Tinley Park, IL. (ECWd) –
We have an update on a bizarre story out of Tinley Park, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago) where Christy Heins — the woman caught on video harassing a reporter and trying to stop her from filming interviews in a public building — has been busted lying to the police.
Documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act show that on 2/17/16, Heins lied to Tinley Park Police Detective Jose Vega about her strange actions on 2/16/16. This seems to be a typical tactic of those wishing to keep Truth hidden, file false police reports against reporters and citizens, similar to how the Orland Park Public Library acted a couple years ago.
After video footage of Heins harassing freelance reporter Megan Fox hit YouTube, it quickly racked up thousands of hits online as people were shocked by Heins’ bizarre behavior in public and her misinformed belief that she could prevent a reporter from filming interviews in a public building after a public board meeting. It should be obvious that no one has any such legal right to interfere with a news reporter’s personal liberty to cover stories she chooses and to film interviews as she desires in a public place. The freedom of the press is paramount in our country in order for the people to have a true right to petition our government for change and redress of grievances.
The Open Meetings Act guarantees the right for anyone at all to film during an open public meeting so that these proceedings forever remain transparent and subject to the public’s supervision and oversight. The United States Constitution and Bill of Rights guarantee the First Amendment Freedom of Speech for all citizens to film video in public places, such as the hallway outside a public meeting room in a public building in Tinley Park where a crowd of meeting attendees had gathered to discuss the events of the meeting and speak to reporters such as Fox. Illinois does not give anyone the right to demand to see a reporter’s press credentials.
The morning after the YouTube video of Christy Heins’ harassing actions was posted, she appears to have foolishly retaliated against Fox by making false claims to the Tinley Park Police Department. These included Heins telling the clear and obvious lie that Fox had become “irate” when Heins demanded Fox’s press credentials and tried to stop Fox from conducting interviews in the hallway after an open public meeting at Village Hall. The video below clearly shows that Heins’ statements to the police on 2/17/16 were false, since at no time did Fox become “irate” in the slightest:
As you can see for yourselves in the video, it was clearly Heins who was irate and disorderly.
Fox remained calm and professional at all times while Heins aggressively waved her hands, demanded that the camera be pointed at her, made strange faces and blew kisses at the camera, and at one point wildly clawed and scratched through her own hair while glaring at the camera with a vacant look in her eyes.
Heins’ false statements to Detective Vega are not supported by what was recorded in the video. You can compare/contrast what really happened to what Heins falsely recounted to Vega, as noted in his report from 2/17/16.
After speaking with Megan Fox about the harassment she had received from Christy Heins and watching the video that Fox filmed and posted to YouTube, Detective Vega wrote a report supporting the fact that Fox was the victim of harassment (listed as the offense of disorderly conduct at the top of the report) on 2/16/16 and that Heins was the aggressor who directed the harassment at Fox.
Detective Vega, the Reporting Officer (R/O) in the report, notes that: “R/O viewed the video and observed that Heins was the aggressor during the incident and was not being recorded prior to approaching Fox.” Detective Vega then provided a link to the YouTube video above.
According to the report, Fox informed Vega that she felt threatened by Heins and sought a restraining order against Heins because Fox feared that Heins would escalate her harassment at future board meetings. Both the Tinley Park Police and the Cook County Sheriff’s office have already cautioned Heins to not harass Fox further.
Fox has been filming a popular documentary series on the ongoing public corruption scandal in Tinley Park, where a zoning code appears to have been changed improperly to allow a developer from Ohio with a checkered past to slip a low income housing project into Tinley Park’s downtown “Legacy District” without the Village Board’s consent or approval. Full coverage of this scandal can be found here.
Heins identifies herself as the “Co-Adminstrator” of a closed and “secret” Facebook group called “Real Residents of Tinley Park,” which counts former Tinley Park Mayor Ed Zabrocki as one of its members. There is increasing suspicion and speculation amongst those following this story closely in Tinley Park that efforts such as Heins’ to intimidate and bully Fox and harass her away from this story are strategic in nature, since Village employees and holdovers from the old Zabrocki administration do not want full scrutiny of whatever happened behind the scenes that mysteriously allowed a $16million low income housing project with tax credits from IHDA to sail through without Village Trustees or the public knowing much about it.
