Oak Lawn Police Chief Dan Vittorio (second from left) congratulates members of the police department who received promotions and were officially sworn in at the village board meeting Tuesday. They are (from left) Cmdr. Edward Clancy, Sgt. Finbarr Haran and Lt. Michael Hudziak. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn Police Chief Dan Vittorio (second from left) congratulates members of the police department who received promotions and were officially sworn in at the village board meeting Tuesday. They are (from left) Cmdr. Edward Clancy, Sgt. Finbarr Haran and Lt. Michael Hudziak. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn officials praise police after arrest

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3 officers promoted at meeting

By Joe Boyle

Oak Lawn officials applauded the efforts of the village police department after an arrest took place following an alleged road rage incident.

The incident took place on May 10 when two drivers got into a verbal altercation while driving southbound near 105th and Cicero, according to police. After the two drivers pulled over, near 107th and Cicero, one of them walked toward the other and fired shots, hitting the victim twice, reports state.

Police were nearby and quickly were in pursuit of the shooter. Oak Lawn and Alsip police continued pursuing the vehicle onto I-294 but gave up the chase when the driver was reportedly going over 100 miles per hour. Meanwhile, the victim was hospitalized at Advocate Christ Medical Center and is recovering from his injuries.

But while the shooter initially eluded officers, Oak Lawn officials were pleased to report that local police detectives and U.S. Customs agents arrested a Chicago man on May 15 at O’Hare Airport and charged him with the shooting.

Village Manager Tom Phelan said the Oak Lawn police worked diligently to make an arrest after this incident.

“Our thanks go out to the police department,” Phelan said during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting Tuesday morning. “Even the media, and I don’t want to make this the way it sounds, but they reported on the incident. The media was thankful and told us so. You would think that everyone would thank the police. It is unfathomable what is happening in Chicago. We want to send the message that this will not be tolerated in Oak Lawn.”

Trustee Ralph Soch (6th), whose district the shooting incident took place, was appreciative of the efforts of the police.

“I want to thank the police for making the arrest,” Soch said. “I want to thank the chief (Dan Vittorio) and the police department for their hard work.”

In a related matter, Vittorio wanted to announce a series of promotions within the department. Lt. Edward Clancy has been appointed as commander. Michael Hudziak was sworn in as the new lieutenant. Finbarr Haran was sworn in as the new sergeant.

A larger than usual crowd attended the meeting to witness the appointments. Relatives and friends were also on hand.

“We want to thank all those who have been promoted and the police department,” said Trustee Alex Olejniczak (2nd). “We want to give them the tools so they can do their jobs. Our police officers will find and prosecute those who commit crimes.”

The board approved several items that were placed on the consent agenda. However, one trustee had questions about a proposal to open a massage business in the village.

Trustee Tim Desmond (1st) wondered why this particular massage center was given consideration over others. He pointed out that when Massage Envy opened in the village, it was because the business offered a variety of services besides massages.

Desmond said that there had been some issues with massage businesses in other communities in which services extended beyond massages and resulted in arrests.

Owner Ziaohui Yang, with the assistance of an interpreter, said her business, 4701 W. 95th St., will concentrate on just giving massages for back pain and other ailments. She owns another business in Chicago and has another location in Tinley Park, near 171st and Harlem.

Yang said the business will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. She will have two employees on staff.

After some discussion, the board approved the massage parlor by a 4-2 margin. Desmond and Olejniczak voted against the business.

“We are very concerned about the massage business,” said Trustee William “Bud” Stalker (5th). “Good luck but the business will be watched very closely.”

Mayor Terry Vorderer also wished the owner the best but added that they will be under observation.

“We want a legitimate business,” Vorderer said. “I will instruct the police to keep an eye on your business.”

The Memorial Day observance will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, May 30, at the Veterans Monument at the Village Green. Vorderer encourages everyone to attend.

“When you look at Ukraine, you can see the real importance of recognizing this,” the mayor said.

In other news, the annual Blue Ribbon Walk will take place on Saturday, June 4, at Lake Shore Park. Participants are expected to gather at about 10 a.m. with the walk starting at 11 a.m. The walk is held each year to salute the efforts of not only the Oak Lawn Police Department but police across the country.

Early voting will begin Monday, June 13, in the Village Hall auditorium, 9446 S. Raymond Ave. Early voting will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Early voting will continue from June 20 through June 27. Those hours will be from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The final Monday, June 27, early voting will be held from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Gubernatorial Primary Election will take place Tuesday, June 28.

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