Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Man Tried To Lure Girl In Lincoln Park Tuesday, Cops Say

An unknown man tried to lure a 13-year-old girl into his car this morning in the 900 block of West Wrightwood, according to a community alert issued by Chicago police tonight.

The girl was walking to school in the Lincoln Park neighborhood around 7:35 a.m. when the man drove up and called out to her in an attempt to start a conversation.

About a half-block later, the man again pulled up to the girl and yelled out to her.

She lost track of the man after she pulled out her phone to call for help.

Police say the man is white and in his late teens or early 20’s with dark shaggy hair. His car is a white or cream-colored and may be a newer model sedan, according to the alert.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Area North detectives at (312) 744-8200 in reference to case JA203667.

You can support CWB's newsgathering efforts with a donation to our Tip Jar.
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Boystown Man Charged With Burglarizing Halsted Pizza Joint Is Suspect In Other Cases

Philip Kordowski (inset), charged with burglarizing Boystown's Venicci Pizza, is suspected in several other heists.
A 51-year-old Boystown man with a lengthy prison record is charged with breaking into a Halsted Street pizzeria this month and cops say he is also suspected of burglarizing several other local businesses—including Alderman Tom Tunney’s Ann Sather Restaurant on Broadway.

Cops set up surveillance on Philip Kordowski’s home in the 500 block of West Hawthorne Place last week and took him into custody as he walked his roommate’s dog, according to court records.

Broken glass at Revolucion Steakhouse on January 22 | CWBChicago reader
He is charged with breaking out a window and rummaging through two cash registers at Venicci Pizza, 3343 North Halsted, on March 4.

When cops went to return the dog to Kordowski’s roommate, they saw a gray sweatshirt with the words “The night is dark and full of terror” written on the back lying on a chair.

Video images from the pizza burglary showed the offender wearing an identical sweatshirt, prosecutors said.

Cops asked the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office to also charge Kordowski with breaking into Alderman Tom Tunney’s restaurant at 3415 North Broadway and the nearby Revolucion Steakhouse on January 22 and a liquor store at 3158 North Broadway on March 5. But, an attorney in the office determined that there is insufficient evidence to pursue those cases, according to police records.

Kordowski is currently on parole for a series of burglaries and an armed robbery in the Wicker Park neighborhood.

He was sentenced to three concurrent 12-year terms for those crimes in 2008.

Kordowski’s previous prison sentences include:
• 8 years for burglary in 2003
• 8 years for burglary in 2002
• Another 8 years for burglary in 2002
• Yet another 8 years for burglary in 2002
• Still yet another 8 years for burglary in 2002
• 3 years for attempted burglary in 2001
• 5 years for residential burglary in 1996
• Another 4 years for burglary in 1996
• 5 years for receiving/possessing a stolen vehicle in 1996
• Another 4 years for receiving/possessing a stolen vehicle in 1996
• 3 years for retail theft in 1994
• 2 years for theft in 1989
• Another 2 years for theft in 1989
• 4 years for burglary in 1983
• Another 4 years for burglary in 1983
He is being held in lieu of $150,000 bail.
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DePaul Student Shot During Overnight Robbery Attempt; Latest In A Series Of Armed Hold-Ups Near Campus

A 19-year-old DePaul University student was shot in the leg during a robbery attempt near the school’s Lincoln Park campus late Monday night.

The victim got caught up in the robbery after he walked out of a 7-Eleven store at 2600 North Lincoln Avenue around 11:45 p.m.

One of the offenders opened fire after he started to run away, striking him in the lower left leg, according to police. He is in good condition.

The robbers are described as two black men in their 20’s who stand about 6-feet tall. They were wearing dark clothing, the victim said.

Five DePaul University students have been robbed at gunpoint near the school's campus this year. | Google
DePaul University’s Public Safety Department has issued three warnings to students about armed robberies near the school’s campus this year.
• On January 18, a student was robbed at gunpoint near the intersection of Seminary and Montana around 2:30 p.m.
• On January 27, two students were robbed at gunpoint next to a DePaul housing center at 1237 West Fullerton around 3:00 a.m.
• On March 1, a DePaul student was robbed at gunpoint as he walked in the 2200 block of North Halsted around 3 p.m.
CWB Chicago has also independently confirmed two other armed robberies near the school:
• Three women were robbed at gunpoint as they walked in the 2500 block of North Burling shortly after noon on February 5.
• A victim was robbed at gunpoint by two men who wore ski masks in the 1200 block of West Draper at 2:20 a.m. on February 8.
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Sunday, March 26, 2017

GIVING: Profiles Of Local Officers Killed In The Line Of Duty

The wreckage of Sgt. Alan Haymaker's patrol car is seen in this 2010 Chicago Tribune photo | Chicago Tribune
EDITORS' NOTE: CWB Chicago is sponsoring a certified charity GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation's K9's For Cops program. The Foundation supports the families of Chicago police officers who are killed or seriously injured in the line of duty.

