Monday, June 26, 2017

Prosecutors: Felon Brandished Handgun After Pride Parade

Cruz (inset) is accused of brandishing a handgun as the parade crowd dispersed Sunday evening.
Police have identified the first of several people who were arrested for serious crimes during and after Sunday’s Chicago Pride Parade.

24-year-old Phillip Cruz of Elgin was identified as the man who brandished a firearm as crowds left the Boystown area around 5:30 p.m., police said.

Cruz ran when officers tried to conduct a field interview, but he was quickly captured in the 3100 block of North Broadway, a spokesman said, adding that a weapon was recovered from the scene.

Cruz is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, aggravated assault, and resisting-obstructing arrest. His bail is set at $100,000.

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Court records show that Cruz was sentenced to prison for possessing a stolen motor vehicle in 2012.

Still pending this morning were charges against a woman who was arrested after brandishing a handgun near Oakdale and Sheffield last night and a man who robbed a woman near the Belmont Red Line station during yesterday’s parade.

CWBChicago will continue to publish updates on parade-related arrests this week.

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VIDEO: Post-Pride Parade Brawl In Boystown-Area Subway

What do you get when you mix the Chicago Pride Parade, 10 revved-up women, and a wet floor in a sandwich shop?


The wet ’n’ wild rainbow-flagged free-for-all went down near the parade route inside Subway restaurant, 3021 North Clark, at 4:45 yesterday afternoon, according to police records.

Several restaurants and stores in the Clark-Belmont area reported similar situations following the Parade. The Starbucks at 3184 North Clark closed for the day after a crowd stormed inside and ransacked the shop. A nearby Walgreens reported large fights inside and outside of its doors. And the Azteca Grill, just a couple of doors down from Starbucks, closed after a brawl.
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PRIDE PARADE: 19 Arrests, 5 Robberies (But No Stabbings Or Shootings For A Change)

Six hours after Sunday's Pride Parade, police are on standby at Roscoe and Halsted | CWB Reader
Chicago’s 48th Annual Pride Parade and its aftermath resulted in an estimated 19 arrests Sunday afternoon into early this morning. If that figure holds, it will be the lowest arrest total for a Pride Parade since at least 2012, according to records maintained by CWBChicago.

Two people were arrested for brandishing firearms, and at least five robberies were reported—including two during the parade itself.

But, for the first time in three years, CWBChicago is not aware of any stabbings or shootings connected to the parade celebration.

The arrest total was undoubtedly slashed by the police department's decision to stop admission to Halsted Street bars at 11 p.m. and to close the bars at midnight.

Even the Boystown 7-Eleven store at Roscoe and Halsted was closed by police orders around 9 p.m. CPD supervisors cited “public safety” for the forced closure after a large fight broke out in the store’s parking lot.

The parade itself ran 4 hours and 8 minutes from step-off until the last entry crossed the finish line—21 minutes longer than last year.

Twenty-four people were arrested in connection with last year’s parade; 52 in 2015; and 46 each in 2013 and 2014, according to records.

Weapons Arrests

Several people reported different men brandishing guns in the crowd during Sunday’s parade, but police were not able to locate any of the suspects.

Then, following up on yet another call of a man flashing a gun around 5:30 p.m., cops made an arrest. After a brief foot chase, the suspect was taken into custody in the 3100 block of North Broadway, and a weapon was recovered.  Charges are pending.

Four hours later, police responded to reports of a woman threatening people with a gun in the street near Oakdale and Sheffield. Officers found a woman matching the callers’ description and recovered a weapon. Charges are also pending against her.


• A robbery near the Belmont Red Line ended with an arrest around 3:30 p.m. Officers tazed the offender, but he managed to wrangle free from the electrode spikes and run away. Cops gave chase and took the man into custody nearby.

• About 20 minutes later, a man was severely beaten and robbed in the 500 block of West Oakdale as the parade ended. Two male offenders fled in an unknown direction. The victim was taken away by ambulance.

• A man was hit in the face with a brick and robbed just west of the Belmont Red Line station a little after midnight this morning. The offender, described as a black male wearing a black t-shirt with white dots on it, was last seen running northbound in the east alley of Sheffield. The victim was transported to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center for treatment.

• Another man was robbed at Halsted and Waveland around 1 a.m. The victim was going home from work when a man and two women threatened him and took his book bag. They were rewarded with the man’s dirty work clothes and his uncashed paycheck. No description was available for the women, but the man was described as black, wearing a white shirt with gray pants.

