Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Familiar faces charged after alleged robbery attempt

One of two men who received probation in connection with a Boystown house fire this spring has been arrest again after he and another person beat a man in an apparent robbery attempt, police said.
Williams (Chicago Police Dept)

23-year-old Keith Williams was charged with simple battery in the attack that unfolded around 2AM on July 15 near Clark and Deming in Lincoln Park. Police said the victim refused to pursue felony charges.

Also charged with battery in the attack is 29-year-old William Brown, who is currently on parole for beating and robbing a man who was hailing a cab at Belmont and Shefield in 2013.

Despite receiving a 4-year sentence in that robbery, Brown was paroled in 2014 after serving barely a year in prison, according to court records.

Brown (Chicago Police Dept)
Williams and Brown both list the Howard Brown Health Center at 4025 N. Sheridan as their home address.

After being arrested in connection with the fire last April, Williams told police that he identifies as a female. This month, he stated that—despite being dressed as a woman at the time of his arrest—he is now a male.

As CWB Chicago reported in May, Williams has racked up a series of other arrests in our neighborhood.

According to court and police records, criminal charges filed against him in our neighborhood include:

• An April 2012 charge of aggravated unlawful use of a knife in the 800 block of Aldine, which ended with a sentence of 3 months probation and “destruction” of the knife.

• Shoplifting at the Boystown Jewel-Osco store in September 2012, which earned 1 year’s probation.

• Obstructing traffic outside of the Broadway Youth Center, 3179 N. Broadway, in September 2012.

• Criminal trespass at the Center on Halsted in February 2013. The charge was thrown out when the Center—per its policy —failed to show up in court.

• Battery at the Center on Halsted in September 2014. Again, the charge was thrown out when the Center failed to show up in court.

• Theft at the Forever Yogurt, 3510 N. Halsted, in September 2014

• Battery in the 3500 block of N. Halsted in August 2015. The charges were dropped when the witness did not appear in court.

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Stabbed by "random man" near Lincoln Park Zoo, beach volleyball player tells story online

Image: All Posters
Chicago police have confirmed that a North Avenue Beach volleyball league player was stabbed repeatedly as he walked near the Lincoln Park Zoo last Sunday evening. The victim’s Facebook post about the attack has been shared this weekend on Reddit.

Curry (Chicago Police Dept)
27-year-old Michael Jerome Curry of Garfield Park faces one count of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in the case, according to court records. His bail is set at $500,000.

The victim said he was walking back to his car around 9:20PM Sunday after playing volleyball when he was “attacked by a random man and stabbed five times” near the intersection of Clark Street and Lincoln Park West in Lincoln Park.

Curry was stopped and arrested by 18th district officers outside of the Lincoln Park Zoo’s farm exhibit at 1846 N. Stockton Drive about 15 minutes later.

“I was taken to Northwestern [Memorial Hospital] where they worked on stitching and stapling me up until 3AM,” the victim said on Facebook. “I was released two days ago but still can’t lift my arm.”

“I hope to be back playing in a few weeks. I know it is generally a very safe area but, even so, anyone who walks from [North Avenue Beach] alone may want to rethink that, especially the women.”

Less than a month before the Lincoln Park stabbing, Curry was arrested near the Chicago Avenue Red Line station and charged with two counts of armed robbery and two counts of aggravated battery in a public place, according to Chicago Police Department records.

Court records that would show how Curry wound up back on the street after the robbery arrest were not immediately available this morning.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Office Cleaning Woman Robbed At Gunpoint In Lincoln Park; 2 Businesses Robbed In Uptown

An office cleaning lady became the latest victim of armed robbers in nearby Lincoln Park Monday morning.

The woman told police that two men, both armed with handguns, robbed her as she arrived to clean offices in the 1300 block of W. Diversey around 1AM.

Both offenders fled southbound on Wayne Avenue with the woman’s iPhone and a bag of keys that she used to access her clients’ businesses.

Police described the offenders as men in their 20’s wearing hoodies. One was white and the other was Hispanic. No one is in custody.

Uptown Flunk

Image: Google
Two Uptown businesses less than a block apart were robbed at gunpoint on Monday. No one is in custody for either crime, which are not believed to be related.

Around 4 o’clock Monday afternoon, six black men entered the Uptown Dollar store at 1025 W. Wilson, pushed the owner to the floor and robbed the store while displaying at least one handgun. They fled toward the Wilson Red Line station with six phones that had been left at the store for repairs, the owner’s personal cellphone, and a tablet.

Two of the offenders were dressed as women. The first cross-dressed suspect had curly hair and wore a bunch of gold chains. The second cross-dresser wore a pink crown. One of the other men wore a gold tee shirt with brown pants. No further descriptions were available for the other suspects.