Over the coming days, we will be profiling 19th District (Town Hall) police officers who have been killed in the line of duty while serving the people of our neighborhood.

Learn more about K9's For Cops and donate to the certified charity campaign HERE.

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Sgt. Haymaker
Sgt. Alan Haymaker
Sergeant Alan Haymaker was a third-generation 21-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department when he was dispatched to a burglary in progress call at a now-defunct Verizon Wireless store, 3176 North Clark, on February 22, 2010.

While driving southbound on Lake Shore Drive, Haymaker drove over a patch of ice. His vehicle veered off of the drive and slammed into a tree at Irving Park Road. He later died at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

Haymaker was survived by his wife, Elaine; three daughters, Melina, Amanda, and Elyse; three brothers, two sisters, and his parents, Catherine and Harry.

He was 56.

One man was charged in connection with the Verizon burglary. He was sentenced to five years and was subsequently released after serving half of that time. He was convicted of burglary again less than a year after being set free and is now serving a 9-year sentence.


Officer Richard Francis
Off. Francis
Officer Francis, a 27-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, was patrolling alone when he responded to a routine call of a disturbance onboard a CTA bus near Belmont and Western on July 2, 2008.

When he arrived on-scene, Francis encountered a woman who frequently had contact with the police.

As he worked to resolve the situation, the woman grabbed his weapon and shot Francis in the head. He fell to the ground motionless. The woman then shot him two more times. Francis died at the scene.

His killer went on to fire at other responding officers who returned fire. The woman was shot, but recovered fully and is sentenced to life in prison.

“You took a loving husband from his wife one year before he was planning to retire,” the judge said at the woman's sentencing. “You took a devoted father from two daughters that weren’t even his own. You took away from them the man who cared for them.”

Officer Francis was survived by his wife Deborah; and two step-daughters, Bianca and Amanda.

Francis was 60-years-old.
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Recognized By Face Tats, Uptown Robber Gets 15-Year Prison Term

Among the many valid reasons to not get tattoos etched into your face is this: Facial tats make you easy to recognize if you ever rob someone.

Just ask Christopher Lee…after he gets out of prison.

A judge just handed down a 15-year sentence to Lee who pleaded guilty to robbing a Chicago meteorologist of a cell phone in Uptown last summer.

Around 9:30 p.m. on June 9, the victim told police that two men approached him in the 4500 block of North Sheridan Road and demanded his valuables while they claimed to be armed with a gun and a knife.

The victim remembered one of the robbers was a short, balding, Hispanic man with lots of tattoos, including a cross between his eyes.

Other officers immediately knew who that man might be.

“That sounds like Christopher Lee,” one said on the radio.

Cops raced to Lee’s home where they saw him running up the street with another man, prosecutors said.

Lee was caught. The other man fled eastbound and was never located.

This is the third time that Lee has been sentenced to prison for robbery since 2007.
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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Rewards Offered After North Side Bank Robberies

The FBI is offering rewards for information that leads them to the men who have separately held up two North Side banks.

The Lincoln Square robbery suspect is seen in bank surveillance images. | FBI
Around 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, a man robbed the Lincoln Square US Bank at 4725 North Western, the FBI said.

The offender is described as a slim white man in his mid-30’s who stands about 6’1” tall. The man wore a black jacket, glasses, and carried a gray messenger bag.

No weapon was seen during the hold-up.

The Uptown robbery suspect is seen in bank surveillance images. | FBI
Then, around 6:15 p.m. on Friday, a different man passed a hold-up note to the teller at TCF Bank, 4355 North Sheridan Road in Uptown.

This offender is described as being a white man between 25- and 35-years-old with blonde facial hair. He stands about 6-feet tall, weighs about 190 pounds, and he wore a dark colored jacket and a knit hat, the FBI said.

Anyone with information about the men is invited to stake a claim on some tasty Federal reward cash by calling the FBI Chicago at (312) 421-6700.
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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

River North: High Rise Resident Tore Down 44th Floor Wall To Burglarize Neighbor's Unit, Prosecutors Say

Esquivel-Perez is accused of tearing through a 44th-floor wall at 10 E. Ontario (right) | Google
A River North man is accused of carrying out one of the most poorly-planned burglaries in history.

36-year-old Epifanio Esquivel-Perez used a hammer to tear down a wall between his high-rise apartment and a neighbor’s unit, prosecutors say. He then crawled through the hole, collected the neighbor’s valuables, and walked out of the neighbor’s front door, according to court records.