• A Boystown man reported that he was beaten up and robbed by two men during the post-parade festivities. The victim was unable to remember exactly where the robbery took place when he reported it at 1:30 a.m.

The scene on Halsted Street shortly before the bars closed their doors by police order. | CWB Reader

The Run-Down

And, by popular demand, a few of the other emergency radio calls that caught our ears on Sunday:

9:33AM - Caller says a “male white ‘little person’ wearing a Cubs hat threatened him with a gun” at Grace and Broadway. No armed “little person” was found.

12:15PM — Whoops! Patrick just stepped outside and noticed that someone stole a Remington shotgun from the back of his Jeep Cherokee.

12:49PM — Drone reported over the 3200 block of North Halsted. Top cop in charge of the parade: “Try to identify the drone flyer. If they find him, we’re going to grab him, we’re gonna arrest him and we’re gonna inventory his drone.”  That's not exactly "Go ahead, make my day," but it'll have to do.

1:15PM — At the parade staging area: “I don’t see any protesters. There is a guy with a Trump sign. But they’re in the parade. They just don’t like Trump.”

1:45PM — Reports of a restaurant on Broadway “selling liquor in to-go cups.”

1:47PM — 705 Belmont: EMS call.
"Female Hispanic, 14. She's very drunk and hit the panic button on her phone."
“Did you say 14?”
“I did.”

2:10PM — Hold your calls! We have a winner! The first arrest of the day takes place at Belmont and Halsted. Criminal sexual abuse is the preliminary classification.

2:18PM — COP: “There’s four male Hispanics drinking alcohol and smoking weed.”
19th DISTRICT COMMANDER: “Who’s complaining about them smoking marijuana? They all are!”

2:26PM — Second arrest of the day. He’s a drone pilot. Diversey and Pine Grove. Daaaayum! They're gonna inventory your drone, dude!

3:22PM — “We have a young lady who fell down and busted her face open pretty good” at Wellington and Broadway.

3:33PM — Parade is halted briefly after a parade participant fell down the stairs of a double-decker bus. Also at Wellington and Broadway.

4:15PM — The Starbucks at Clark and Belmont is forced to close after about a dozen people storm the store, ransack the place, and deploy pepper spray.

4:16PM — “Ya got three male whites waving sex toys in the air” at Belmont and Broadway.

4:19PM — “Two people went into the porta potty and won’t come out. They’re not responding when people knock.” Buckingham and Clark.

4:31PM — “Intoxicated male standing between two cars. He’s been vomiting for two hours.” 600 block of Oakdale.

5:01PM — Random radio transmission: “Hey! The paramedics are looking for the puker.”

5:07PM — An intoxicated female keeps trying to climb a building. 600 block of Barry.

5:16PM — “30 people” stealing from the Walgreens. 3046 North Halsted.

6PM — CPD boss: “I’m releasing the district draw on the line of march. No tact. No gang. Nobody else.”
COP: “What about gang?” No.
COP 2: “What about salt trucks?” No
COP 3: “What about tact teams?” No
COP 4: “Can we get a lunch?”
RANDOM VOICE: “Whoever keeps asking, stop.”

6:36PM — 3900 Broadway: A drunk guy picked up a woman’s purse and then got punched out by a lady when he got caught. EMS and arrest teams ordered.

6:41PM — “Disregard,” says a cop with the drunk purse thief. “They resolved it. He took a licking and realized he deserved it.”

8PM — Resident near the Belmont Red Line says she asked some men to stop urinating in her yard and they knocked her in the head. Also, they’re selling drugs.

8:41PM — “I got someone hit in the head with a bottle of vodka outside Hydrate.”

9:07PM — “We got a pretty good fight in the 7-11 parking lot.” CPD closes the store due to “public safety.”


Police clearing the 900 block of Belmont at 1 a.m. today. "Like a thousand blue lightning bugs," one passer-by said.

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

CTA "Pride Train" Out Of Service After Killing Man At 35th St

The CTA Pride train sits at Sox-35th after striking a man who fell from the platform on Saturday | ABC7
Update: The Pride train returned to service at 10 a.m. Sunday.

The CTA Pride-themed Red Line train has been taken out of service after it struck and killed a man at the Sox-35th station on Saturday afternoon.

A 19-year-old man was riding his bike on the platform when he lost his balance and fell in front of the northbound Pride train as it entered the station around 1:30 p.m., police said.

After being trapped under the train for nearly 20 minutes, the man was freed and pronounced dead at the scene.

