Saturday, February 24, 2018

41 Years For Man Who Drugged Man And Woman — Raping Her And Leaving Him For Dead Near Boystown

Stephane Edouard attacked his victims while driving a taxi that may belong to a relative. | GörlitzPhotography
It’s finally over for two of his victims. But another is still waiting for justice, and there may be many more victims still out there.

Stephane Edouard, 40, was sentenced this week to a total of 41 years in prison for drugging two people in May 2014, leaving one of them for dead in an alley near Boystown and raping the other in a taxi cab that may have belonged to a relative. As prosecutors prepared their case against Edouard, they filed a chilling five-page summary of other similar crimes that they believe he has committed. Worse, he is still awaiting trial for allegedly strangling and raping his girlfriend while free on bond in the 2014 case. His girlfriend just happened to be the person who posted bail allowing him to leave jail.

$300K Bail For Man Accused Of Threatening Boystown Bars

Shane Sleeper (inset) is accused of leveling a series of threats against Boystown bar workers | CPD; Google
A Lakeview man issued a series of threats to Boystown bar employees over the past month and then ran from cops who tried to arrest him this week, according to prosecutors and police. Shane Sleeper, 31, has been served with four court orders of protection to shield his alleged victims, according to police.

In 2015, Sleeper was charged with battering his former boss at an Atlanta gay bar and "wreaking havoc" on the neighborhood—allegations that he said erupted “because I was the new hot guy in town.”

Sleeper is also accused of threatening an employee of Roscoe's Tavern.
Sleeper’s first arrest in Chicago came on February 3 when cops took him into custody near Halsted and Waveland for “making a shooting gesture” at a manager of Sidetrack, a bar located at 3349 North Halsted. He was charged with assault and released on a recognizance bond.

Cops from the 19th (Town Hall) District went to Sleeper’s apartment building in the 3500 block of North Lake Shore Drive around 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday to arrest him on a series of outstanding warrants related to other alleged threats. Police say they encountered Sleeper in the lobby and he took off running through an emergency exit. Sleeper was taken into custody after a short foot chase, according to police records.

In the new charges, Sleeper is accused of
• Emailing a threat of violence to a Sidetrack manager on January 22
• Sending multiple emails with threats of violence to Sidetrack on January 29
• Threatening a man at the victim’s home on Feb 1 by saying “If you don’t kill yourself, I’m going to do it.”
• Sending a threat of violence via text message to an employee of Roscoe’s Tavern, 3356 North Halsted, on Feb 3
• Sending a threat of violence via a Facebook to a Sidetrack employee on Feb 14.
Prosecutors charged him with four counts of misdemeanor electronic harassment; misdemeanor resisting police; misdemeanor assault; and misdemeanor phone harassment. With bail set at $300,000, Sleeper will need to put down $30,000 to leave jail before trial.

Sleeper being arrested in 2015 outside of Atlanta's Ten Nightclub. | Project Q Atlanta

“Atlanta is not used to honesty…”

Sleeper was arrested outside Atlanta’s Ten nightclub in May 2015 after he allegedly battered the bar’s owner, according to a report by Project Q AtlantaAccording to the magazine:
[Ten owner James Nelson said] he fired Sleeper, a part-time bartender, in February, and that ever since, Sleeper has harassed former co-workers and patrons. Nelson said he sought a temporary restraining order against Sleeper but that it was never issued. 
"We were trying to get him off the property, and he wouldn't budge," Nelson said. "He is just wreaking havoc on everyone in Midtown."
Sleeper filed his own report alleging assault against the bar’s co-owner, Clint Billingsley, the magazine reported. The outcomes of the Atlanta cases were not available on Saturday.

But Sleeper insisted that he was not the source of trouble in Atlanta, telling Project Q:
"I am being made to be the not normal one because I am standing up for myself," Sleeper said. "I pretty much got hated by all the staff at Ten the moment I got there because I was the new hot guy in town. There is so much into this, it is kind of ridiculous." 
"Atlanta is not used to honesty and that is why I clash with this city," Sleeper added.
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Paroled Burglar Walks Free After Center On Halsted No-Shows In Court

Charges were dropped against Gerald Harris when the Center on Halsted failed to appear in court. | File; CPD
A convicted burglar who was accused of stealing a power drill set from the Center on Halsted (COH), 3656 North Halsted, walked free on Thursday after the LGBT social agency failed to appear in court.

