Thursday, July 18, 2019

Boystown: Drunk driver suspected in Halsted Street crash

Video image shows the scene moments after this morning's crash. | Snapchat
Investigators are trying to determine if alcohol was a factor in a two-car traffic crash on Boystown’s Halsted Street bar strip early Thursday. Police continue to guard one of the drivers at a nearby hospital.

Officers who came upon the scene summoned two ambulances for victims on 3500 block of North Halsted around 2:15 a.m. Halsted Street remained closed to traffic until almost 5:30 a.m.

Two people were transported to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

Snapchat video taken moments after the crash showed smoke pouring from a vehicle that had been projected into a parked car.
A white vehicle with heavy front end damage is seen in the southbound lane. It appears that a bystander is checking on the condition of that car’s driver.

A police spokesperson this morning said the investigation was ongoing, and no additional details were available.
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Update: Former DePaul student found with throat slashed, sexual attack suspected

The woman was found near this DePaul University facility in the 2300 block of North Halsted. | Google

Update 11 a.m. -- Chicago police have secured video that reportedly shows a man emerging from a vehicle to attack the woman.  A CPD spokesperson said the attack I'd believed to be sexually motivated. Meanwhile, DePaul this morning issued a statement saying the victim is a former student of the university. Our original report follows.

A 22-year-old female DePaul University student was found unresponsive and bleeding from her neck in the 2300 block of North Halsted early Thursday morning, according to Chicago police and sources who are familiar with the incident. The apparent attack took place less than eight hours after the school warned its community about another knife attack.

Passersby found the woman on the ground outside of a DePaul facility bleeding from her neck, about 50 feet from where the attack apparently unfolded around 3:30 a.m. Police did not know the motive behind the crime or if the woman had been robbed. Officers initially thought the woman may have been struck by a car until they discovered slash wounds to her face and neck.

Police block traffic as investigators work on Halsted. | W. H. Thompson 
The victim, who has studied anthropology at the school, was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in critical condition.

Halsted Street remained closed to traffic between Fullerton and Belden as investigators worked the scene at 6:30 a.m. Thursday.

About eight hours before the woman as attacked, DePaul’s public safety office issued an alert after a man was cut with a knife near the school’s athletic field.

The alert said a man used one of the school’s emergency callboxes to summon help after another man cut him with a knife at 920 West Belden shortly before 6 p.m. Wednesday. DePaul said the offender accused the victim of bumping into him and then pulled out a knife and cut the victim before leaving the area.

It was not known if there is any connection between the two incidents.

Descriptions were not available for either offender.
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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Cops: Robbers arrested after victims fought back on 4th of July

Louis Torres (L) and Miguel Calderon | CPD
Two men who tried to rob three people in the Irving Park neighborhood wound up being overpowered by their victims and arrested by police, according to prosecutors. Even so, a judge gave the men an "affordable bail" that required them to post only $500 to get out of jail.

Three men told police that Louis Torres and Miguel Calderon, both 18, confronted them on a sidewalk in the 3200 block of West Cullom around 1:50 a.m. on July 4th.

Calderon punched two of the victims in their faces while ordering them to empty their pockets, according to a police report. Three phones and a wallet had been handed over when the victims turned the tables by overpowering Torres and Calderon, the report said. Police arrived moments later.

Prosecutors charged Torres with three counts of robbery and three counts of attempted robbery. Calderon is charged with identical counts as well as simple battery and possession of a controlled substance.

Judge David Navarro set bail for each man at $5,000. They went free to await trial by posting a 10% deposit bond of $500.
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Prosecutors: Man stole phone from 3-year-old, tried to sell it back to his mom

Javonte Taylor | CPD
An Armour Square man who stole an iPhone from his boss’ 3-year-old, then offered to sell the device back for $500 was arrested by a police tactical team when he showed up to carry out the deal at a Lincoln Park restaurant, police said.

Javonte Taylor, 25, allegedly stole the phone from the pre-school boy at his mother’s restaurant in the 2400 block of North Clark on June 30th and left the scene. Taylor was an employee of the restaurant, police said.

Prosecutors said Taylor later texted the restaurant’s owner and offered to sell the phone back to her for $500. The woman agreed to the deal and arranged for Taylor to meet her at the restaurant on July 8th.

