Police: Man Flees Accident Scene and Takes Pantless Nap in Garbage-Filled Apartment

Officers arrested a Steger man late last week. They said they found him sleeping in a Tinley Park apartment that didn't belong to him. The place was later deemed uninhabitable by a building inspector.

After an out-of-towner reportedly drove off the road near Harlem Avenue and 179th Street last week, police found him sleeping with his pants around his ankles in a filthy  apartment that didn't belong to him, they said.

Clay Carter, 24, of the 100 block of Valleywood Drive in Steger, was arrested around 5:45 a.m. Thursday. 

He was allegedly tied to an earlier 3:25 a.m. accident in which a witness said his vehicle left Harlem Avenue and struck a sign and a fence. Carter reportedly fled on foot toward the 17300 block of 70th Avenue, where officers got a call that someone was trying to break into an apartment.

When they got to the building, they found Carter's belongings — his driver's license, a hoodie and bulky winter coat — as well as several items that didn't belong to him, like a cell phone and garage door opener, scattered about the hallways, the report said. 

The resident who called the cops confirmed that the photo on Carter's ID matched the person trying to get into his place, according to .

The victim told officers he believed Carter went to a third-floor unit after he wasn't able to break into his apartment. Residents on that floor said they hadn't seen Carter but noted that one of the apartment units is most often vacant. 

The trail of Carter's belongings continued, as a black hat and hair pick were found outside of the potentially unoccupied apartment, according to the report. 

After police didn't get an answer at the door and were told by neighbors that the resident hadn't been seen in months, they called for back-up. They entered the "very dirty" apartment that reportedly had "garbage all over the place," and found Carter sleeping in one of the rooms with his pants down, according to the report.

"After several minutes, we were able to wake the subject up," they said. " … We asked Carter if he lived in the apartment and he said, 'No, I don't even know where I'm at.'"

Carter was highly intoxicated, police said. 

"We took (him) out of the bedroom and into the kitchen because the bedroom we located him in had several feet of garbage in it," the report said.

A tenant of the apartment was contacted and told police he had not been there in several months. He didn't want to sign complaints against Carter. A building inspector was soon called to the scene. He deemed the unit uninhabitable.

Carter was found with an active warrant out of the Cook County Sheriff's Office. Police said they believed he broke into a car and stole the garage door opener and cell phone that were with his belongings. He told them they belonged to "a passenger who was in the car" during the crash, though he didn't remember the accident, the report said.

He was charged with driving on a suspended license, leaving the scene of an accident and criminal trespassing to a motor vehicle.

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