Thursday, March 26, 2015

BEGGERS CAN'T BE BRUISERS: Panhandler Charged With Punching Man Who Didn't Give Money

A man whose Cook County Criminal Court record sprawls across 192 separate entries has been arrested again in Boystown.

Prosecutors say Danny Witney, 56, asked a man for money on the corner of Roscoe and Halsted. When the man said he didn’t have any money, Witney allegedly punched the 33-year-old waiter in the face.

Since 1984, Witney has also been arrested under the names Daniel Whitney, Daney Whitney, Danny White, David White, William White, Terry Wite, Donnie White, Danny Wayne, Terry Winthrop, Bardy Whitney, David Wright, and Terry Jones.

He lists the McDonald's at State and Chicago as his home address.
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IN-N-OUT BURGLAR: Set Free From Theft Charges, Local Pest Arrested Again Within Days

Brandis. Again. (Cook Co Sheriff's Dept)
Good news for neighborhood nuisance Ryan Brandis: A judge threw out his latest theft charge last week. Bad news for Ryan Brandis: He managed to get arrested again on Tuesday.

Judge Marvin Luckman ruled that there was no probable cause to try Brandis for allegedly stealing a bike from a Clark Street bicycle rack. Passers-by held Brandis for police, but Luckman determined that there just wasn't enough evidence against Brandis, who's currently on parole for burglary.

Brandis' freedom didn't last long. He was arrested early Tuesday in Uptown after allegedly following a woman down the street and squeezing her buttocks. Now charged with battery, Brandis is being held in lieu of $25,000 bond. 

Brandis has been arrested two other times in the past month. He's accused of panhandling outside of a Chase ATM vestibule near Broadway and Waveland on February 25 (it's illegal to panhandle near ATMs in Chicago) and accused of  pot possession on February 23. And, of course, there was the bike theft for which there was no probable cause.

In other court news:

• The last of the five men charged with theft of lost or mislaid property after cops found 24 stolen catalytic converters in their crashed minivan near Addison and Lincoln this winter have reached plea deals. Christian Buie and Jeramie Murry were both given 1 year's probation.

• Andrew Lopez, charged with burglary after a Lake View resident shared surveillance footage of his escapades with CWB, has pleaded guilty. In exchange, he received 24 month's probation. He is due back in court on April 27, when his lawyer is expected to request that the judgement be vacated and charges dismissed.

• Brian Conner, twice arrested for threatening staff members at the Center on Halsted, saw assault charges dropped last Friday after the COH employee he allegedly threatened failed to show up in court. Aggravated assault charges against him were dropped one month earlier after a COH worker who accused Conner of threatening him with a dual-bladed knife failed to show up in court.

• Adam Feldman, suspected in the robberies of several local businesses, is now charged with one of the three crimes. A Cook County grand jury last week approved charges against Feldman in connection with the armed robbery of a Lincoln Park tanning salon on February 16. Feldman is also suspected of robbing Subway sandwich shops in Wrigleyville and near the Belmont Red Line station days before the salon job. Northbrook police say he also robbed a Subway and a Domino's pizza store in their town that same week.
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

DOUBLE GULP: Two Lincoln Park 7-Eleven Stores Robbed At Gunpoint Overnight; 4th and 5th Cases In Week-Long Spree

Two more 7-Eleven stores were robbed at gunpoint overnight, the fourth and fifth times that convenience stores have been robbed by the same men in a week. This morning’s incidents took place in nearby Lincoln Park while the previous three hold-ups targeted Lake View locations.

Map showing locations of 7-Eleven robberies
in Lake View (above) and Lincoln Park (below).
Police responded to the 7-Eleven at 2710 N. Lincoln around 2:15AM today after the clerk reported that two black men in their 20’s covered their faces with blue scarves and produced at least one handgun to rob the store.

Officers searching the area for the offenders were flagged down by a witness who reported that the 7-Eleven at 1349 W Fullerton had also just been robbed by two gunmen with similar descriptions armed with a silver handgun. One wore a black track suit and other a white tracksuit.
Late Friday, Area North detectives issued an alert regarding convenience store robberies in Lake View after robberies of 7-Eleven stores at Broadway/Waveland and Clark/Southport. The Clark Street location was targeted twice in three days.