Gerald Harris, 31, was charged with stealing a Milwaukee drill set from the COH on February 9. He was arrested several days later after a COH security guard identified him for police. Harris, who police say is a Gangster Disciple street gang member, was charged with one count of theft.

But when the Center failed to send a representative to Harris’ hearing on Thursday, Calabrese had no choice but to drop the theft charge.

In 2016, Harris pleaded guilty to stealing a $950 bicycle from a garage in the 1100 block of West Newport. He was sentenced to two years in prison, but after subtracting time served, he only spent 24 days in the big house.

Old Habits

In 2016, CWBChicago reported that COH representatives had falsely told community groups and neighbors that the agency follows-through on prosecutions of individuals who commit crimes on the agency’s property or against its staff. Court records showed that the COH failed to show up for 25 out of 26 criminal cases since 2013. The only time anyone showed up in court was when a man was accused of threatening the COH’s chief executive officer.

Rather than appear in court, the Center resorted to one of its core policies: the use of “restorative justice”—-essentially banning someone from COH property until they say they will behave.

Or, as The Windy City Times describes it, “Restorative justice is an approach to handling supposed wrongdoing that aims to provide alternatives to punishment. It looks at the experiences of people involved and attempts to heal those afflicted rather than discipline an alleged wrongdoer.”

After a meeting with local police executives and aldermen, the Center drew up a “security plan” and began attending court. Between October 2016 and last June, COH representatives appeared for five out of six cases.

But, since last August old habits have returned. Most notably, the Center failed to appear for the case of Donovan Mylander who was accused of battery and trespassing at the agency during last June’s Pride Fest. Mylander is now charged with attempted robbery in River North.

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Friday, February 23, 2018

Cops: Rapper, 2 Others Busted With Guns In Loop Thursday

L to R: Deavonte Kimble; Marchello Watson; and Herbert Wright. | Chicago Police Dept
UPDATE 5PM — In court this afternoon, prosecutors said that the accused men were in a limousine and their driver informed police that some of his passengers were armed. Cops kept the limo under observation and pulled it over near State and Roosevelt around 8:30 p.m. according to a CPD source, not 10:30 p.m. as previously stated in a police press release.

Prosecutors said a gun was found under the seat where Deavonte Kimble was sitting.  Another gun was allegedly found inside a gym bag that was in the limo’s front seat with Marchello Walton, according to charges.

These three guns were recovered from rapper G Herbo's limousine on Thursday evening, police said. | Chicago Police
Herbert “G Herbo” Wright was seated in the rear seat and cops said they saw him put a handgun into a seat pocket. Attorneys for the men said all three are in the music industry. Wright, who is based in Chicago, has worked with Chance the Rapper, Common, and Nicki Minaj, among others.

CWBChicago's original report from this morning follows.

 Loop late Thursday evening, police said. Among those charged is popular Chicago rapper Herbert "G Herbo" Wright.

First (Central) District officers stopped the car near South State Street and East Roosevelt Road around 10:35 p.m. Cops said Wright, 22; Deavonte Royale Kimble, 25; and Marchello Walton, 36, were each found to be in possession of a loaded firearm.  Prosecutors charged each man with aggravated unlawful use of a loaded weapon in a vehicle, according to a CPD statement.

Wright is from the Far South Side’s Calumet Heights neighborhood. Kimble listed an address in Compton, CA, and Walton gave a Phenix City, Alabama, address.

All three men are due in bond court this afternoon.

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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Naked Man "Jumped Headfirst" Through Laugh Factory Door, Prosecutors Say

Robert Malato (inset) is charged with criminal damage and aggravated battery of police. | Matt Lindner
A Streeterville man stripped naked and dove headfirst through the door of a Lakeview comedy club last weekend, then battered two cops who tried to help him, prosecutors say.

Cops said they were flagged down in the 3100 block of North Broadway around 5:15 a.m. on Sunday by witnesses who “related that a male subject took off all his clothes and jumped headfirst through a glass door into…the Laugh Factory.” Inside the nightclub, cops found 31-year-old Robert Malato on the second floor “naked and bleeding from cuts on his head, back, glutes, and legs….talking about his Freemason father,” according to court records.

