The indictment further states that Bernard had cannabis in her system at the time of the crash.

Bernard was given a traffic citation at the time for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. However, that charge was dropped while authorities awaited the results of toxicology tests, which took several months to be returned, and while the Kane County Sheriff’s Office continued to investigate the case.

If convicted of the most serious charges, Bernard faces a sentence of probation or two to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

The charges against Bernard are not proof of guilt. Bernard is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.