An anonymous tip of a woman asking by-passers if she could buy drugs alerted the Oak Lawn police to the 4100 block of 98th Street.
The police arrived on August 18th shortly after 4 p.m. and saw a woman that matched the description given by the caller. The woman denied that she was buying drugs and told the police she was visiting a friend even providing the unit number.
The woman gave the police a name but they couldn’t find a match for such a woman in the state database. The woman told the officer she was going inside to get her shoes from the apartment.
Eventually, the police alleged that they found the name of the woman but it was attached to the alias she had provided. She was identified as Denise Welch, who was wanted on a warrant for possession of a controlled substance. The address for Welch in the system was the one she had said was her friend’s unit.
The police proceeded to the unit number provided by Welch and knocked on the door and identified themselves as the Oak Lawn police. The police officers claim that they could hear noise, including a male voice inside the apartment along with Welch’s voice.
The police alleged that they told Welch that there was a warrant for her arrest and that she had to come out of the unit. The police claim that the man and Welch were arguing over the idea of complying with the command and opening the door.
The man, who was later identified as Joseph Bizzieri, allegedly said that he was “freaking out” and knew that he was going to jail. The officers told Bizzieri that he would indeed be going to jail if he refused to open the door. Nonetheless, Bizzieri allegedly refused to open the door.
An Oak Lawn police sergeant was called to the scene in the hope of coaxing the pair to open the door. Despite the sergeant’s attempts, Bizzieri said he wanted a copy of the warrant placed under the door. Bizzieri also allegedly said he didn’t want to go to jail and he didn’t want to be “tased”. The sergeant informed the pair that the door would be opened forcefully by the police if necessary.
A ram was used to force the door open, which was being blocked by a chair. The officers claim that they entered the unit to find Bizzieri standing in the hallway with his arms up to surrender. Bizzieri was handcuffed and taken into custody.
Welch was sitting in the living room with another woman, Rachel Nunez. Both were handcuffed and taken into custody. Both Welch and Nunez allegedly blamed Bizzieri for not opening the door. Each claimed that they wanted to open the door but Bizzieri would not agree.
The police claimed that the unit was in unsanitary conditions with garbage on the floor and insects flying around. The health department was contacted but did not come to the unit at that time. Welch had a bond forfeiture warrant, with no bail, that had been issued for the possession of controlled substance. Bizzieri and Nunez were each charged with one count of obstructing a police officer, given I-bonds and released.
Welch is a 52 year old white female with an Oak Lawn address. Bizzieri is a 40 year old white male with a Palos Hills address. Nunez is a 53 year old Hispanic female with a different Oak Lawn address. Welch is currently in custody at the time of our deadline. Her next court date is September 12, 2018.