by The Chicago Times Staff

June 3, 2021

ST. CHARLES, IL – Around 4:30 a.m. on the Tri-State Tollway a semi-trailer carrying fireworks rolled over and caught fire closing northbound lanes and causing major delays for morning commuters.  The rollover occurred near St. Charles Road, blocking the Eisenhower Expressway and North Avenue to traffic.  The truck driver was able to narrowly escape before the truck caught fire.  Multiple fire departments were called to put out the fire.


by The Chicago Times Staff

June 4, 2021

PEARL HARBOR — Nearly 80 years after the Imperial Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor a St. Charles sailor’s remains have been identified as Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class Leslie P. Delles.

Delles was served abord the USS Oklahoma, which was docked at Ford Island on December 7, 1941, when the battleship was attacked by Japanese aircraft.  The ship capsized after being hit by multiple torpedoes.  Delles, 21, was one among the 429 crewmembers aboard who perished.

From 1941 to June 1944, the crew’s remains were interred in Hawaii’s Halawa and Nu’uanu cemeteries.

At the end of WWII, the American Graves Registration Service exhumed remains of the fallen US servicemen from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks, where medical examiners attempted to identify the deceased servicemen.

Only 35 personnel from the USS Oklahoma were first identified.  The unidentified remains were later interred in 46 sites at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, Hawaii.  In October 1949, a military board ruled that individuals who could not be recognized were unrecoverable, including Delles.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency then disinterred the unknown remains of USS Oklahoma servicemen in 2015 for study.  Delles was discovered on February 12 through DNA testing and anthropological study.

According to the DPAA, a rosette will be placed next to Delles’ name on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl to indicate he has been found.

According to a 1940 Chicago newspaper article given by the DPAA, Delles enlisted in the Navy at the age of 19 with his twin brother, Lester Delles.  The brothers enlisted to acquire a new trade, according to the newspaper at the time; Leslie wanted to be an electrician, while Lester wanted to study aviation mechanics.  Lester survived

Leslie Delles will be laid to rest on October 23 in Sutter, California.

The Imperial Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor killed 2,403 Americans and wounded 1,178.


DuPage County State’s Attorney

June 1, 2021

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and Illinois State Police Captain Dan Likens announced that bond was set for a Schaumburg man charged with shooting at a moving vehicle while traveling on an expressway in Itasca. Micaro Masri, 26 (d.o.b. 11-2-1994) of the 2300 block of Discovery Drive, appeared in Bond Court on May 30, 2021, where Judge James Orel set bond at $250,000 with 10% to apply in accordance with a previously issued arrest warrant which was issued on May 13, 2021. Masri has been charged with one count of Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm, a Class 1 Felony.

At approximately 2:07 a.m., August 24, 2020, 9-1-1 emergency received a call from an individual who alleged that while driving on I-290 westbound near Thorndale Road in Itasca, a vehicle, later determined to be a Nissan Altima, drove very close to his car and flashed its lights. The 9-1-1 caller further alleged that the Nissan then pulled alongside his car, rolled down his window and fired a shot at the car. An extensive investigation led by the Illinois State Police led authorities to Masri as the man suspected in the shooting. On May 30, 2021, officers with the Schaumburg Police Department located Masri at his home. Masri was interviewed at the Schaumburg Police Department and was subsequently arrested following the interview. 

“In recent months we have seen an alarming increase in the number of highway shootings,” Berlin said. “Shooting from a moving vehicle at another moving vehicle, as alleged in this case, puts not only the victim in danger but also any other motorist who may be on the road at that time. Make no mistake, the type of dangerous behavior alleged in this case will be met with the full force of the law. I commend the Illinois State Police for the work they did on this case resulting in charges against Mr. Masri. I would like to thank the Schaumburg Police Department for their fine work in locating Mr. Masri. I would also like to thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Anthony Pasquini and Connor Greene for their efforts in bringing charges against this defendant.” 