No connection has been drawn between this morning’s robbery on Lincoln and another gun-related incident in the store’s parking lot early Friday.

In that incident, multiple witnesses reported that shots were fired outside the store by black or Hispanic men in a white Dodge Ram or white minivan with tinted windows. No one was hit by the gunfire.

The shots were reported at 1:53AM on Friday. The Clark Street 7-Eleven store was robbed 90 minutes later.
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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

REMARKABLE: City Council Considers Two Laws That Could Make A Difference

Two newly-proposed city ordinances are worth keeping an eye on:

Tavern Closure Authority

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and River North Alderman Brendan Reilly have introduced legislation that would make it easier for the city to close bars and taverns that create problems for police. The ordinance was introduced last week after a double-homicide outside of a long-troubled bar in Bucktown.

If (and it’s a big if) the law passes, the city will be authorized to immediately close any bar or tavern after certain serious crimes are reported:
Illegal discharge of a firearm, aggravated assault or battery, criminal sexual assault on the premises or on adjacent property would trigger immediate and indefinite closure of an establishment, according to the ordinance…
The city would be required to hold a hearing on the “summary closure” within five business days. Shuttered businesses would not be allowed to re-open until they provide an approved “plan of action” to address safety concerns or win an appeal through the city’s license disciplinary process.
Under those guidelines, at least one Wrigleyville bar would have been closed after the St. Patrick’s weekend debacle following an alleged aggravated assault with a knife on its dance floor.

CWB’s review of city crime records found that thirteen reported crimes that would qualify for “summary closure” have been reported in Wrigleyville and Boystown bars since January 1, 2014.
• The previously-mentioned alleged aggravated assault with a knife in Wrigleyville.
• Nine aggravated batteries, including one stabbing and one against a police officer. Six of those took place in Boystown, the other three were in Wrigleyville.
• Three criminal sexual assaults—one in Boystown and two in Wrigleyville.
Local alderman Tom Tunney has not made his position on the proposal known. State records show that six of his ten largest campaign contributors are involved in the liquor industry.

Catalytic Converter Sales

Another proposed ordinance aims to make the theft of vehicle catalytic converters less appealing:
The ordinance, introduced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. Marty Quinn (13th), prohibits secondhand dealers, junk peddlers and pawn shops from buying and selling catalytic converters.
The measure would also provide clear guidelines to repair shops and recycling facilities in terms of who they can accept converters from and how to dispose of them.
Victims of these crimes are usually on the hook for the repairs, which cost an average of $750.
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Sunday, March 22, 2015

BITCH AND MOEN: Prison Time For Package Thief Who Stole Faucets, Stuffed Animals

Maldonado (Cook Co Sheriff's Dept)
A career burglar's parole has been revoked and he's back in Stateville today after allegedly stealing packages containing stuffed animals and Moen faucets from porches in Wrigleyville and Lake View this month.

Samuel Maldonado, 52, returned to Stateville Friday afternoon to serve out the balance of a 10 year burglary sentence that he received in 2009.

His alleged accomplice, Marie Tirado, 48, is charged with two counts of theft. Her bail's set at $75,000.

Tirado (Cook Co. Sheriff's Dept)
Cops hunted the couple down after neighbors reported seeing Maldonado taking packages from porches in Wrigleyville and placing them in a Toyota allegedly driven by Tirado. Police say the duo's car contained several packages in the back seat and trunk—none was addressed to Maldonado or Tirado.

Among the items inventoried by police upon arresting the pair were: U.S. mail addressed to a woman in the 3700 block of Wayne; a box delivered to a resident of the 3000 block of Sheffield; Moen bathroom fixtures; individually-wrapped shirts; blankets; a Britax car seat travel bag; a collection of children’s books; and stuffed animals.

Prior to his 2009 conviction, Maldonado received a 6 year sentence for burglary in 2006, an 8 year sentence for burglary in 2002, a 6 year sentence for attempted burglary in 1999, a 6 year sentence for burglary in 1996, and three 4-year sentences in 1987 for two attempted burglaries and one narcotics violation.