Police said they tried to walk Malato out, but he allegedly took off his shoes, threw them, raised his fists, and struck two officers in their chests before the cops could gain control of him.

Malato was treated at Illinois Masonic Medical Center for multiple lacerations. He is charged with two felony counts of aggravated battery to a police officer and misdemeanor criminal damage to property. Judge David Navarro ordered him held on a $10,000 deposit bond, meaning that Malato will be released if he posts $1,000.

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Lakeview: Judge "Gobsmacked" By Weak Charges For Mob Accused Of Theft And Threatening People With Golf Clubs

Kevin Carrau (L): Brian Conner; and Clarence Davis (R) face mob action and other charges. | Chicago Police
Cook County Judge Anthony Calabrese, facing three defendants accused of mob action and theft in Lakeview, shook his head in disbelief on Wednesday. All gang members and two sporting extensive arrest records, the trio had been charged only with misdemeanors and all were free on recognizance bonds.

"Every nation gets the government it deserves,” Calabrese said, obviously dissatisfied with the work of those who went before him in the case.

Shortly before 9 o’clock on Friday night, at least six different 911 callers reported seeing a group of men testing car doors, threatening people with golf clubs, and obstructing traffic near the 2900 block of North Halsted.

Arriving officers soon found three men matching the callers’ descriptions. Two of the names may sound familiar to CWBChicago readers: Brian Conner, 25; Clarence Davis, 27; and Kevin Carrau, 22, were all arrested and charged with various crimes including mob action.

Conner and Davis, both Black P-Stones according to cops, call the Night Ministry at 4711 North Ravenwood their home. Carrau lives in the Hermosa neighborhood.

While looking for the men, cops found a car with its door open in the 2700 block of North Dayton. They tracked the car’s owner down, and he told them that his golf clubs were missing from the vehicle. And workers at a CVS Pharmacy on Lincoln Avenue at Fullerton had a video showing the three men shoplifting booze, earbuds, and underwear, according to prosecutors.

Conner is charged with two counts of retail theft and mob action. Davis is charged with retail theft and mob action. Carrau, an Imperial Gangster according to police, is charged with retail theft, mob action, and—because he was allegedly still holding one of the golf clubs—theft of lost or mislaid property.

All three men were released on recognizance bonds per Judge Sophia Atcherson.

In court on Wednesday, Judge Calabrese was told that the men used the golf clubs to threaten people and took whatever they wanted from stores while swinging the clubs around.

“Calabrese was P*SSED,” a friend of the blog reported. “He asked [the prosecutor] to read all their previous sentences and arrest records. He was ‘gobsmacked’—his word.”

“I see Calabrese often and this is as angry as I've ever seen him. He told the [prosecutor] he knew it wasn't her fault, but he couldn't believe that these guys were all terrorizing people because they were stronger and bigger than anyone else, that it was ‘mob action,’ and not only were they not in jail, they were only being charged with misdemeanors.”

Before being called before the judge, the dynamic trio “were all sitting together in the back…just giggling about what was going on.”

Long Histories

Brian Conner has racked up a list of 33 criminal cases in Cook County. In addition to the case we just told you about, he is currently awaiting trial for trespassing at a Boystown 7-Eleven store and also awaiting trial for trespassing at a Department of Homeland Security building in the Loop.

CWB has reported on Conner’s arrests around Boystown for years. Accused of shoplifting and threatening security at Jewel-Osco last October. Shoplifting from the same store in 2015. Threatening to kill staff members at the Center on Halsted in 2015. Brandishing a two-bladed knife to threaten other Center on Halsted workers that same year. And, then, there was that suburban robbery in 2013. The list goes on and on.

We mentioned Clarence Davis just a couple of days ago.  In September, Davis jumped in front of a cop who was chasing a robbery offender near Addison and Lake Shore Drive.  “What, you can’t catch him?” he taunted the cop. “You’re too slow?” Davis pleaded guilty last year to obstructing police and received a 60-day sentence from Calabrese.

“Calabrese is always so amiable and polite to everyone but he was steamed,” our man on the scene said. “I just kept thinking, damn, Kim Foxx, this is what you have unleashed on us.”