The woman also contacted police. A 19th District (Town Hall) tactical team set up surveillance on the restaurant and arrested Taylor as he arrived for the meeting at 2:45 p.m., according to a CPD report. An iPhone in his possession was held for investigation.

Taylor is charged with felony theft. Judge Sandra Ortiz set bail at $1,000, which allows him to go free by posting a 10% deposit bond of $100. He is due back in court on August 12.

Court records show that Taylor was sentenced to two years in prison for robbery in 2011.
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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Uptown: Couple charged in attack that sent 4 to hospitals on Sunday; Mallet and knife recovered

Kira Beckley (L) and Corey Douglas | CPD
A man and a woman face felony charges in connection with a violent incident that sent four people, including themselves, to hospitals Sunday evening in Uptown. The Chicago Fire Department declared a Plan I EMS response to handle the injuries.

Prosecutors have now charged 20-year-old Corey Douglas of Norridge with attempted first-degree murder and felony criminal damage to property.

Kira Beckley, 19, of the 1700 block of West Thome in Edgewater is charged with felony aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

A police spokesperson said officers who responded to the 4500 block of North Sheridan around 6:30 p.m. on July 14th found Douglas being detained by two men. Witnesses told police that he had repeatedly struck a 24-year-old man in the head and body with a rubber mallet. A residential building vestibule was damaged during the attack, police said.

The victim was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston in critical condition with multiple head injuries, police said Sunday. Douglas was taken to Swedish Covenant Hospital with minor scrapes.

Officers said they also saw Beckley having a physical fight with a 22-year-old woman. Police intervened when they saw Beckley lunge at the victim’s back with "a weapon," according to the spokesperson. The women were separated and Beckley was taken into custody.  Police did not specify what kind of weapon Beckley allegedly wielded, but a small knife was recovered from the scene, a spokesperson said.

Beckley was transported to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center with lacerations to her chest and right hand. The other woman was transported in serious condition to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston with multiple injuries to her head and face.

The incident was reportedly domestic in nature. Douglas and Beckley are due in bond court on Tuesday afternoon.
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Uptown: Man shot in the arm while sitting on deck Monday night

A 43-year-old man was shot in the arm as he sat on a back porch in Uptown on Monday night, police said. No one is in custody.

The victim and another person were on the porch of a residence in the 4600 block of North Ashland just after 11 p.m. when they heard a couple of gunshots nearby, they said. The victim immediately felt pain in his left bicep and realized that he had been shot, according to police.

Officers did not find any shell casings in the area.

An ambulance transported the man in good condition to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. Area North detectives are investigating.
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Armed man robs, carjacks woman in her Lincoln Park garage

A Lincoln Park woman was confronted in her garage by an armed man who battered her, robbed her, and stole her car Saturday morning, according to a CPD spokesperson. The offender remains at large.

Police said the victim, 56, was parking her car in her garage on the 1800 block of North Fremont when the man approached her with a knife at 8:38 a.m. He demanded her valuables and forced her from the car, police said. A struggle ensued and the woman was thrown to the ground and choked by the offender who then entered the vehicle and drove away northbound.

The offender initially ordered the victim to close the garage door behind them before initiating the robbery, according to an email shared with neighbors by a person familiar with the incident.

The victim suffered minor injuries to her legs and arms, but declined transportation to a hospital, police said.

Taken was a silver 2019 Honda Fit bearing a license plate that begins with “AZ77.” The car will have damage on its roof because the garage door was going down as the robber backed out. He also struck the garage, so the car may have additional damage on its back end.

The offender is described as a black man between 20- and 35-years-old who stands about 5’10” tall and weighs 175 to 215 pounds, police said. He had bushy hair, carried a backpack, and was wearing dark jeans, a dark t-shirt.
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Monday, July 15, 2019

Man accused of threatening daughter with stolen handgun gets recognizance bond (even though his daughter video recorded the incident)

Judge Susana Ortiz |
An Albany Park man who’s accused of threatening his daughter with a stolen handgun was released on a recognizance bond even though the daughter showed police video footage of the crime, according to police and court records.

We first heard initial details about the incident in this tweet that Chicago Sun-Times reporter Tom Schuba sent from bond court as it happened.

After digging up the official records, it turns out there was even more to the story than just the threat. We are not naming the accused man in order to protect the identity of his daughter.