Fox has been the only reporter consistently covering this story on an ongoing and in-depth basis, particularly the corruption angle as it applies to suspected and potential wrongdoing by Village employees in the Planning Department that appear to have been working in concert with the Ohio-based developer. Emails and other documents produced pursuant to FOIA requests thus far have been enough for the Village to call for an investigation by Sheriff Tom Dart’s office. That investigation is supposed to officially launch in a few weeks.
We will update as this story develops further.
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DavePosted at 09:42h, 06 March
How is it fascists get elected in Tinley Park… awful embarrassing if you ask me.
DavePosted at 09:57h, 06 March
It’ll be interesting to see if Ms Hein receives real punishment or gets a hand slap. Because last I knew lying to the police is against the law. A sure sign of corruption is when some people are above the law.
SafeLibrariesPosted at 10:02h, 06 March
Not only is Christy Heins filing false police reports against Megan Fox like the Orland Park Public Library did, but if I’m not mistaken, this Heins is friends with some of the people at the OPPL who filed the false reports. Further, the law firm that represents Tinley Park is the same law firm that represents OPPL, Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins, and I believe one of the KTJ lawyers himself also filed a false police report against Megan Fox in the OPPL matter. So it is possible that the advice, if any, to file false police reports in this TP matter is coming from KTJ.
DavePosted at 13:52h, 06 March
That tactic was designed to prove an angered response from the victim (Fox).
DavePosted at 16:28h, 06 March
Correction: That tactic was designed to PROVOKE an angered response from the victim (Fox). i should proof read my comments when holding a four year old that is holding a kitty while I’m typing…. LOL
Mom22Posted at 11:04h, 06 March
I almost feel sorry for Heins. She’s obviously a little off. I don’t understand why her friends arent’ telling her to chill. I know none of her neighbors have signs up supporting a transparent government, hence, COTP, so either they like our corrupt village or they are afraid of their crazy neighbor, Christy Heins. She’s leading the lambs to the slaughter. Wake up people!!!
GleekerPosted at 14:11h, 07 March
I wish this story would stop. I work with Mike. What Christy has been doing has been tough on him. People are laughing at him and its not fair he has to be laughed at because of his wife. Mike is a good guy. Can you please stop writing about all this and just let it be? I know what she did is wrong but Mike cn’t control his wife she is her own person.
Mom22Posted at 23:19h, 07 March
Gleeker, from the look on Mike’s face in the video, it was clear that he was embarrassed. My feeling is people are feeling sorry for him. I know I do. The way she fixed her hair during her rant was truly creepy. It was as if she was having an out-of-body experience. I truly believe she is unstable and needs professional help and prayers. I hope she gets both.
EgalitoPosted at 13:37h, 08 March
I think its time to put all emotions aside and address some hard facts. And also some sort of evaluation of what is reasonable before and what is not. The more residents know about what is happening here, the better because on the whole it seems Mrs Heins is indeed trying to sabotage and thwart efforts to uncover the truth about what the Village has been doing. I have reviewed the police report that Mrs Heins made on 2-17-2016 and it concerns me because she had no valid reason to go to the police that day and complain about Ms Fox. The police report completed by R/O Vega is hard to follow because it reads like ravings of a mad woman. Then on the next page, R/O Vega states that he reviewed the video to see that what Mrs Heins stated to him earlier in the day was not true. What concerns me about this is that we now find ourselves in a situation where Mrs Heins appears to have purposely gone to the police and made statements to the police that are not true. This occurred after Mrs Heins didn’t like that the video of her behavior on 2-16-2016 was posted. We then have a situation where Mrs Heins establishes herself as a person who gets upset and then makes up lies and crosses the line into telling lies to the police about someone she is upset with. This is not reasonable behavior for a woman in her forties. Going to the police and making up lies about someone you are upset with is a dangerous game that Mrs Heins is playing. It appears to me that Mrs Heins initiated everything that followed that led to her appearing before Judge Sayer on 3-01-2016. If not for filing that false police report and lying to R/O Vega it is doubtful she would have fond herself in front of Judge Sayer. If Mrs Heins or her husband Mr Heins are now upset or embarrassed then they only have Mrs Heins’s own actions to fault. It is my recommendation that Mrs Heins take some time away from the computer and perhaps seek a counselor to discuss her feelings with and learn new coping mechanisms for when she is feeling upset and aggressive.