Sunday, February 16, 2014

UPDATES: Follow-Up On Recent CWB Reports

Here are some follow-up reports on three stories that drew heavy readership over the past few weeks:

Treasure Island Battery
Many residents took notice of our December 29th report of a man being beaten in the parking lot of Treasure Island grocery store, 3460 N. Broadway, at 3 o'clock on a Sunday afternoon.

CWB has subsequently learned that the victim of this crime was a Treasure Island security guard.

According to information we have received, the guard approached his future assailant and asked him to stop selling candy in the store parking lot. At that point, the candy salesman punched the guard several times in the face with an unknown object, causing the guard to lose consciousness for several minutes.

The incident's classification has been upgraded to aggravated battery of a police officer with a dangerous weapon.

Robbery, Kicking of Pregnant Woman
On January 21, we told you about a pregnant woman who had been "kicked in the stomach, beaten, and robbed" during an afternoon robbery at a McDonald's restaurant near the DePaul campus.

We have since been provided a copy of the incident's police report, which states
[The victim] was inside McDonald's restaurant when [the offender] approached her table and reached into her purse and attempted to take victim's phone. 
Victim grabbed and held onto offender and was dragged thru door to sidewalk where offender repeatedly kicked and kneed the victim.
Some of those blows landed in the 6-month-pregnant woman's abdomen.

About three hours after the attack, doctors told officers that the victim was "stable."

A Re-Class Act?
Stories of Chicago Police Department manipulation of crime statistics by downgrading serious offenses to lesser matters are fairly common.  In our experience, though, police reports of suspected "downgrade" cases omit key information that could suggest a higher classification is appropriate.

For example, we are aware of several cases in which a victim was punched, pushed, or grabbed from behind—qualifying as a robbery—but the incidents were classified as "theft" with details of physical altercation being omitted from police reports.

The January 25 case of a man who reported being robbed outside of Trace Lounge in Wrigleyville is a bit different.

In the official police records, this man's tale--which was initially classified as an aggravated battery--has been reduced to a curious case of "pocket-picking."

According to the police report, the intoxicated victim
was outside of [Trace] bar to take smoke and there were a group of 5 people standing outside. They started to talk to him, then proceeded to grab at his pants pockets taking his wallet, keys and cellphone. [One offender] took everything out of the wallet, threw the wallet to the ground and started running to [a vehicle] which fled northbound on Clark St.
In Illinois, robbery requires the offender(s) to use force or threaten the imminent use of force to take property. Even though the man was outnumbered 5-to-1, the department apparently couldn't find a "threat" element here. One is left to wonder how a group of five people rifling through the pants pockets of a conscious person and taking his valuables qualifies as "pocket-picking."
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14 comments:

  1. about the pregnant woman kicked in the stomach...the original story stated that she was in an alley. how did you first get that info (if you can say) and how now do we know it was inside the mcdonald's? did you have to request FOIA to see the police report?
    i was furious that this story was not reported anywhere except here! now that the police report is public knowledge (?) how can we let others know about this besides on this blog? so many still don't know about this blog, unfortunately! readers, please share this with your friends and neighbors.
    thank you so much for the update!

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    1. Hi Helen,

      Contrary to popular belief, police reports are public records and absolutely anyone may request a copy from the Chicago Police Department at foia@chicagopolice.org . There is no charge. Turn-around time is about a week.

      The initial report that we received was that the incident occurred in the alley. We now know that it allegedly originated inside the restaurant and proceeded to the outdoors. The suspect was said to have fled through the alley.

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    2. Any video from the incident? Shouldn't McDonald's surveillance capture it?

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    3. Video was reviewed but did not capture the incident according to the initial police report.

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  2. Thanks to your blog I am actually selling my condo upon returning to Chicago from China. I got bored of the area anyway and this just seals the deal. Moving to Vancouver.

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    1. you are very smart.

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  3. Unfortunately, what the police call downgrading, has been going on for ages. Retired now, I was taught from the first day I hit the district that "crime" is not always what it is. ( WINK ) A burglary may be a damage to property if there was force, like pry marks, to enter (don't mention what was taken). A theft maybe lost property (if the person turned away for a moment). An attempt auto theft maybe a damage to property if the window was broken (don't mention that the ignition was ripped apart). And the list and the beat goes on. Some things never change.

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    1. This has taken it to a whole new level.

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  4. Some online reviews give a subtle but true picture of what's going on In the neighborhood too. Seems to be regular patrons of Treasure Island are complaining more about being stopped at the door and having their bags searched. Why put up with the hassle? And why do you need a security guard there anyway? Uptick in car theft? They're not open 24 hours either.

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    Replies
    1. Don't ever put down that Treasure Island. They are protecting what they own. They are in touch. Unlike our mayor.

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  5. What is wrong with people!?!?! Who kicks a pregnant woman in the stomach?!? They need to find that person and put him behind bars for attempted murder. The offender could have killed the baby. I've really had it with these scum that are making this city a terrible place to live.

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    Replies
    1. If you can knock an elderly person down the CTA steps and kill her while fleeing with a cell phone,.....

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  6. Man this city just sucks. Run People Run. Pot Holes and Gangs. Thank You Mr. Mayor. You are the best ever.

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