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In Dispute Over Cranberry Juice, Man's Accused Of Holding Gun To Woman's Head — He Can Go Free For $750

It sounds like Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart is feeling a little heat over his support for low bonds and his push to do away with cash bonds entirely. Dart today complained that too many gun offenders are being released on electronic monitoring as a result of the county’s new campaign to offer “affordable bonds” to virtually all accused criminals.

CWBChicago has been updating you with weekly reports about the incredibly low (often non-existent) bails being handed to accused gun offenders by Cook County Judges. We’ll get back to Dart’s new attitude in a second. But first, another example of how friendly Cook County has become with accused gun violators.

Cruz (inset) is accused of putting a gun to a woman's head at the Summit Motel.
Police say 21-year-old felon Carlos “Lil Tank” Cruz was partying with a few people in a room at the Summit Motel, 5308 North Lincoln, on Saturday evening. Around 8 p.m., a 19-year-old woman at the party drank some cranberry juice when the supply was running low. That’s when Cruz pulled out a .357 Magnum revolver, placed it to the woman’s head, and said, “Bitch, I’ll f*cking kill you. I don’t give a f*ck. Don’t f*ck with me,” according to prosecutors.

The woman called the police who arrested Cruz and recovered the firearm.

He’s charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, possessing a firearm without a valid Firearm Owner’s ID card, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Bail for Cruz, who is on supervised release for his second DUI, was set at $7,500 by Judge Sophia Atcherson. That means he would be released on the charge by posting a $750 deposit.

Dart Dodges

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart | DNAInfo
After years of championing bail reform and even calling for the outright ban of the cash bail system in Illinois, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart today was singing a different tune.

It seems that Dart just learned something that the rest of us have been talking about for months: Accused violent offenders, including those facing gun charges, are being released from jail on electronic monitoring [EM].

Now, Dart says, his office is swamped offenders who need to be hooked up on EM.

“I have determined that I am neither satisfied nor convinced that the EM program, in its current form, offers adequate protections given this recent dramatic increase in violent offenders,” Dart wrote in a letter to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

Dart’s change of heart comes 13 days after CWBChicago requested records from his office about the number of people who are on EM, how many have gone missing, and related documentation. On Tuesday, the Sheriff’s Office requested a five-day extension of the usual week-long response time to our request saying “documents responsive to your request are still being generated.”

In his letter to Preckwinkle, Dart said his staff will “closely scrutinize all individuals who are assigned to EM” and will refer “those who are deemed to be too high a security risk” back to the court.

According to Dart, 22% of gun offenders now go free on EM. That’s up from 2% before the Cook County Courts introduced its “affordable bail” program last autumn.

Since bail reform kicked in, CWBChicago has repeatedly reported about violent offenders who have gone free on recognizance bonds and low bonds. Sometimes with and sometimes without electronic monitoring.

Accused Class X robbery offender T’Keyah Herbert allegedly held-up three stores in December and January. Judge Stephanie Miller released her on a recognizance bond and EM.

Even crazier: Derrick Robie is accused of displaying a handgun to rob a man on the Morse Red Line station platform in January. Despite the fact that he is charged with Class X armed robbery and has a history of skipping bond, Judge Miller ordered him released on a recognizance bond and EM, too.

CWB has regularly been reporting on the low bonds being handed out to accused gun offenders. Here are our reports from February 19, February 1, and January 14.

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North Center: Burglars Break Through Wall To Access Jewelry & Coin Shop

Burglars entered the rear of Always Thai, then busted through a wall to access A-1 Jewelry & Coin | Google
Daring burglars entered a Thai restaurant in North Center early Wednesday, then tore through a common wall to gain access to the jewelry and coin shop located next door, police said. No one is in custody for the caper.

An employee arriving for work around 9 a.m. found a hole in the wall and an alarm box missing at A-1 Jewelry and Coin, 1827 West Irving Park Road, according to police.

Officers investigated and found that thieves had forced their way through the back door of Always Thai at 1825 West Irving Park and then smashed their way through the businesses’ common wall to access the jeweler.