“The Illinois State Police – Division of Criminal Investigation takes this and all types of criminal activity very seriously,” stated Likens. “The Division of Criminal Investigations will continue to thoroughly investigate any and all allegations to assist with bringing those who attempt to harm those we serve to justice,” he concluded.

Masri’s next court appearance is scheduled for June 28, 2021, for arraignment in front of Judge Alex McGimpsey. In addition to his monetary bond, Judge Orel also ordered additional conditions should Masri make bond including electronic home monitoring, no contact with the victims and relinquishing any dangerous weapons in his possession.   

Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendant’s guilt.  A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

DuPage County State’s Attorney


by James R. Scott, The Chicago Times

June 3, 2021

CHICAGO — Michael Williams, 30, is charged with attempted murder, aggravated violence, and felony gun possession for the shooting of his toddler and ex-girlfriend Tuesday night, which occurred after Williams persistently contacted and texted his 30-year-old ex.  The former couple had three children, including a 20-month-old boy who was being held by Williams’ ex-girlfriend.

Chicago Police said a POD camera captured Williams walking into the gangway of the woman’s building around 11:45 p.m.  According to CPD, the victim heard pounding on her kitchen door and spotted Williams standing outside.

CPD said Williams fired multiple shots into the apartment after breaking the glass window on the door with his hands.  Williams’ ex-girlfriend was grazed on the finger and the back.  The 20-month-old was wounded in the legs several times.  CPD sources said the child was still recovering in a local hospital.

Williams was pulled over early Wednesday in the 7200 block of North Sheridan.  When he was captured, he was bleeding from a cut hand, and blood was matched to the broken glass of the victims’ kitchen window.  CPD said a .40-caliber handgun was also found in Williams’ possession.   Under interrogation, Williams confessed to detectives that he fired at the two victims.

In 2011, Williams was sentenced to a year of conditional discharge endangering the life of another child he had with the current female victim.  Williams, a father of four, is a general laborer for Midwest Cannabis Corp.

Williams was ordered jailed without bail by Judge Mary Marubio on Thursday and is scheduled to appear in court again on June 11.


T. C. Mayfield, The Chicago Times

June 3, 2021

SKOKIE, IL — Skokie police are looking into a daring theft that occurred around 11:10 a.m. Tuesday morning.  Four female suspects allegedly stormed into the Nordstrom at Westfield Old Orchard mall and took entire racks of merchandise, stealing more than $10,000 in high-end bags, scarves, and socks.  One of the robbers allegedly threatened a guard with a bolt cutter, according to police.

According to Skokie Police, all of the suspects appear to be in their early twenties.  Numerous male suspects assisted in the store’s parking lot.  In connection with the incident, authorities are looking for a purple Pontiac Bonneville with Illinois license plates.

If you have any information, please contact Skokie Police at 847-982-5900.  The Skokie Crime Tip Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 847-933-TIPS.  Text “Skokie” and the information to 847411 if you have a tip.


DuPage County State’s Attorney

May 30, 2021

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin, Wood Dale Chief of Police Greg Vesta and Illinois State Police Director Brendan F. Kelly announced today that bond has been set for a Des Plaines man accused of multiple weapons and drug charges following a high-speed pursuit last Thursday night. Nicholas Valentino, 33 (d.o.b. 11/17/1987) of the 8000 block of N. Western Avenue, appeared at a bond hearing this morning where Judge James Orel set bond at $5 million full cash. Judge Orel also granted the State’s motion for a proof-of-funds hearing for Valentino which will require Valentino to prove that any funds used to post bond was not gotten from illegal means, should he make bond. Valentino has been charged with one count of Unlawful Possession of Cannabis with Intent to Deliver (Class X Felony), one count of Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver (Class X Felony), two counts of Armed Violence (Class X Felony) two counts of Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm (Class 1 Felony) and Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon (Class 4 Felony).