Image: Yelp
• One block west of the Uptown Dollar, the Wilson Men’s Hotel front desk attendant was robbed at gunpoint around 2AM on Monday at 1124 W. Wilson. The offenders fled with a whopping $10 cash.

Police described the offenders as two black men and a black woman. One man was about 6’1” tall, thin, and wore blue jeans. The other man was about 5’5” tall and wore jeans. The woman was heavyset and wore a black shirt with green spandex pants. All three were last seen running southbound on Racine near Truman College.

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Sunday, July 17, 2016

OUTNUMBERED: String of beatings and robberies reported across area; Many attacked by groups of 3+

At least 7 people have been mugged since Friday as reports of street robberies continue to rise in Wrigleyville, Boystown, and nearby neighborhoods.

Most of the victims were attacked by groups of offenders with varying descriptions, according to police reports and sources.

Wrigleyville + Boystown Attacks

Four of the latest muggings were reported in our immediate neighborhood. No one is in custody.

• At 2:30 this morning, a man reported being beaten up and robbed by as many as 10 men in the 3300 block of N. Kenmore. No description of the offenders was made available.

• Four people attacked and robbed three victims on the Boystown bar strip at 3 o'clock Saturday morning. The victims—two men and a woman—told police that they were beaten and robbed at Halsted and Newport by a group that took wallets and phones. The offenders, last seen outbound on Halsted were described as:
  1. black, male, dressed as a woman, red wig, "Daisy Duke" denim shorts, very tall
  2. black, male, dressed as a woman, wearing a red dress
  3. black, male, white tee shirt, 6'2" tall, with shoulder-length dreadlocks
  4. black, male
• Around 2:15 on Saturday morning, another man reported being beaten up and robbed by three black men near Roscoe and Clark Street.  The victim was reportedly "irate" about his situation and no further details were available.

• Another man also reported being robbed at Roscoe and Clark Street this week. That incident took place at 4:20AM on Wednesday. The victim was beaten up and robbed of his phone and $40 cash, according to police. EMS treated the man for his injuries. The offender was described as male, black, bald, 5'10" tall, and wearing a yellow or orange hoodie.

Lincoln Park Muggings

Three of the robberies took place on streets in nearby Lincoln Park. Two people were taken into custody for questioning after one of the incidents.

• A man reported that he was attacked by three men who robbed him of his wallet and cellphone near Sheffield and Wrightwood at 2AM Sunday. The victim said the three men were Hispanic and wore shorts and tee shirts.

• Two people were arrested after another man reported being jumped and robbed by six people at Clark and Deming around 2AM on Friday.  One man and one woman were positively identified as being involved after police stopped them near Clark and Fullerton moments later. Charges were pending this morning. The victim was treated at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

• In a third incident, a man reported being robbed at gunpoint near the 7-Eleven store at Clark and Wrightwood around 1:30AM on Wednesday. The offender fled southbound on Clark Street in a silver Altima with the victim's wallet and phone. The stolen phone was last seen pinging from the Ontario feeder ramp in River North about 20 minutes after the robbery, according to a source.

Other Nearby Incidents

• A Lincoln Square man was beaten and robbed by six men in the 1900 block of W. Leland shortly before 6PM on Sunday. The victim told police that the offenders attacked him in an alley and one brandished a knife before taking his iPhone and $10 cash.  The offenders, last seen southbound in the alley, were described as:
  1. male, black, about 17 years old, dark clothing 6'3" tall
  2. male, black, about 17 years old, dreadlocks
  3. male, Hispanic, about 17 years old
  4. male, Hispanic, about 17 years old
  5. male, white
• An Uptown cellphone store was robbed at gunpoint last Monday afternoon. The offender walked into the Cricket store at 4814 N. Sheridan around 4:30PM, pulled out a semi-automatic handgun, and announced a robbery. He was described as black, 20- to 35-years-old, 5'9" tall, 170 pounds, wearing a long sleeve red shirt and a black wig.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Man accused of sticking hand up sleeping teen's butt at Belmont CTA station (and other recent weirdness)

A 34-year-old Ashburn man was charged with battery and pot possession after he allegedly stuck his hand up the butt of an 19-year-old man who was sleeping at the Belmont Red Line station.

The victim told police that he was catching a few Z’s when Nawaf S. Albis “penetrated his rectum with his hand” and then threw hot coffee on the teen when he tried to stop the assault, according to a police report.

Cops say they subsequently found two bags of pot in Albis’ shoe during a custodial search. The victim declined to pursue sexual assault charges, police said.

• In other awkward advances at the Belmont stop: A 61-year-old Rogers Park man is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after a stranger turned down his sexual advances outside the Belmont Red Line station, according to court records.