Safes were damaged and electronics were moved during the jewelry store heist, but police declined to release information about any losses suffered. In the Thai restaurant, the cash register was damaged, but nothing else of value appeared to be taken, according to a report.

The through-the-wall burglary technique is unusual but not unheard of in our area. In September 2015, burglars tore down a down a wall between a Latin restaurant and a neighboring hair salon in the 3300 block of North Broadway in Boystown to steal from both establishments.

The king of wall-breaching burglars, though, is the crew that broke through a wall and drilled into the safe of Steve Quick Jewelers in Lincoln Park early one day in February 2012. Those bandits made off with $500,000 in gems.

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Music Box Theatre Robbery Under Investigation, Cops Say

The Music Box Theatre | Seth Anderson Chicago Wikicommons
Chicago police are investigating a robbery inside Lakeview’s beloved Music Box Theatre on Tuesday afternoon.

Around 1:35 p.m., a man entered the 88-year-old moviehouse at 3733 North Southport and asked to use the restroom, according to police. An employee directed the man toward the rear of the building and moments later saw the offender open a cash register near the bathroom. The robber took an unknown amount of cash, and struggled with the 28-year-old male employee who tried to stop him, police said.

The robber then fled out the back door of the theater and was last seen running northbound in the alley, according to police. He is described a black, 25- to 30-years-old, with facial hair, a black hoodie, and a backpack, according to the victim.

No one is in custody.

Woman Mugged On Near North Side

Two men beat up a woman and stole her shopping bag on the Near North Side on Saturday evening. The woman was walking on Chicago Avenue between Dearborn and Clark Streets when the offenders attacked her and beat her in the head, police said. The two offenders took the victim’s white shopping bag and then fled the scene.

Police described the robbers as two black men in their early 20’s. One is about 6-feet tall and wore a long black coat with a black and gray hat. The other wore a black jacket.

The woman was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where her condition was stabilized.
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Parolee Charged With Stealing Tools From Center On Halsted; Downtown, Another Parolee Robs Burlington

Gerald Harris (inset) is charged with stealing a power drill set from the Center on Halsted.
An Uptown man who’s on parole for burglarizing a Lakeview garage is now charged with stealing a drill set from the Center on Halsted (COH).

Gerald Harris, 31, stole a Milwaukee drill set from the landmark LGBT community center on February 9, prosecutors said. He was arrested last week after a COH security guard identified him for police nearby.

Harris, identified by police as a Gangster Disciple street gang member, is charged with one count of theft. Judge Anthony Calabrese ordered him held on a $5,000 deposit bond, meaning that Harris can go free by posting $500. The Illinois Department of Corrections declined to revoke Harris' parole.

In 2016, Harris pleaded guilty to stealing a $950 bicycle from a garage in the 1100 block of West Newport. He was sentenced to two years in prison, but after subtracting time served, he only spent 24 days in the big house.

Another Free Pass

A South Loop man is charged with robbery and retail theft after he threatened a Burlington Coat Factory worker who tried to stop him from stealing three Bluetooth speakers in the Loop, police said.

Tony Winters, 35, is on parole for shoplifting and aggravated battery of a police officer in Forest Park, Illinois.

The Burlington Coat Factory arrest is the second time he has been busted for shoplifting since being paroled on December 15.

Police working a “special attention” detail at 35 East Lower Wacker Drive arrested Winters last week after recognizing him from a department alert about the Burlington robbery.

On December 29, Winters was charged with shoplifting beer from a 7-Eleven store in the 1000 block of North Dearborn. Despite the fact that Winters has been sent to prison eight times for shoplifting, the Cook County State’s Attorney refused to pursue felony charges and the Illinois Department of Corrections declined to revoke Winters’ parole for the infraction. The Cook County Courts released him on a recognizance bond “by a rule of the court,” meaning that he didn’t even appear before a judge.

Only after Winters’ conduct escalated to the robbery of the Burlington Coat Factory did authorities revoke his parole. He has been returned to Stateville Correctional Center until December 2019.

Winters’ current prison sentence was handed down after he was found guilty of stealing electronics from a Forest Park Walmart store and then spitting on and throwing jailhouse toilet water on a Forest Park policeman.

He previously served time for shoplifting in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2009, and 2007. He served narcotics sentences in 2011 and 2006.