Police: Motorist destroys turf, endangers pedestrians

A Wilmette man has been charged with reckless driving after a July 9 driving incident that allegedly included tearing up some park district turf and almost hitting members of a family driving up an alley.

Police also charged Christopher Morris, 18, of 233 Catalpa Place, with driving on the sidewalk, possessing less than 2.5 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. In addition, they issued Morris a local ordinance ticket for criminal damage to property.

The incident began shortly before 8 p.m. on July 9, when a resident called police and reported seeing a dark blue Volvo station wagon driving on Community Playfield, which lies between Highcrest Middle School and Wilmette Junior High School in west-central Wilmete.

Police officers responding to the area spotted areas in the park where the turf had been damaged, but couldn’t find a vehicle. However, an officer searching the area spotted a car matching the witness’s description driving east on Lake Avenue.

Police reported that the driver turned south off Lake into an alley on the 800 block of Harvard, driving fast and narrowly missing a man and his three young children who were in the alley at the time.

Officers finally stopped Morris in the alley and arrested him. At that point, they reported that they found he was carrying a small bag of marijuana and a smoking pipe.

Morris was released on bond, and his car was towed. The initial report didn’t say when his next court date will be. Nor was there any word on the cost of the damage to park turf.

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