Maldonado is the second career criminal to go to Stateville this year for stealing stuffed animals in our area. Rhygien Alibegg, 58, received a 3-year prison term in January for stealing a bag of stuffed animals from a Boystown garage last summer.
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TRIPLE PLAY: 7-Eleven Robbed For 2nd Time Since Friday (Customer Gets Robbed, Too)

UPDATE March 22, 9:20PM—As expected, police have just issued a community alert.
Well, we suppose detectives will soon notice a "pattern" here.

A local 7-Eleven store was robbed at 8:17 this morning and police believe the same offenders robbed the same store at gunpoint on Friday and robbed a Boystown 7-Eleven at gunpoint last week. No one is in custody.

Police say two black men with familiar descriptions had black scarves or masks covering their faces as they demanded cash from the clerk at 4116 N. Clark. As in Friday's robbery, one suspect wore a white hoodie and the other wore a dark hoodie. And, just like Friday, both fled southbound on foot.

Similarly-described masked men robbed the 7-Eleven at Broadway and Waveland at gunpoint around 3:45AM on March 11.

Two differences have some cops worried that the offenders are getting bolder and potentially more dangers: Today's robbery went down in broad daylight rather than overnight hours and the offenders today also robbed a customer who was shopping inside the store.

No one is in custody.
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Friday, March 20, 2015

OUR VIEW: Residents Deserve To Hear Pride Plans Now

Police officers stand guard over a Chicago police car
used as a dance floor by spectators at the 2015 Pride Parade.
Image: Second City Cop
Nearly nine months have passed since the 2014 Chicago Pride Parade unleashed crushing crowds and a post-parade crime wave in our neighborhood, yet city officials still have not announced how 2015 will be different.

As we said days after the parade, there are two distinct issues that need to be addressed: Dangerous overcrowding in prime locations along the route and post-parade criminal activity.

The police department apparently doesn't think too much will change on their end. The department has retained the right to deny officers time off on just nine of this year's 1,095 shifts. Two of those nine shifts fall on Pride Sunday.

CBS2 photo of Ald. Tunney sweeping trash
 that filled neighborhood streets
"24 hours after the parade."
The morning after last year’s parade, 44th ward Alderman Tom Tunney told CBS2 Chicago
We hear from our residents that they don’t feel safe in their neighborhood – that there is too much… alcohol and partying all night long.
Two months later, Tunney conducted an online poll that found just over half of people who claimed to be 44th ward residents wanted to see the parade moved downtown. (Tunney initially misled the public by suggesting that the majority of residents want the parade to stay.)

Last weekend’s St. Pat’s free-for-all in Wrigleyville made Pride memories fresh again. Considering that the city didn’t even erect barricades to keep drunks out of the middle of Clark Street, we have to wonder…what kind of plan will they develop for the much bigger Pride?

The city warned that there would be a zero tolerance for
alcohol on the parade route last year. So, of course,
local businesses sold bottles of booze on the sidewalk
without consequences.
We asked Tunney’s office about St. Pat’s and asked when the community could expect to hear about Pride plans. They did not respond. They also refused to respond to a similar request for information in February.

At a candidate forum during his recent campaign for re-election, Tunney offered a few options that were on the table: more direction of parade-goers; route changes; more security after the parade between 4PM and 4AM; an earlier start time for the parade; changing the day of the parade; and shortening the parade. He did not mention moving the parade to downtown.

Chicago Pride organizers are already publicizing June 28 as the date of this year’s parade.

We strongly believe that the public needs ample time to review the city’s Pride plan and provide feedback. The city will also need time to respond to the public’s input.

With 98 days remaining, the public deserves to hear NOW about what the city and organizers will do to make Pride 2015 different from recent years.
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INSTANT REPLAY: Another 7-Eleven Robbed At Gunpoint

Masked gunmen robbed another area convenience store overnight, the second targeting of a 7-Eleven by similarly-described offenders since last Tuesday.

Two men, both armed with revolvers, walked into the 7-Eleven store at Clark and Southport around 3:30AM and demanded the store’s cash. They were last seen running southbound with the contents of both cash registers.