The 27-year-old victim told police that Christopher Alexander complimented his looks and “stated that he wanted to take him home for some fun.” When the victim responded that he’s not gay, Alexander allegedly pulled out a knife and threatened to stab the man. A CTA canine unit detained Alexander until police arrived.

• Prosecutors say 40-year-old Anthony Brown of North Lawndale walked into the Avis rental car at 3721 N. Broadway, went behind the counter, and told a bystander, “watch this. I’m going to act like I own this place.”

He then took a set of car keys and went into the lot to see which car beeped when he hit the remote, and got inside, according to court records.

Police arrived and arrested Brown before he left the lot.  He’s charged with theft and criminal trespass to a vehicle for the July 3 incident.

• Police who responded to Chicago Fire Department paramedics’ call for help in Boystown late last month came upon a bizarre scene.

They found Mitchell Nowak “getting into [the paramedics’] faces" while EMS tried to help an injured woman, according to court records. When Nowak saw the police, he stole a bystander's bicycle and pedaled down Halsted Street. Cops chased Nowak on foot until he crashed into a car at Halsted and Roscoe, police said.

43-year-old Nowak of Arlington Heights is charged with pot possession, theft (of the bike), and criminal damage to property (the car).
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Monday, July 11, 2016

Cops: Armed robbery offender was caught with gun in Boystown last winter (but a judge threw the case out)

Askew (top) and Shabazz
One of the men accused of tackling, beating, and robbing a senior citizen at gunpoint Sunday afternoon was arrested in Boystown last winter and charged with brandishing a replica firearm during a fight on Halsted Street.

Days later, a Cook County judge threw out the weapons charge against David Shabazz finding “no probable cause” despite statements by multiple witnesses and police officers’ own reports of recovering a Sig Sauer blue steel air pistol from Shabazz’s coat.

Now, 20-year-old Shabazz is accused of pointing a gun, beating, and robbing a 63-year-old long-time Lakeview resident with 18-year-old Juwan Askew near the victim's home at Barry and Kenmore.

Shabazz is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, armed robbery, and aggravated battery of a senior citizen. Cops say he is a member of the Traveling Vice Lords street gang.

Askew is charged with armed robbery, aggravated battery of a senior citizen, and resisting police.

Boystown Incident

A Sig Sauer pellet gun
Police responding to a call of a man with a gun at Halsted and Aldine shortly after 2AM on February 6 were flagged down by two witnesses who said that a man walking westbound on Aldine had just brandished a handgun during a fight on the street.

Cops who caught up with the man—later identified as Shabazz—said they found the look-alike air pistol in his coat.

But, charges against Shabazz were tossed out at a hearing several days later.

Incredibly, Chicago police records show that one day after Shabazz was arrested in Boystown, he was arrested again near his home in Englewood. He was charged with trespassing…and possession of a pellet handgun.

Court records from the Englewood case were not immediately available.


A number of witnesses who saw Sunday’s attack have written about the incident in the comments section of our original report.

According to various posts, the victim was bleeding after being knocked to the ground, kicked and punched by two offenders. Chicago police said in a statement today that the victim had been punched in the face.

Sources have confirmed that the victim is a long-time resident of the Kenmore and Barry area. He is a world-renowned expert on ancient Egypt.
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Sunday, July 10, 2016

RELIEF: Two in custody after ANOTHER daylight armed robbery near Red Line; Ties to recent spree explored

Two suspected offenders are in custody after an off-duty cop and witnesses pursued them following another daylight armed robbery near the Wellington Brown Line station on Sunday.

Image: Pinterest
Investigators are now working to determine if the men were involved in any of the 11-plus robberies reported in our area over the past 10 days, including a Saturday afternoon robbery that took place near Sunday's mugging.

The two offenders were chased by an off-duty cop, bystanders, and responding officers into an Illinois Masonic Medical Center parking garage around 3PM Sunday after a man was pushed to the ground, battered, and robbed at gunpoint near Barry and Kenmore, witnesses said.

One man was taken into custody in a garage stairwell. The other was found hiding under a vehicle on the third floor parking deck.

The victim—a university professor in his early 60's according to sources—was treated at Masonic for injuries suffered in the attack. He lives near the crime scene.

Police said the offender who hid under a vehicle was treated for injuries he received by slamming his head into the car's undercarriage.

CWB Chicago is withholding the arrestees' names until charges are approved.

Map of armed robberies reported since July 1. Blue cases reported last weekend. Red this week. 
A concerned neighbor called 911 moments before the mugging and reported two suspicious men looking into cars and houses near Barry and Seminary. The description of those men closely resembled the robbery offenders, according to police.

