Sergeant Morad Haleem
Detective Kevin Rasmussen
Detective Shadi Sweiss
Detective Jerad Tim
Detective Kathryn Ritter
On August 14th, 2022, at approximately 5:00 A.M., several individuals were involved in a physical altercation in the middle of the roadway at 7041 S Jeffery Blvd. A vehicle traveling southbound on Jeffrey at a very high rate of speed, struck four individuals. Three of those victims were transported to University of Chicago Medical Center, where all three were pronounced. A fourth victim was transported to Stroger Hospital where he was treated for serious injuries. This incident was captured on a nearby Chicago POD camera as well as numerous private sources obtained by Area One ATC. After viewing the POD footage, our awardees were able to see that the vehicle never slowed down and appeared to be steering towards the group in the street. After violently striking the group, sending three of the victims airborne, the driver never stopped and fled the scene in his badly damaged vehicle.
It quickly became apparent that this was an intentional act. A 911 caller supplied a license plate number from a plate that was left at the scene of the crash. A second 911 caller contacted police when she discovered a badly damaged vehicle parked near her house and had learned from the news that a fatal crash had taken place nearby. That vehicle was found to match the license plate given found near the scene earlier. The vehicle was recovered and after securing the proper search warrants, the vehicle was processed for forensic evidence.
Part of this recovered evidence was the Airbag Control Module. Data obtained from this module showed that the gas pedal was depressed 99% throughout the event and that the car was gaining speed in the seconds leading to the crash. It was learned that at the time of impact, the vehicle was traveling 59 miles per hour.
Our awardees located the registered owner of the vehicle and gleaned from the owner who had been in possession of the vehicle at the time of the crash.
The search then began for this subject. A citizen came forward and arranged an interview with a woman who claimed to have knowledge of the incident. That witness agreed to speak with our awardees and related that she was an ex-girlfriend of the suspect. The person she named was the same person that the owner of the vehicle stated was using his car. This witness related that the offender confessed to her about him striking the victims with the car, and asked her to be his alibi, to which she refused.
As Area One ATC continued to process video evidence, it was learned from recovered video that after the suspect had abandoned his vehicle, he sought assistance from a friend that lived nearby. Our awardees were able to determine who this friend was based recovered video and audio. Our awardees interviewed this circumstantial witness and learned that the offender lied about the circumstances surrounding the crash and convinced the friend to drive him to his ex-girlfriend’s house.
This witness later learned the true circumstances and severity surrounding the incident from news stories. This witness related to our awardees that he attempted to convince the offender to turn himself in. Aware that he was being sought, the offender obtained an attorney who contacted Detectives on his behalf and arranged for his surrender. On August 22nd, 2022, the offender turned himself in at Area One and he was taken into custody. The evidence of the case was presented to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Felony Review office. After consideration, three counts of First-Degree Murder and one count of Attempt First Degree Murder were approved.
Thanks to our awardees’ efforts, a particularly senseless and brutal triple murder was solved, and the offender arrested and charged. It is an honor to name them our Officers of the Month.
Officer Ernesto Amparan
On March 4, 2022, at 3:30am, our awardee, Police Officer Ernesto Amparan, was on his way home in an undercover vehicle from his shift and was stopped at a red light at Congress and Independence. He heard multiple shots and saw an individual running at full speed. Our awardee turned on his radio and heard the call of a 10-1, officer shot. Officer Amparan notified the dispatcher of an individual fleeing the scene on foot and informed him that he was following him in my covert while giving dispatch directions. This subject observed Chicago Police units starting to converge on his location where he then jumped over a fence near an elementary school. Our awardee notified OEMC of his last location and established a perimeter around the area. K9 responded and the offender was taken into custody in the 200 block of South Pulaski Rd. The weapon used by the offender was recovered in the same lot that the offender was hiding. It was also discovered that the offender had narcotics in his possession. A show-up was done where our awardee positively identified the individual running from the scene of the shooting.
At the conclusion of the investigation, detectives were successful in charging the offender in this incident with two counts of attempted murder, one felony count of possession of a controlled substance and a misdemeanor count of possession of cannabis.
He is presently in custody in Cook County Jail and is awaiting trial. It was learned that this offender was out on $30,000 bail after having been arrested and charged with a Home Invasion in Leesburg FL in 2018. His accomplice was shot in an exchange of gunfire with sheriff’s deputies in that incident.
Thanks to our awardees’ quick and decisive actions, even while he was off duty, he was instrumental in taking a dangerous and violent offender off the streets.