Schools fear reputed gangster's funeral
Friday, September 28, 2007 12:46 AM CDT


MUNSTER | Whether or not Rosalio Rincon earned his
reputation among police as a gang-affiliated drug
dealer, his wake and funeral are inspiring fear in
Munster.

St. Thomas More School canceled classes Monday because
of Rincon's funeral next door at Burns-Kish Funeral
Home, 8415 Calumet Ave. A letter sent home to parents
Thursday called the situation "potentially very
dangerous," and warned of "threats of violence."

The School Town of Munster sent a phone message to
parents and staff members Thursday warning of a "heavy
police presence" near the home. The school system did
not alter its schedule, which includes an early
dismissal today. St. Thomas More also canceled a slate
of extra curricular activities that coincide with the
Chicago man's wake today and Saturday.

"You can always reschedule a program," said the Rev.
Michael Yadron, of St. Thomas More. "You can't
reschedule a person's life."

Rincon's mother, Hammond resident Sara Rincon, is
angry. She said police and church officials are
spreading fear about a man they didn't know, and that
her son was a "good person."

"There is no reason to fear," she said. "We are not
animals."

Munster police know of funeral and wake plans, Sgt.
Steven Kovacik said. He would not say if Munster
police or other officers would increase patrols.

But nearby businesses said police visited them to warn
of extra officers around the funeral home. And the
letter from St. Thomas More says federal agents will
"be stationed within the area to protect our
citizenry."

A federal agent shot Rincon once in the chest Monday
during an attempted arrest. Rincon -- facing a federal
indictment accusing him of selling cocaine -- drove
his car at the agent, police said.

Police also arrested Rincon on Aug. 31 in Highland
after he allegedly tried to run over an officer with a
car that authorities said contained cocaine. Police
said Rincon confessed after that arrest to being a
member of the Latin Dragons, a Chicago-based street
gang.

Sara Rincon said she didn't know everything about her
son's personal life, but she said Rosalio Rincon --
father of a 6-year-old boy -- helped people. Police
didn't know her son, she said.

"They've made him out to be a monster," she said.
"Even though he lived the lifestyle that he lived, he
had a good heart."

Burns-Kish staff members did not know of Rosalio
Rincon's alleged criminal activity or reputed gang
membership when family members scheduled the wake and
funeral at the home near Ridge Road and Calumet
Avenue, said Tim Kish, funeral home manager. The
service is private, and Kish doesn't expect any
problems, he said. Dead people need to be buried, Kish
said.

"We're trying to help someone get their family member
buried," he said.

People shouldn't fear the mourners at the wake and
funeral, Sara Rincon said.

"His friends have children," she said.

In a letter to parents Thursday, St. Thomas More
School Principal Chet Nordyke warned parents of a
"potentially very dangerous situation." Classes on
Monday were canceled, and the school scrapped weekend
activities. Activities canceled include:
Today:
- After-school care program
- After-school play practice
- After-school band practice
- A Knights of Columbus fish fry
Saturday:
- All sports to be played in the gym
- Trivia night
Sunday:
- All sports to be played in the gym