A 50-year-old Oak Forest woman accused of ramming two Mokena squad cars and nearly hitting two police officers while fleeing into Orland Park and Tinley Park has been charged with three felonies in Will County and DUI/drugs in DeKalb County, where she was apprehended by Illinois State Police.
Linda A. Venturella of the 14800 block of Landings Lane was found in a vehicle parked across the southbound lanes of LaGrange Road near LaPorte Road when officers responded to a call at 9:45 p.m. on June 12 about a reckless driver, said Mokena Police Chief Steve Vaccaro.
Venturella initially refused to provide any identification, but briefly relented and pushed her driver's license through a narrow opening in her side window before heading northbound on LaGrange Road, Vaccaro said. She made it two miles north -- running at least two red lights -- before becoming mired in Interstate 80-related traffic at 190th Street, he said. When officers attempted to box her in, she rammed their vehicles, Vaccaro said.
A Frankfort officer and Mokena officer who pursued her an additional five miles north to 159th were nearly hit by her vehicle when they got out of their squads, the chief said.
A Tinley Park officer, aware of the chase, spotted her vehicle on 159th Street, approximately three miles east of LaGrange Road. Even after he activated his siren and emergency lights, she "continued driving 40 mph and went through a red light at the intersection of 159th and Park Lane," according to the officer's report.
Police called off the active chase as Venturella entered a residential area, but continued to try to keep tabs on her location. Vaccaro said Illinois State Police apprehended her near Rochelle, disabling her tires with "stop sticks."
DeKalb Circuit Court records show she is scheduled to appear July 3 for a status hearing on a charge of DUI/drugs.
Will County Circuit Court records show she is scheduled to appear July 7 on felony charges of aggravated fleeing, aggravated assault with a motor vehicle and two counts of criminal damage to government property.
Venturella is also charged in Will County with 13 traffic violations, including reckless driving, failure to reduce speed to avoid a collision and hit-and-run.
Tinley Park traffic charges are pending.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun