Joshua J. Kemper was charged with felony fleeing and eluding police, two counts of felony DUI, resisting arrest and 14 traffic violations.
A Riverside police officer was injured after busting through a passenger car window with a baton in an attempt to get a drunk driver to stop reversing through a Walgreens parking lot in Berwyn.
Joshua J. Kemper, of Lyons, was ordered held on $150,000 bond in a Monday hearing, Riverside police said. He was charged with felony fleeing and eluding police, two counts of felony DUI, resisting arrest and 14 traffic violations.
Kemper previously caused a disturbance at a bar in Stone Park and is also wanted on an active warrant issued by the Cook County Sheriff’s police for a prior DUI arrest, police said.
About 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 24, Riverside Police saw a gray Cadillac run the red light at 26th and Des Plaines, almost striking a police vehicle that was parked waiting for the light to turn green. When the officer attempted to stop the Cadillac, it did a U-turn and fled north on Des Plaines, according to a release from Riverside police. The officer turned off his lights and followed the vehicle until it pulled into a Walgreens parking lot at Ogden and Oak Park in Berwyn. Once the driver saw the police, he put the car in reverse and began to back up in an attempt to escape out of the parking lot. Police ordered the driver to stop but he refused, according to the release.
The driver kept driving in reverse in the parking lot, putting several shoppers in danger of being hit, police said. The arresting officer then struck the passenger side window with this baton four times, breaking out the window to get into the car through the passenger side door. As the officer entered the car, he ordered the driver to stop, but instead the man, Joshua J. Kemper, of Lyons, attempted to drive away with the officer inside his vehicle.
Kemper and the officer began fighting inside the car. After several minutes of fighting with the driver, Kemper was taken into custody by force. The officer received minor injuries, as did the driver. Kemper was transported to Mac Neal Hospital in Berwyn for his injuries and released back into police custody later that same night. Riverside Police officers received assistance from several area police departments.
Police learned through follow-up investigation that Kemper was involved in a disturbance in a Stone Park bar prior to his contact with Riverside officers.
“I am extremely proud of the work done by my personnel in this incident,” Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel said. “The officer acted properly in turning off his lights and following the offender until he came to a stop in the Walgreens parking lot. Mr. Kemper was driving on a suspended license for a prior DUI conviction and should never have been behind the wheel of a vehicle in the first place. The outcome could have been much worse for the driving public on Christmas Eve if not for the desire of Riverside officers to remove impaired drivers from our roadways.”