Sunday, June 16, 2019

Boystown: Felon charged with hook-up hammer attack, battering cops

Cedrick Johnson was arrested outside of Beatnix costume shop in Boystown. | CPD; Google
A Lakeview man who initially refused to press charges after being beaten with a hammer during an online hook-up Friday evening had a change of heart and decided to prosecute after the alleged offender injured several officers during a confrontation in the heart of Boystown hours later.

Police say 29-year-old Cedrick Johnson of Uptown met a 47-year-old man in the 600 block of West Aldine on Friday evening. At some point, Johnson, who used the name “Lamar” online, struck the victim repeatedly in the head with a hammer and stole property, including the man’s cellular phone, according to a police report and a source.

About two hours later, the victim told police that he no longer wished to pursue charges against his attacker and officers canceled evidence technician services for the scene, where a hammer was found and blood was spattered on walls and throughout a bedroom, reports show.

The victim was treated and released from Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center for multiple “indentations of the cranium,” an officer said.

Later, around 12:50 a.m. on Saturday, the victim called the police again after he tracked his stolen phone and discovered that it was pinging near a convenience store in the 3400 block of North Halsted.

Responding officers were flagged down about 20 minutes later by the victim who pointed them toward Johnson. After a short foot pursuit, Johnson attacked one of the cops by striking him in the head and spraying him with pepper spray, police said.

“The offender then hit the officer in the head with the pepper spray [can], causing it to explode,” a police spokesperson said. Three additional officers and at least one bystander were overcome by the effects of the spray. Johnson punched officers as they tried to take them into custody, according to a CPD statement.

One sergeant and three patrol officers were treated and released at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, police said.

Johnson, a convicted felon, is charged with eight felony counts of aggravated battery of a police officer, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery causing great bodily harm; theft; and possession of a controlled substance.

Judge Arthur Willis ordered Johnson held without bail.

Police recovered a cellular phone that was returned to the victim, police said.

Editor's note: Cedrick Johnson's name is spelled correctly in our reporting. Other outlets are not including the "k" of his first name due to a spelling error in the CPD press release.
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Saturday, June 15, 2019

Lincoln Square neighbors wonder: Are shootings increasing or is it our imagination?

Map of all Lincoln Square shooting locations since 2002.
After a 31-year-old man was shot in their neighborhood on Friday evening, some Lincoln Square residents did what many Chicagoans do after the city’s violence hits close to home: They headed to online neighborhood watch groups to talk about the incident and wonder if things are worse in their area than they used to be.

“Neighborhood shootings were a rarity, are now becoming a common thing,” wrote one poster.

But another resident countered with a line that Chicago politicians and some community policing offices love to use: “What we have been told is that the number has not gone up…social media has increased awareness, and repetition of the same incident keeps coming up on our threads.”

“That may be true to an extent,” a response read, "but the patterns are definitely changing. I’ve lived in the neighborhood 16+ years, and the last five have seen an increase of activity in this area.”

But someone else disagreed, “actually I believe the police data shows it has declined in general.”

So, what’s the real story?

CWBChicago crunched the city’s crime data the Lincoln Square community area from 2002 to today. After compiling the statistics on homicides and shooting incidents in the area, we think the answer is pretty clear…

Lincoln Square has recorded five shootings or homicides as of Friday night, June 14th. That’s more than any previous year in the study.

In fact, with Friday’s shooting, Lincoln Square has already recorded more shootings and homicides in 2019 than in any other full year since at least 2002, the city data shows.

So, political spin and gut feelings aside, there appears to be a clear uptick in the most violent crime categories for Lincoln Square. While the overall numbers may be lower than some of Chicago’s most violence-plagued areas, the key for residents is to measure their community’s current performance by their community’s history.

It’s easy to feel good about yourself if you simply compare your weight to someone heavier. Comparing your weight to your past performance, though, is the often-sobering number that matters.

NOTE: The City of Chicago Data Portal provides crime statistics from 2001 to present. The information for 2001 is frequently incomplete, so CWBChicago opted to exclude that year from our study.
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Armed robbery team targeting victims in retail parking lots

Approximate locations of the three robberies. | Multiplottr
Chicago police on Saturday issued a community alert warning North Side residents about an armed robbery crew that has pulled off three hold-ups in retail store parking lots since Thursday evening. No one is in custody.

CWBChicago first reported on the crew after they robbed a woman of her purse in the Aldi parking lot at 2431 West Montrose around 6:40 p.m. on June 13th.