The Pride train was taken out of service immediately as part of standard investigative protocols. CTA did not say when the train would return to service.
CTA handout photo of the Pride train. | CTA
The CTA debuted its rainbow-wrapped Pride train on Friday in advance of today’s Chicago Pride Parade "to show our commitment to equality and inclusion," a spokesman said.
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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Pride: Man Charged With Urinating On Boystown Nacho Stand (And Other Weird Reports)

Perhaps Pride Fest organizers should consider installing more restroom facilities? Two men have been charged with relieving themselves in some strange places last weekend around Boystown:

Webster is accused of urinating on the Boystown 7-Eleven nacho stand "without permission."
22-year-old Lezzerick Webster walked into the Boystown 7-Eleven store at 3407 North Halsted around 1:30 last Saturday morning and “began urinating near and on the nacho station…food stand and food without permission of the owner,” according to prosecutors.

Webster then ran from the store and pushed two Northalsted security guards who tried to approach him, police said.

He’s charged with two counts of battery and criminal damage to property.

DelValle allegedly soiled the chips section at this Sheridan Road Subway.
In similar fashion, 47-year-old Timothy DelValle of Uptown is accused of “urinating on the wall and floor” of the Subway restaurant at 3952 North Sheridan around 5 p.m. last Saturday.

His actions “caused residue to splash onto chip bags, rendering them unsellable,” according to the owner’s complaint.

DelValle is charged with criminal damage to property.

Not A Copper

Elsewhere, 45-year-old Alberto Alvarez is charged with trying to steal a reel of copper wire from a warehouse near the United Center last week.

The story itself isn’t that unusual, but Alvarez’s choice of wardrobe that day is: He wore a Chicago Police CAPS “Court Advocate” polo shirt for the job.

What is it about CAPS these days?

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Overnight Burglaries Hitting North Side Shops, Cops Say

Burglars have once again been targeting area businesses during overnight hours, according to a new community alert issued by Chicago police on Sunday afternoon.

At least three shops have been targeted since June 11 by the thieves who use a brick to bust through front doors and then steal merchandise.

The alert connects three cases to the pattern:
• A break-in in the 3000 block of North Sheffield at 5:05 a.m. on June 11. A source identified the business as an eyeglass boutique that lost designer sunglasses to the burglar.
• A burglary in the 1100 block of West Wilson at 12:10 a.m. on June 15. The source said a Boost Mobile store was targeted in this case.
• A burglary in the 2100 block of West Roscoe between 7 p.m. on June 15 and 7 a.m. on June 16. No further information was available about his incident.
Police do not offer a description of suspects in their alert.

A source reported that two offenders were seen running from the Boost Mobile break-in: a 6’5”-tall, 180-pound black male who was wearing a black shirt with black shorts and a 5’8”-tall 185-pound black male who was wearing a black shirt with black cargo shorts. Both men ran eastbound on Wilson after the burglary, the source said, citing witness accounts.

The source also identified two other possibly related incidents:
• The burglary of Pelly’s Liquors, 3444 North Lincoln, at 3:08 a.m. on June 8: Two men in hoodies were seen breaking through the front door with a crowbar and then fleeing in either a black Audi SUV or a black Toyota minivan with merchandise.
• Monday’s 3:15 a.m. break-in at Chicken Hut, 3200 North Broadway. A passer-by found the restaurant’s window broken and the cash register in disarray.
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Man Charged With Robbing Lincoln Square Verizon Store; "20 iPhones and $20,000" Taken, Prosecutors Say

Jackson is charged with robbing the Lincoln Square Verizon on May 22 and an Oak Park location two days later.
A Calumet City man, already charged with robbing a Verizon store in Oak Park, is now accused of also taking 20 iPhones and $20,000 cash in a robbery of the Lincoln Square Verizon store last month.

Jerry L. Jackson, 28, was one of four men who barged into the North Side store and forced an employee to the floor around 11:25 a.m. on May 22, prosecutors said.

The crew then marched into the rear storage area where the shop's inventory is stored and took handfuls of still-boxed phones as well as cash, according to the prosecution’s filings.

No one was seriously injured in the hold-up.

Detectives identified Jackson this week through a latent print left at the scene, according to police records. He is charged with robbery. Bail has been set at $100,000.

Two days after the Lincoln Square heist, Jackson and three other men were arrested and charged with a similar robbery of the Oak Park Verizon store.

In that case, four men rushed into the store and took off with a “large quantity of cellphones.”

The men sped away in a car but soon crashed in suburban Alsip with cops hot on their heels.

Charged with robbery and kidnapping in the Oak Park case are Jackson; 22-year-old Demetrius Chairse of Chicago; 22-year-old Quovadis Agnew of Chicago; and 26-year-old Marko Cowens of Harvey.

