As 2013 winds down, we spotlight the mug shots connected with some of the crimes that had village residents talking throughout the year.
Kenneth Conley, 39, ended 2012 by escaping from a downtown Chicago correctional facility with his cellmate and sending authorities on a manhunt when he came to his mother's Tinley Park home.
But the convict, who had been serving time for bank robbery, started 2013 in cuffs when he was arrested by Palos Hills police Jan. 4, when they found him hiding out in an apartment basement in that community. Conley tried to disguise himself as an elderly man there, and a police lieutenant was injured and hospitalized during the arrest.
Conley pleaded guilty in October to one count of escape in federal court. In May, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the 2011 robbery of a Homewood bank.
Gary M. Swiercz, 49, and a former Chicago Ridge deputy fire chief, was arrested in January for attempted murder, home invasion, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated attempted criminal sexual assault and residential burglary after he allegedly attacked a Tinley Park woman in her home at knifepoint. He has pleaded not guilty.
While waiting for his court date, Swiercz moved from his Tinley Park condo, which was in the same building as the victim's residence, and moved in with his elderly parents in Worth. He is electronically monitored, and authorities do in-person house checks.
Swiercz was a a Chicago Ridge deputy fire chief, but he retired after the arrest.
Kamal M. Mashni, 55, was arrested in February and charged with four counts of felony theft and two counts of misdemeanor theft for allegedly buying stolen cigarettes, alcohol, baby formula, over-the-counter drugs and designer purses as part of a fencing ring run through Tinley Family Food and Liquor, 6800 W. 183rd St., where Mashni was the manager. The arrest came after a monthslong investigation of the convenience store by Tinley Park police and other local law enforcement agencies.
Bruce O. Welch Jr., 23, was arrested in April and charged with two counts of aggravated DUI/accidental death in connection with a 2011 an ATV crash that killed a 23-year-old Indiana woman. The victim was a passenger on a 4x4 Polaris Ranger that Welch, who was driving on private property in Crete, lost control, and the vehicle flipped, pinning the woman underneath.
Christopher Dyson, 18, of Markham, was arrested in March and charged with murder and armed robbery in connection with the fatal shooting of a 24-year-old Tinley Park man in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven at Oak Park Avenue and 167th Street.
Dyson responded to a Craigslist ad posted by the victim and met outside the store so Dyson could trade his iPhone for the victim's Playstation 3 and Playstation Vita. Dyson allegedly pulled a gun and shot the man in the chest, then fled the scene. He was taken into custody by police around 147th Street and Oak Park Avenue in Oak Forest after a 45-minute manhunt.
Michael Epley, 22, of Blue Island, was arrested in June and charged with aggravated driving under the influence of drugs and failure to stop after a crash involving injury or death in connection with the the fatal hit-and-run accident that killed a pedestrian who was visiting the village from India for a wedding.
Police report information is provided by the Tinley Park Police Department and other law enforcement agencies. Charges are not evidence of guilt. They are a record of police actions on a given day, and persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court. If you or a family member are charged or cited and the case is subsequently adjudicated, we encourage you to notify the editor. We will verify and report the outcome.