During the evening of May 27, 2021, Officers with the DuPage County Metropolitan Enforcement Group (DuMeg) were conducting surveillance at a warehouse suspected in drug activity in Wood Dale.  While conducting surveillance agents observed a van and a Volkswagen leave the warehouse. It is alleged that Valentino was driving the Volkswagen. Agents continued surveillance on the vehicles into the city of Chicago before terminating surveillance. As the agents returned from Chicago, agents again saw the van and began surveillance. Agents attempted to stop the van but it did not stop. Agents continued to follow the van. While on a residential street in Wood Dale, the van flashed its headlights and then came to an abrupt stop at which time agents observed an individual, later identified as Valentino, on the street allegedly pointing a gun at them. It is alleged that Valentino fired two shots at the agents’ car. The agents reversed their car and were not hit by the gunfire. It is alleged that after firing at the agents, Valentino entered the same Volkswagen the agents conducted surveillance on earlier and fled the scene at a high rate of speed along with the van. It is alleged that prior to the shooting, the Volkswagen had stopped to set up an ambush of the Agents. Agents began pursuit of the two vehicles through residential areas of Wood Dale and eventually onto Route 83 where the two vehicles went in separate directions. Agents followed the Volkswagen. A short time later, the Volkswagen was involved in a vehicle crash with a Bensenville squad car and an unmarked DuMeg squad car.  It is alleged that Valentino was the driver and only occupant of the Volkswagen. He was taken into custody at this time. It is alleged that in the center console of the Volkswagen officers located a full magazine for an AR-15 assault rifle and two cell phones. Officers with the Wood Dale Police Department processed the scene of the shooting and recovered two discharged .223 caliber assault rifle shell casings as well as one live .223 round, the same type of ammunition allegedly recovered from the magazine in the Volkswagen driven by the Valentino.  After the pursuit an AR-15 style assault rifle with no magazine and one round jammed in the chamber was found in Bensenville on a residential street allegedly along Valentino’s path of travel. The following day, a search warrant was executed at the Wood Dale warehouse where authorities allegedly found approximately forty pallets of vacuum-sealed cannabis totaling approximately 7,688 pounds, approximately 406 pounds of cannabis edibles, 6,891 THC cartridges and more than 700 grams psilocybin mushroom bars. The estimated street value of the cannabis recovered in the warehouse is approximately $22,000,000. Authorities also recovered more than $107,000, an AK-47 and 9 mm ammunition.

“The allegations against Mr. Valentino are completely outrageous,” Berlin said. “While recreational marijuana is legal in Illinois, the allegations that Mr. Valentino was in possession of such large quantities of marijuana underscores the fact that there is a thriving illegal black market that demands the attention of law enforcement. I cannot say enough about the efforts of the DuMeg agents involved in the apprehension of Mr. Valentino. With a watchful eye, they were able to pick up surveillance on a vehicle they had followed earlier that day and even after allegedly being shot at by the defendant, they continued pursuit which resulted in the apprehension of the defendant. This case is another reminder of the extreme danger officers face day in and day out as they protect the public. I commend those agents for their courage and dedication to their profession. I would like to thank the Illinois State Police as well as the Wood Dale Police and Bensenville Police Departments for their outstanding efforts that led to the apprehension of the defendant in this case. I would also like to thank Assistant State’ Attorneys Demetri Demopoulos and Matthew Dambach for their efforts the past several day in preparing a strong case against Mr. Valentino.”

“The Illinois State Police is proud of the cooperative efforts of all our partners in law enforcement as they worked this case,” ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly said. “The importance of these partnerships through DuMEG and similar units across the state, along with the exemplary work of the men and women in the ISP, cannot be overstated as they take violent drug dealers off of our streets.”

 “Thankfully, the agents and residents of our community were not injured during this encounter. I commend the officers involved for their dedication to apprehend the offender despite the immediate danger to themselves,” Vesta said. “I am grateful for the tireless efforts of our officers and the success of our partnerships with other agencies and the State’s Attorney’s office to bring this case to prosecution.”

Valentino’s next court date is scheduled for June 28, 2021 for arraignment in front of Judge Ann Celine O’Hallaren Walsh.     

Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendants’ guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

DuPage County State’s Attorney