Witnesses describe the pair as two black men in their early- to mid-20’s, about 5’5” to 5’8” tall, with black scarves covering their faces. One wore a white jacket and the other wore a brown jacket. Both were armed with handguns.

This morning’s incident closely resembles the early morning robbery of a Boystown 7-Eleven on March 11. In that case, two men with “black masks” entered the store at Broadway and Waveland around 3:45AM and demanded cash at gunpoint. The offenders were described as two black men about 5’10” tall. They were last seen heading south on Broadway.

This morning's robbery is documented in CPD case HY191398
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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

MUGGY: Quick Action By Cops Has 4 Facing Robbery Charges

Sas (Cook Co. Sheriff's Office)
Chicago police have been a roll lately, arresting four alleged robbery offenders in connection with two separate robberies around our neighborhood.

Abel Pineda and Maciej Sas are both charged with one count of robbery after allegedly mugging a woman in the 700 block of Aldine last Tuesday evening. A police officer spotted them walking into the Shell gas station at Halsted and Addison shortly after the reported crime.

Prosecutors say Sas approached a Boystown woman on Aldine and said, "give me your shit nigga." When the woman refused, Sas allegedly elbowed the woman in the stomach, wrestled her phone away, and gave it to Pineda. The victim is white.

Pineda  (Cook Co. Sheriff's Office)
Both men are free on electronic monitoring.

In 2004, Pineda, 31, received 30 months probation after pleading guilty to committing an armed robbery in West Rogers Park.

Sas, 29, of Oak Lawn, is currently awaiting resolution of a shoplifting case in which he's accused of stealing two hats and a porno mag from a Shell gas station in suburban Palos Hills. (He seems to have very bad luck at Shell gas stations.)

Hammer Time

Sanchez and Del Valle (Cook Co. Sheriff's Office)
Danny Sanchez,19, and Nancy Del Valle, 20, are charged with armed robbery after allegedly brandishing a hammer to rob a CTA passenger on Sunday.

Court records show the two have a history of being arrested together for, among other things, tagging buildings in Chicago and stealing bottles of Hennessey in Tinley Park.

Bail for Sanchez and Del Valle is set at $250,000 and $150,000 respectively. Both list Uptown addresses in the 800 block of Wilson.
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THE CUFFING OF THE GREEN: Let's Meet Some Of Wrigleyville's St. Patrick's Weekend Arrestees

Say hello to some of the 17 men and women who got arrested during this weekend's St. Patrick's disaster in Wrigleyville.

Wadas being taken into custody. (Image: the1stMikeC)
• Frank A. "Tony" Wadas of Hoffman Estates was donning a sweatshirt with the word "WHISKEY" stitched on its chest in 3-inch letters for his mugshot after becoming Saturday's first arrestee. Charged with battery and resisting police, Wadas was allegedly seen drinking a can of beer on the sidewalk outside of Moe's Cantina. When a police sergeant took the can away, Wadas allegedly smacked the officer's hand, grabbed his beer back, and then tried to punch the sergeant. He missed. Wadas, 24, is charged with battery and resisting police.

• Some local residents say they saw 20-year-old police K9 dog trainer Sam Tortorella kick over garbage cans behind a home in the 1200 block of Newport Saturday afternoon, so they told him to "respect their neighborhood" and stop being disruptive. Tortorella "became enraged" and punched two of the neighbors in their faces, causing each to suffer chipped teeth, court filings say. A third victim was allegedly "slapped about the face and chest" by Tortorella, who is now charged with three counts of battery.

• Brock Duerson, 25, of Highland Park is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after he allegedly approached a man on the dance floor at Sluggers bar and, without provocation, "placed a knife to the victim's chest [without] saying a word." No knife was recovered.

Acevedo (Ill. Dept. of Corrections)
• Four individuals who occupied the same car are charged with mob action after police say they saw the group stop their car in the middle of Clark Street to "yell inciting gang slogans and flash gang hand signals at rival gang members" who were walking down the sidewalk. Police say the other group walked away when officers intervened, but Jacqueline Rojas, 35; Crystal Arzuaga, 27; Luis Roman, 30; and Manuel Acevedo, 42, refused to disperse. Roman is also charged with three driving-related offenses.
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