Police were called to the family’s home around 10 p.m. on July 8th after the daughter told a 911 operator that her intoxicated father pulled a gun on her during an argument. Arriving officers were led to a bedroom in the home where the daughter and her mother recovered a loaded 9-millimeter handgun as cops watched from the doorway.

According to police, the daughter showed them cellphone video in which the father is seen in their garage “menacing his daughter” with the handgun, waving the weapon in the air and yelling, “you want to see who the a**hole is?” The father was seen walking toward the daughter in an aggressive manner that caused unnamed witnesses to restrain him, police said.

The daughter said the father later pointed the gun directly at her after she stopped recording because her hands were shaking.

Police secured the gun and contacted the 52-year-old father who surrendered nearby without incident, according to court records.

After being read the Miranda warning, the father allegedly told police that he had the gun in his possession that night because his daughter was involved with a boyfriend who wasn't good for her. He also told investigators that the recovered gun was his and that he took it from a distant relative who was going to use it, according to an arrest report. The Chicago Police Department gun desk determined that the gun had been reported stolen in a different state last November.

Prosecutors charged the man with felony possession of a stolen firearm and misdemeanor aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

A defense attorney argued the father should be released without having to pay a bond because he should enjoy the benefits of the presumption of innocence.

Judge Susan Ortiz apparently agreed as she released the father on a recognizance over the objections of prosecutors.
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Parolee smacked with federal charge for allegedly having gun in Old Town

Federal authorities say this Feb. 17th surveillance image shows Gaston Tucker (inset) running from a CPD traffic stop at top right. | CPD; U.S. Attorney's Office
A man who allegedly dropped a handgun during a traffic stop in Old Town just three months after he was paroled for shooting a man is now facing federal charges.

On Feb. 17th, a Chicago police officer approached a vehicle that was parked in front of a hydrant in the 1300 block of North Sedgwick and asked the driver for his identification. From the back seat, 32-year-old Gaston Tucker provided the officer with an Illinois Department of Corrections ID. But while the officer ran the identifications in her car, Tucker ran from the vehicle, prosecutors said.

Local security guards later told police that they saw a man hide something under a dumpster behind a nearby housing facility. Officers looked under the trash bin and found a loaded .40-caliber handgun. Review of surveillance video showed Tucker placing an object under the dumpster as he ran from the traffic stop, an FBI agent said in a newly-filed affidavit.

He was arrested in the 2000 block of North Kostner about four hours after he allegedly ran from the car.  Police did not say how they found him.

Tucker made a series of incriminating statements after his arrest during phone calls that were recorded at Cook County Jail, the FBI agent said.

“Boy, I quit…I ain’t carry no [gun] no more. I’m through,” Tucker reportedly said in a phone conversation on Feb. 20th. “Only way I gotta do that is I gotta get out of Chicago…I can’t be without it in Chicago, you know how that sh*t go.”

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Chicago announced today that Tucker has been charged with one federal count of being a felon in possession of a handgun that traveled in interstate commerce. U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez ordered Tucker held without bond.

State prosecutors previously charged Tucker with felony unlawful use of a weapon in February. That charge will likely be dropped in favor of the federal case.
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Uptown: Apparent domestic incident leaves 4 hospitalized

First responders at the scene. | Snapchat
Four people were hospitalized with injuries from a violent domestic incident in the Uptown neighborhood Sunday night. Two of the injured were being considered offenders by police and one of the victims was listed in critical condition.

An evidence technician was seen recovering a bloody bottle from the scene and a 911 caller reported that two people had been struck with a hammer, but police did not publicly announce what kinds of weapons were used.

Police were called to the 4500 block of North Sheridan after witnesses reported people had been injured and someone was pinning the offender to the ground around 6:30 p.m. Arriving officers found four people bleeding and the Chicago Fire Department declared a Plan I EMS response.

According to police, a man and a woman were injured in a physical altercation with a 19-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man in the vestibule of a residential building.

The victims, a 22-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man, each suffered multiple head injuries and were transported to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston. The woman’s condition was stabilized, but the man was listed in critical condition.

Police said the female suspect received cuts to her chest and right hand. Her condition was stabilized at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. The male suspect received minor scrapes and was taken to Swedish Covenant Hospital in good condition.

Both suspects were being questioned by Area North detectives.
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