Witnesses and the victim were able to identify both offenders as well a gun that police recovered from one of the men. An Illinois Masonic security guard found the victim's wallet late Sunday night, police said.

Area North detectives decided not to issue a community alert after 10 robberies were reported in Lakeview and nearby Lincoln Park over the Fourth of July weekend.

Now, investigators will be looking to see if the arrested men were involved in any of those hold-ups as well as five armed robberies that were reported near the Belmont, Wellington, and Fullerton CTA stations on Saturday.

The description of Sunday's suspects is similar to descriptions of the armed offenders given last weekend and again on Saturday: two black men in their late teens or 20's, one taller than the other, one with dreadlocks or cornrows, and armed with a silver and black or gray semi-automatic handgun.

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SATURDAY: 5 robberies at gunpoint near local CTA stations

Five people were robbed at gunpoint in four separate incidents near L stations in our area Saturday. No one is in custody, but at least three of the cases are believed to be related.

Image: Gunvault
In the most recent case, a woman was robbed at gunpoint Saturday afternoon at Kenmore and Wellington, one block west of the Wellington Brown Line station.  The victim told police that two men displayed a grayish semi-automatic handgun and demanded her valuables.

The men took her iPhone and removed money from her wallet before they fled northbound on Kenmore around 1:30PM, the victim said.

She described the offenders as black, 20- to 25-years-old, and about 5’10” tall. One wore a stocking cap and had dreadlocks pulled back. The other wore black sweatpants with a red stripe on the side.

Earlier Saturday, four people were robbed at gunpoint in under 30 minutes, two near the Belmont Red Line station and two on the platform at the Fullerton station:
Locations of Saturday's five robberies
• At 4:30AM, a man was robbed at gunpoint by two men near Clifton and Belmont. The offenders took his wallet, iPhone, a money clip, and his watch before running eastbound toward the Belmont CTA station, he said. The robbers are described as black men between 5’8” and 5’10” tall. One wore a do-rag and a gray shirt.
• Less than a minute later and one block east, the same two men are believed to have robbed a woman at gunpoint near her home on Seminary north of Belmont. She said the two men displayed a gray and silver handgun then fled back toward Belmont with her cellphone, and $50 cash.
• About 20 minutes after the robberies along Belmont, two men were robbed at gunpoint as they stood on the Fullerton Red Line platform. One of the victims may have suffered a broken hand during a struggle with the offenders, police said.
The robbers took phones and wallets from both victims, then boarded a northbound Red Line train, police said. 
Both offenders were described as tall black men wearing black clothing. One had long hair and the other wore something on his head, the victims reported.

A source reported that most of the cases are likely related to many of last weekend’s robberies that saw ten people held up in eight separate cases. Detectives were planning to issue a community alert after a pattern emerged during the Fourth of July weekend, but that warning never materialized.

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Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Woman robbed at gunpoint in Walgreens parking lot Tuesday afternoon; Muggings up 100% over 2015

In a remarkably bold crime, a woman was robbed at gunpoint outside the Walgreens at Broadway and Belmont in beaming sunshine Tuesday afternoon. No one is in custody.

The woman told police that the offender approached her in the store parking lot at 4:10PM, displayed a black and silver handgun, then demanded her valuables. He was last seen running eastbound on Belmont, the victim said.

She described the man as black with facial stubble. He wore a red bucket hat, a red shirt, and khaki shorts.

No Relief

Robberies this year in the Wrigleyville and Boystown neighborhoods are up 100% compared to the first six months of 2015.

At least 82 robberies were reported to Chicago police on beats 1923, 1924, and 1925 through June 30. Forty-one robberies were reported on the beats during the first six months of last year.

Police beats 1923, 1924, and 1925 cover the area from Belmont to Irving Park Road and from Southport to Lake Michigan.

Yesterday’s robbery at Walgreens was at least the fourth hold-up reported in our area since July 1.
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Tuesday, July 05, 2016

SHOCKER: Man arrested with three stun guns, cops say

A 19-year-old Maywood man faces weapons charges after officers say they found him armed with not one…not two...but three Tasers and stun guns near Belmont and Broadway in June.

Richardson (Chicago Police Dept)
Cops say they saw a “long black metallic object with metal prongs” sitting next to Kevon Richardson during a routine traffic stop in the 400 block of W. Belmont.

When an officer asked what it was, Richardson said it was “just a flashlight.” But when pressed as to whether it was a Taser, Richardson allegedly responded, "Yes, it’s a Taser, but I can have it. It’s mine.”

Cops found a second stun baton and a smaller stun gun when they searched the vehicle for impoundment.

Police say Richardson admitted to buying the weapons on Amazon for protection. He said he “has pulled it out before but never used it on anyone,” according to court records.

He’s charged with unlawful use of a weapon.
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