It all allegedly took place on the 44th floor at 10 East Ontario this month.

The neighbor’s cell phone, keys, identification, purse, Brookstone speaker, and white laser pen were recovered from Esquivel-Perez, police said.

Cops say Esquivel-Perez “admitted to entering [the neighbor’s unit] through drywall and taking the victim’s property. He further admitted to damaging [another neighbor’s] door knocker,” which was worth $200.

Esquivel-Perez is charged with residential burglary and criminal damage to property.
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Worst Driver In Lakeview History Is Outta Prison — And Behind The Wheel In Boystown

Back in 2013, Kenzell Lesure made quite a splash in Lakeview.

That’s when video of then-19-year-old Lesure intentionally crashing a stolen SUV into several vehicles along Belmont Avenue went viral — it’s been seen more than 6.6 million times on YouTube.

Prosecutors charged Lesure with receiving-possessing a stolen vehicle, criminal damage to property, and aggravated assault.

Then, they handed him an incredible gift: They agreed to accept his guilty plea in exchange for just 30 months probation.

Lesure screwed that up. His probation was revoked and he wound up going to prison for the Lakeview incident in 2015. He was paroled in November.

Now, it looks like he’s back in the hood.

Chicago Police arrested Lesure Sunday evening after they allegedly found him in a crashed stolen car at Roscoe and Halsted.

Prosecutors charged Lesure with criminal trespass to a vehicle and a traffic violation.

The next day, Lesure received another fantastic gift from Illinois.

Prosecutors dropped the criminal trespass case in exchange for Lesure’s guilty plea on the traffic item.

That’s cool.

It just means that watching traffic in the neighborhood will be a lot more fun this summer.

Oh, one more thing.

Two people who saw the police activity on Sunday couldn’t help but notice that Lesure was sporting a Center on Halsted ID badge. (Crazy right?) And court records show that he lists the Howard Brown Health Center at 4025 N. Sheridan as his home.

Old Habits

2012 pic of Kenzell Lesure in the Center on Halsted CyberCenter | Facebook
Speaking of old habits that are hard to break: The Center on Halsted this week failed to show up in court for a criminal court case.

Just days after we reported that the Center had started appearing in court to face defendants who’ve been arrested and charged on its behalf, the LGBTQ service agency once again failed to appear.

Trespassing charges against Miara Davenport were dropped as a result, according to court records.

Incredibly, the failure to appear came exactly one week after the Center met behind closed doors with two alderman and the local police commander to address public safety issues. We’re told that Center reps agreed during that meeting to continue to appear at all court cases in which the firm or its employees are listed as victims.

That promise lasted a week.
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Monday, March 20, 2017

Man Charged With Biting Cop Outside Boystown Library

Florian (inset) is charged with aggravated battery of a police officer outside the Merlo Library.
A Logan Square man bit a 19th district cop’s arm so hard, the officer suffered “deep round lacerations…bleeding and bruising” even though he was wearing a leather uniform jacket at the time, according to court records.

The incident happened at 3:30 p.m. on March 2 while the officer was conducting a routine premise check at the Merlo Library, 644 West Belmont.

According to police, the officer tried to detain Timothy G. Florian after seeing the 35-year-old kick the side of the cop’s squad car.

Florian resisted, and the officer tried using pepper spray, but that failed when Florian blocked the spray with his hand, police said.

Florian then bit the officer on the left bicep as the two struggled on the ground, according to a report that said Florian was eventually tamed after the injured cop “used stun blows to the head…to stop the assault.”

The officer and Florian were treated at Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

Florian, charged with aggravated battery of a police officer, is jailed in lieu of $50,000 bail.
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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Thieves Stealing Cars Left Running On North Side (DUH!)

Drivers are making auto theft easy these days by leaving their keys in unattended cars, according to cops on the North Side.

Since February 5, nine cars have been stolen in the 3200 to 4200 blocks of West Lawrence Avenue, police said. Most of the thefts were committed during evening hours and involved cars that had been left running or had their keys left inside.

Another three cars were stolen during evening hours in a concentrated area of Lincoln Park between March 2 and March 9: two in the 2400 block of North Lincoln and one in the 500 block of West Deming. Again, all of the cars were either left unattended with the keys inside or were left running.

As usual, the related police alerts include lists of “things you can do” to avoid being a victim. In an act of saintly patience, the officers saved “Do not leave your keys in the vehicle” for the #3 suggestion:
• Be aware of this crime and alert your neighbors.
• Pay special attention to any suspicious people loitering in the area.
• Do not leave your car keys in the vehicle.
• Call 911 immediately and provide a detailed description of the offender(s) including any vehicle description and license plate information.
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