Alderman: Lose Your Phone? Call 911!

Smith | DNAInfo
When we contacted Alderman Michele Smith for comment on our story this week about a police tactical team tracking down her stolen phone, she did not respond.

But she did talk to DNAInfo Chicago after our story ran.

Smith told DNAInfo that her phone was “lost.”

"I did just what I tell my constituents to do," Smith said. "I called 911."

Interesting on a couple of fronts:
1) We weren’t aware that our district’s limited police resources could be called upon to track down lost personal property. 
2) When Smith’s office called 911, they said the phone had been stolen.  Let's go to the audio tape! 

Regarding our story, Smith told DNAInfo, "I'm not going to comment on what people write in blogs.”

Notice she didn’t deny the accuracy of our report. She just refused to comment on it.

We suppose that's par for the course from an alderman who likes to claim that there are more police than the public sees and "we have had increased patrols…Sometimes you don't always see it."
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Friday, June 23, 2017

Cops Issue Second Warning About Big-Boned Bandit

These two images of the suspect were released tonight by Area North detectives. | Chicago Police
For the second time in a month, Chicago police are warning businesses about a filthy clothes-loving, heavy-set robber who is targeting stores and restaurants in a streak of hold-ups.

Cops first warned about the guy on May 31 after he held up shops in Lakeview and Uptown, including a Subway restaurant near the Sheridan Red Line station.

The man is seen during the robbery of a  Subway restaurant in the 3900 block of North Sheridan | Chicago Police
The new alert is coming after the suspect held up three more stores on Wednesday—one each in Bucktown, Austin, and Humboldt Park.

Cops say the man enters businesses and demands cash, sometimes while displaying a knife or implying that he has a gun.

They say he’s white or Hispanic, 30-40 years old, 5’5” to 5’11” and 200-280 pounds. He typically wears a sports-related baseball hat and—from our own observation—disgustingly dirty clothing.

Seven robberies have been connected to the man, police said today:
• in the 2800 block of N. Ashland on May 12 at 01:50 a.m.
• in the 3900 block of N. Sheridan on May 13 at 03:00 a.m.
• in the 2800 block of N. Ashland on May 30 at 02:34 a.m.
• in the 2400 block of N. Milwaukee on May 30 at 10:53 p.m.
• in the 4400 block of W. Grand on Jun 21 at 09:37 a.m.
• in the 4700 block of W. North on Jun 21 at 09:52 a.m.
• in the 1900 block of W. Fullerton on Jun 21 at 07:33 p.m.
Anyone with information about the suspect or these robberies is asked to call Area North detectives at (312) 744-8263.
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3 More Boystown Robberies Since Yesterday Morning

Three more robberies have been reported in the Boystown area since Thursday morning. With the manic Pride Parade weekend underway, this month’s robbery total for the neighborhood has already exceeded June’s full-month totals in 2016 and 2015.

The two latest robberies happened Friday morning:

• Around 3:30 a.m., two offenders attacked and robbed an intoxicated man in the alley behind Hydrate Nightclub, 3458 North Halsted, police said.  Two men took the victim’s wallet and cell phone before running south in the alley. The offenders are described as two black men. One had dreadlocks and wore a red hoodie; the other is bald, according to the victim

• Around 2:15 a.m., a man jumped out of a car, threw a woman to the ground, and ripped away her purse near the intersection of Clark and School, police said. The woman described the offender as a Hispanic man who was wearing a black shirt and long gray shorts. He got into a red 4-door BMW that was driven southbound on Clark by an accomplice, she said.

• Almost exactly 24 hours earlier, a man was also mugged at Clark and School. The victim sprained his ankle as two offenders—one armed with a knife—jumped him and took his wallet around 2:10 a.m. He described the robbers as two black men who were wearing hoodies. One of them wore a Cubs hat. Both offenders were last seen running southbound in the west alley of Clark Street.

Thursday evening, Chicago police issued a warning after they determined that four of the area’s recent robberies were connected.

Rough June

With the Pride Parade imminent and a full week left to go in the month, these latest incidents bring the Wrigleyville-Boystown robbery total for June to at least 17. That’s higher than last June’s full-month total of 16 and June 2015's total of 10.

Since 2001, the neighborhood has recorded an average of 18 robberies during June.

For the full year, Wrigleyville and Boystown have seen 70 robberies, down from 76 at this point last year. The ‘hood had 37 robberies at this stage in 2015; and 53 in 2014.

Boystown has recorded an average of 6 robberies in the course of Pride Parade weekends since 2013.

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