Police say the same team is responsible for pulling off a pair of armed robberies in Walgreens parking lots on Friday evening:
• Two men were robbed of their wallets by a gunman and an accomplice who confronted them in the Walgreen’s lot at 4001 North Pulaski at 5:10 p.m. The offenders then fled the area in a beige or gold Ford Escape that was occupied by a third person, police said.
• At 5:43 p.m., a woman was robbed at gunpoint of her purse in the parking lot of Walgreens at 4010 West Lawrence, police said. Again, the offender fled with accomplices in a Ford Escape.
The primary offender in all of the robberies has been a white or Hispanic man with a tattoo on the left side of his face. He’s 30- to 35-years-old, 5’8” to 5’10” tall, and slim with brown hair. One victim said he may have a pierced lip.

Police said the second robber is a white male between 20- and 30-years-old who stands 5’5” to 5’7” tall. He has short, light-colored hair also has facial tattoos.

The community alert offered no description for the third offender.

A stolen Hyundai Elantra with North Carolina plates that was used by the robbers on Thursday has been recovered by police, according to a source.

Anyone with information about the crimes or the offenders may contact Area North detectives at 312-744-8263 about pattern #P19-N-158.
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Boystown: 4 cops injured when phone thief's pepper spray can "explodes"; Offender suspected in earlier hammer attack

The officers were injured at 802 West Roscoe, outside of Beatnix costume shop. | Google
UPDATE: Charges filed. Story here.
Four police officers were injured in the Boystown neighborhood early Saturday when a suspected phone thief and aggravated battery offender’s large canister of pepper spray “exploded” as he struck a cop on the head with it, a CPD spokesperson said.

A man who was hospitalized after being beaten with a hammer earlier in the night by a man he met through an online dating app called 911 around 12:50 a.m. to report that he was tracking his stolen phone and he believed his attacker to be at the 7-Eleven store, 3407 North Halsted, according to a source.

The victim previously told police that he did not want to pursue charges in the attack, CPD said, but his interest was apparently revived when he learned that the offender also took his phone.

Police responding to the early morning call were flagged down at Halsted and Roscoe by the victim who pointed at the offender standing nearby. After a brief foot chase, the offender attacked one of the cops by striking him in the head and spraying him with pepper spray, the department said this afternoon.

“The offender then hit the officer in the head with the pepper spray [can], causing it to explode,” a police spokesperson said. Three additional officers and at least one bystander were overcome by the effects of the spray.

One sergeant and three patrol officers were treated and released at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, police said.

Charges are pending against the offender for attacking police, according to a CPD spokesperson. Police said they recovered the victim's phone from the offender, but the department was unable to determine on Saturday if the victim changed his mind about charging the man who beat and stole from him.

CWBChicago will update this story when charges are finalized.
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Boystown: Man attacked with hammer by online date refuses to press charges, police say

UPDATE 1 —The events continued later in the evening. Story here.

UPDATE 2 — Charges filed. Story here.
A Lakeview man is refusing to pursue criminal charges after being repeatedly struck in the head with a hammer Friday evening by a man he met through an online dating app, police said.

Neighbors called police to the 600 block of West Aldine after the victim, 47, was struck repeatedly with the tool during an altercation inside his home around 6:35 p.m.

Police said they found a bloody hammer as well as blood on the apartment walls and throughout a bedroom where the incident took place.

The victim was transported to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center with multiple “indentations of the cranium,” according to an officer.

Two hours after the attack, the victim told police that he no longer wanted police assistance and he did not want to pursue criminal charges against the offender, according to a CPD spokesperson. Police canceled evidence technician processing of the crime scene after the victim’s decision.

The attacker, a black male who stands about 6’1” tall wearing red athletic gear, was last seen walking northbound on Halsted Street from Aldine, according to a witness.
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Man shot in Lincoln Square on Friday evening

Police said a 31-year-old man was shot Friday evening as he sat in his car in the Lincoln Square neighborhood. No one is in custody.

The victim was in an SUV at 4601 North Leavitt when a gunman in another vehicle opened fire on him from behind at 7:58 p.m., police said. He was struck twice in the shoulder and then drove himself to Swedish Hospital where he was listed in serious condition. Shell casings were found in the intersection of Wilson and Leavitt, according to officers at the scene.

Police said three occupants were in the gunman’s vehicle, which was described as a black “muscle car” that fled westbound on Wilson Avenue. The shooter was a Hispanic man with curly hair, according to witnesses.

The victim, who was expected to be held on an outstanding arrest warrant, has previously been arrested for possession of narcotics in the north suburbs, according to records.
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Friday, June 14, 2019

Loop: Woman robbed by man who escaped electronic monitoring 3 weeks earlier

Kevin Dunn (inset) is charged with robbing a woman in the 300 block of North Michigan. | CPD; Google
An Englewood man who’s charged with stealing cell phones from two victims in Streeterville on April 22nd escaped from electronic monitoring and robbed a college student in the Loop last week, according to allegations in court records.

