Joliet Man Publishes Book

After decades of being an addict, lying, stealing and drinking, Ralph Carey of Joliet has sobered up and straightened out his priorities. Carey also published a book about finding his feet and learning to stand on them. Carey self-published his book, Life’s Wisdom: Overcoming Addiction, through Amazon’s Createspace to help addicts find the hope that can only come from God. After everything Carey has experienced, Carey says it’s a miracle he can even form a thought.

I’d been robbed, I’d been pistol-whipped, I’d been stabbed at, and I lost everything I had five times. God pulled me from all that, Carey said. And now, through the grace of God, I bridged the gap with my children.

During Carey’s upbringing he and his family lived on Joliet’s East Side in a crime-infested neighborhood. His father was mostly absent and his mother often worked two or three jobs to help raise their family. Her work schedule often left Carey and his three younger siblings taking care of themselves.

Growing up, Carey said he was the mischievous punk always on the wrong side of the law. It was nothing to him to break into an old brewery on Collins Street through its coal chute and steal cases of sloe gin.

Carey’s father came back into the picture in the 1960′s. He often took his children to a racetrack where he was head of security. There he taught Carey how to disconnect the rubber mats that cars drove over to enter the racetrack. Each car that entered had to pay $1, but since the mat only registered a few entering, only that amount was counted at the end of the day. The extra cash was divided between Carey and the other lot attendants. Also, three card Monte players would sting newcomers and make away with a king’s ransom. Carey said everyone who stole at the race track paid his father at the end of the day. Carey’s cut often was $100. I never thought I was breaking the law. I was proud of it, Carey said, It gave me an identity.

After Carey graduated from high school in 1968, Carey entered the iron-workers union. There he earned good wages. At the age of 25, Carey was still drinking and began snorting cocaine on the weekends. Carey then got married and started a family. He lost everything, his job, family and his home, when he turned to crack cocaine. He stole and used the money for his habit.

With crack, you’re stuck in a basement in a crack house, Carey said. You’re not out being social or raising your family. Crack is a dungeon drug. Now your life is different. Everything you see becomes crack money.

Eventually, Carey was arrested for selling drugs. Carey served a few years in state prison and then spent time in federal prison. Carey did fine in prison. He knew how to operate inside and got along with everyone. He became clean of drugs and alcohol and even got into shape. It was later that they found a solid mass on Carey’s kidney. He had cancer. My thoughts were racing so fast I couldn’t grab onto them, Carey said.

Carey said he went to his cell and cried out to God and Jesus. By the time he went to surgery, the cancer had shrunk. Only a small piece of his kidney was removed. That’s when I knew god was real, Carey said.

Once Carey was out of prison he became a member of Harmony Holiness Church in Joliet. Pastor Willie Sills said Carey had backed away from the church long before he went to prison. But when Carey returned, Sills said he immediately knew Carey was a changed man.

Today, Carey resides in a condo on Joliet’s West Side, lives on his pension and goes where God leads. He has reconciled with his children and even babysits his grandchildren. God has blessed me, blessed me time after time, Carey said, and now I show his mercy to everyone I meet.

Teacher Charged with Sexual Abuse

Police announced on Thursday, January 29, the arrest of a former Wilmington High School social studies teacher and girls basketball coach, alleging he engaged in inappropriate activities with an underage student.

Jonathan D. Lewis Jr., 27, of Naperville was charged with four counts of criminal sexual abuse, four counts of child pornography and one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Bail was set $1 million, police said.  Wilmington police said they received information from an anonymous source concerning the matter. “The victim’s parents and the school district were notified immediately of the investigation,” police said.

Wilmington School District 209-U officials said they ordered on June 30- shortly after police notified the district- that Lewis have no contact with students. Superintendent Jay Plese said near the end of June he was approached by an officer outside school, who informed him an investigation may be starting into a teacher.

“I had no information at the time,” Plese said, adding the next day he told a teacher to contact school attorney Scott Nemanich if police started an investigation because he was leaving for vacation. Plese said the district’s no-contact order led to the girls basketball team canceling participation in an annual summer camp at Kankakee Community College.

On Aug. 6, as the district prepared paperwork for a possible suspension of Lewis, the district received a one-paragraph resignation letter from him. “I am resigning from my position as a high school social science teacher and girls’ varsity basketball coach,” Lewis stated in the letter, provided by the district. “I want to thank you and all of the administration for the incredible opportunity to be a part of the Wilmington school district. It was a great experience.”

Plese said the district didn’t know the name or grade level of the student involved.

Police said investigators determined Lewis committed numerous offenses between March and October 2014. Assisting in the investigation was the Will County High Tech Crimes Unit and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. An arrest warrant was issued January 27, police said. Wilmington police processed Lewis Thursday morning and he was taken to the Will County Jail in Joliet. “Due to information obtained during the investigation, Lewis’ passport has been revoked by the United States Department of State because it is believed that Lewis may try to flee the country to avoid prosecution,” police said in the news release.

Honeybee Killer

Lynwood police officer, Brian Dorian was arrested and charged in October 2010, accused in a shooting spree where a man shot to death a construction worker and injured another man near Beecher after asking them about honeybees.

A year after his release from jail, the police officer filed suit in 2011 seeking more than $1 million in damages. The suit claimed county officials “fabricated evidence and supplied slanderous and defamatory information to the press.” The county’s settlement was signed Jan. 5, documents show.

Dorian’s attorney, Gregory Kulis, said that his client, who still is a Lynwood police officer, is “very happy” to have this matter finally resolved. “Now he can go on with his life as a law enforcement officer and as a good family man,” Kulis said. “Brian wants to go on with his life and feels this, in some way, has given him the ability to move on from a very unfortunate situation.”

Investigators believe that the real killer, 48-year-old Amaya, was gunned down in December during a hold-up at a tanning salon in Orland Park. Ballistics tests showed the gun used in the robbery was the same gun used by the “honeybee killer.”

All charges against Dorian were later dropped after evidence showed he was on his computer at the time of the crimes and that neither he nor his truck matched descriptions given to police by witnesses.

Dorian was paid $126,500 as part of a settlement agreement with Will County, according to settlement documents.