Another shooting incident involving an Oak Lawn Chuck E. Cheese patron has one Trustee renewing his call for a hearing on the revocation of the establishment’s license based on the safety and welfare of the public.
At about 9:00 p.m. Saturday night, a man with at least one juvenile passenger left the establishment in Oak Lawn and headed eastbound on 95th Street. According to police sources, another individual followed the man from Chuck E. Cheese along 95th Street and opened fire, shooting as man as 13 times and hitting the adult male in the face.
Evergreen Park Police Officers responded to a call of “shots fired” at Spaulding Avenue about five minutes after the men left Chuck E. Cheese. However, the suspect and victim had disappeared. Shell casings were found by the police who blocked the road.
A few minutes later, Advocate Christ Hospital reported that a 26 year old man was in the emergency room with a gun shot wound to his lip. Police investigators went to the hospital and the victim told them he “had just left Chuck E. Cheese’s” at 4031 W. 95th St. in Oak Lawn and was driving east on 95th when the suspect traveling in a black Jeep heading started shooting at him.
The news caught Oak Lawn village officials by surprise as some of the administration’s supporters immediately denied that the shooting was related to Chuck E. Cheese or even that the victim and suspect had been at the establishment.
However, the Evergreen Police Department has confirmed that the victim was at the Oak Lawn Chuck E. Cheese and was followed.
The longest serving Trustee in Oak Lawn, Robert Streit, has taken a leadership role in calling for a hearing on the license revocation for Chuck E. Cheese, to no avail thus far. Shortly after word broke on social media, Streit renewed his call for a hearing on the business license:
We have a special responsibility to ensure the safety of residents and to maintain OL’s reputation for being a safe place for children and families to dine and be entertained. Tragically, this has been a deteriorating situation for several years now culminating in this violent act. And, for whatever reason this administration has simply refused to take any real action preferring to form more committees. We have to be proactive in removing any business that attracts criminal elements and activity that endangers are citizens.
Chuck E. Cheese has been averaging forty 911 calls for police emergencies for the last five years and has over fifty this year alone. Streit has made several public calls, including a motion at the village board table, to hold a public hearing.
WBBM News Radio 78 has contacted village officials for comment. As of 5 p.m. on Sunday, only Streit had spoken publicly to the news media. Some administration members and supporters have communicated on social media claiming that action by the administration would result in the federal government charging the village with targeting the business for racial reasons. The same administration spokesmen also attempted to stop communication on the matter, removing posts from social media Saturday night and claiming that the events were not related to a customer leaving Chuck E. Cheese.
However, police radio scanners have confirmed the fact that the victim had just left Chuck E. Cheese and at least 13 shots were fired.
At two previous meetings, Streit has stated that while the company has complied with changes in security measures that were first proposed by former Trustee Tom Duhig, the problems have not gone away. “We need to face facts that after four years of a situation that has only deteriorated, and continues to get worse, we need to take hard action,” said Streit.
However, Trustees Terry Vorderer and Michael Carberry argued for not taking immediate action saying that revoking the business license would be heavy handed.