Southtown Star: Orland Hills verbal altercation results in arrest, claim of beating

A heated argument among neighbors, involving 20 people, in Orland Hills on Saturday night ended in the arrest of a 46-year-old mother and her teenage son.

Sabah Shelby, 9208 W. 169th St., Orland Hills, was charged with battery and obstructing police after she hit a police officer, police said. Shelby disputed that claim and said she was the one beaten when police were arresting her 17-year-old son.

Deputy Chief Michael Blaha said police were called to the 9200 block of 169th Street at 11:20 p.m. because of a dispute among neighbors. Four Orland Hills police officers and three Orland Park officers responded to the scene, police said.

“How it escalated, it’s anyone’s guess,” Blaha said, adding that no one was physically assaulted during the dispute.

Shelby, a Palestine native and widowed mother of four children, said police also arrested her son, Ramsey, who got into an argument with friends of her neighbors across the street who were having a party.

She said she does not know the charges against her son. Police refused to release any information, including whether he was charged, citing his juvenile status.

Shelby said Tuesday that she was talking with Ramsey while police pushed him up against the front of her house, and a police officer grabbed her hair and threw her into a pile of rocks before repeatedly punching her.

“One second I’m talking to my son, and I feel someone huge like a lion or an elephant grab me by the back and throw me down, hitting me, hitting me, hitting me,” Shelby said, showing off bruises and cuts she said came from the attack.

She believes she was roughed up because she is Muslim, though she was unable to provide any specific comments or actions that led her to that conclusion.

She contacted the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Chicago, which is a Muslim civil rights and advocacy group. CAIR is investigating her claim, according to Eyad Tabahi, a law clerk with the organization.

“She contacted us and told us her side of the story,” Tabahi said, declining to elaborate. “It’s in the preliminary stages of investigation. We’re looking into the matter to see what the proper course of action should be.”

Two next-door neighbors of Shelby, who declined to give their names, said Tuesday that they saw her being beaten by an officer.

Blaha denied that an officer attacked Shelby, saying she has not made a formal complaint against any officer.