Kevin Dunn, 24, was previously charged with stealing a phone from a victim in the 100 block of West Ontario around 3:30 p.m. on Apr. 22nd and taking another phone 45 minutes later from a customer at Tempo Cafe, 6 East Chestnut.

Judge David Navarro released Dunn on a recognizance bond with an order that he remain on electronic monitoring.

But the Cook County Sheriff filed escape charges against Dunn on May 14th after he allegedly escaped from electronic monitoring and failed to return.

Dunn remained at large until a 22-year-old college student reported that she was battered and robbed by a man who took her phone in the 300 block of North Michigan at 12:45 p.m. on June 5th.

Police saw Dunn run down a staircase from Upper Michigan to the lower level where he jumped into a minivan and told the driver to “just drive.” Officers pulled the van over a short time later, and the driver complied with officers. But Dunn refused to follow orders, police said.

Instead, Dunn tried to put the van into gear as he pressed the accelerator from the passenger seat, according to police. Cops were able to gain control of Dunn and take him into custody.

Police said video of the robbery was captured by a CPD surveillance camera and the victim identified a phone found in the minivan as her property.

Dunn is charged with robbery, aggravated fleeing, and traffic violations. Judge Arthur Willis ordered him held without bail.

Dunn was sentenced to served a three-year prison term for possession of a stolen motor vehicle in 2015, according to county court records.
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Repeat gun offender charged with January shooting in Old Town

Kewon Wright is charged with shooting a man three times in January. | CPD; Multiplottr
A Garfield Park man with multiple weapons convictions in his past has been charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting a man in the Old Town neighborhood earlier this year.

Kewon Wright, 28, was already in custody at the Cook County Jail for another weapons violation when prosecutors charged him for the January shooting in the 400 block of West Evergreen.

Prosecutors said the 22-year-old victim identified Wright as the man who shot him three times in the back around 11:50 a.m. on Jan. 16th.

Wright is charged with one count of attempted murder. He was ordered held without bail. Police said Wright is a member of the Four Corner Hustlers street gang.

According to a police department statement, the victim was standing on the sidewalk when a gunman approached and fired shots. State records show the victim was on parole for narcotics at the time of his shooting. CPD records show that he has been arrested nine times since 2015, and seven of those arrests took place within a block of the shooting location.

Wright has been jailed since Feb. 6th when Cook County Sheriff’s Police allegedly found him in possession of a handgun in the 400 block of North Cicero. Prosecutors charged him with being an armed habitual criminal; multiple counts of being a felon in possession of a weapon; and three counts of aggravated unlawful use of a firearm. He has pleaded not guilty.

In October 2015, Judge Carol Howard sentenced Wright to two concurrent three-year terms for separate gun possession charges. She recommended that he be diverted to a boot camp program rather than prison.

Before those cases, Wright was sentenced 24-months probation and 30 hours of community service for unlawful possession of a handgun. After a series of probation violations, a judge closed out the probation term “unsatisfactorily” in April 2014.
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North Center: Woman robbed at gunpoint in Aldi parking lot

A 26-year-old woman was robbed at gunpoint as she walked into a North Center grocery store on Thursday evening, police said. No one is in custody.

The victim was walking from her car when a gunman reportedly approached her in the parking lot of Aldi, 2431 West Montrose, around 6:40 p.m. Police said the man demanded the woman’s purse and then drove away in a blue sedan.

Investigators learned that the gunman’s car, a metallic blue Hyundai Elantra, was reported stolen earlier in the day in North Carolina. The vehicle bears a North Carolina license plate that begins with FCY, according to the victim.

The offender is a white or Hispanic man with a tattoo on his face near the left eye who stands 5’6” to 5’9” tall, police said.

Area North detectives are investigating.
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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Hamlin Park: Shots fired near ball field, but no one injured on Thursday afternoon

Police work the scene of tonight's shot's fired incident near Hamlin Park. | C.M. Corrigan 
Shots were fired near Hamlin Park Thursday afternoon, leaving park-goers rattled, but no one injured, according to Chicago police.

Witnesses reported seeing shots fired from a gray or tan four-door Buick around 4:50 p.m. on the south end of the North Center park. Two teens inside the park appeared to be the intended targets, one witness said.

“It was right next to a baseball field with tons of our kids playing on it,” one witness said.

Police stretched crime scene tape around four shell casings that were lying in the middle of the street at 2033 West Wellington.

Several witnesses said the shooter was last seen heading southbound on Damen in the Buick bearing a Minnesota license plate that begins with 302. Some residents recognized the vehicle from the neighborhood.
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