Sunday, August 31, 2014

NUTS: Cops Depleted, Arsonist Lurks, And On And On

An outdoor police roll call. Or a dog and pony
show. We can't be sure.
(Paulick Report)
After a mild start, the holiday weekend heated up quickly. With another day to go, here are the headlines so far:
  • An arsonist swept through the alleys of Boystown and nearby Lake View Sunday, setting at least three fires, with video capturing him in the act of setting the first blaze. One coach house is expected to be a total loss. No injuries.
  • District was in "RAP" status, meaning officers were not available to handle emergency calls immediately, for nearly four hours early Sunday. At one point, nearly half of the district's beat cars are assigned to take control of post-bar Wrigleyville.
  • Police ranks were so thin, it took 7 minutes for a fire department ambulance to get help when a medical run went bad at the Belmont CTA station.
  • A 1AM photo-op outdoor police roll call at Belmont and Sheffield on Saturday seemed to have no effect on crime in that area. 


12:24AM - Intoxicated man is beaten up and needs assistance. Jewel, 3531 Broadway.

12:25AM - “Send an ambulance for this VERY intoxicated male" at Jewel.

1:31AM - Officer requests an ambulance for “a guy who was in a battery,” 3200 block of Sheffield.

2:44AM - Woman flags down officers after being pepper-sprayed and robbed near Sheffield and School. No report.


12:37AM - Dumpster fire in the alley behind the 700 block of Belmont. The next night, three arson fires would be set in the neighborhood.

1:00AM - Dog and pony show, er, Outdoor Police Roll Call is held at Belmont and Sheffield to project a show of force.

1:19AM - Large fight in the street, 900 block of Belmont. Participants are hitting others with skateboards. Meanwhile, 300 yards away, force continues to be projected as the Outdoor Police Roll Call continues at Belmont and Sheffield.

1:20AM - Woman punched in the face by a man at Halsted and Cornelia. Two calls. Halsted Street “entertainment detail” units are all “projecting force” half a mile away at the Outdoor Police Roll Call.

1:23AM - OK. That’s enough force projection. Outdoor roll call concludes.

1:40AM - Woman has just beaten up her girlfriend 50 yards from the recently-concluded Outdoor Police Roll Call. EMS rolling. Domestic battery case HX408066 filed.

1:40AM - Man calls 911. He’s helping a guy who got beat up by three people behind Jack’s restaurant at Halsted and Belmont.

2:29AM - Officers go to Illinois Masonic to take a battery report from a patient in the E/R. The woman tells officers she got beat up at Halsted and Belmont. Battery case HX408095 filed.

3:08AM - Over at the site of tonight’s Outdoor Police Roll Call, three men have just stolen a woman’s phone and wallet. Witnesses say the offenders escaped in a silver car that had been continuously circling the block. Description of man who stole the goods: black, 5’5” tall, white t-shirt turned inside out, blue cargo shorts with tiny white sailboats on ‘em.

4:36AM - Four doors down from the site of the Outdoor Police Roll Call, a man needs an ambulance after being punched in the face. He’s down and his face is swollen and bleeding. Ambulance takes him to Illinois Masonic.

7:02AM - Lincoln Park man calls 911 to report that he got knocked out and robbed on Lincoln Avenue overnight. Case HX408271

6:40PM - Four people fighting at Halsted and Waveland. They’re moving westbound on Waveland.


12:57AM - Group of women have attacked a man in the 3300 block of Halsted. Man has a gash over his eye.

1:00AM - A half-block away from the gashed man, an Outdoor Police Roll Call begins in the 7-Eleven parking lot, 3401 Halsted.

1:06AM - In and out. Nobody hurt. Outdoor Police Roll Call concludes. Everyone back to work.

1:47AM - CTA has no police units available tonight, so could one of you guys go check on the man down at the Belmont Brown Line platform?

2:00AM - Did we mention that CTA has no officers available tonight? 'cuz a 40-year-old man just got knocked to the ground, kicked in the head several times, and robbed of his wallet at the Paulina Brown Line station. He has a head injury. The thug has his $70. Ambulance takes him to Illinois Masonic. $70...

2:07AM - Big fight outside of Exedus II, 3477 Clark. Within minutes, six of the district’s 15 police beat cars plus the “entertainment team” and private security are working to contain Wrigleyville.

2:10AM - “We need a bunch of cars” on Clark Street.

2:23AM - Wrigleyville Taco Bell security is holding an offender for battery.

2:24AM - Man just got battered outside of Kirkwood Bar.

2:25AM - Sergeant to dispatcher: It’s busy. Only assign calls involving “an immediate threat to property..or someone’s personal safety.” Hold on to everything else.

2:28AM - The district enters Radio Assignments Pending (RAP) status. That means there are no officers available to immediately handle incoming 911 calls. Calls for help will stack up and be assigned as officers become free. Almost half of the district's police beat cars are currently trying to contain Wrigleyville's Clark Street.

2:39AM - Sergeant: Send a car to block northbound traffic on Clark Street heading into Wrigleyville. Dispatcher: Can’t. We don’t have any cars.

2:44AM - Taco Bell is still holding onto that battery offender and “the crowd is getting rowdy.”

2:51AM - Sergeant stumbles into a fight at Newport and Clark. Send him another car.

3:01AM - Fight at Newport and Clark is resolved. Now, an arrest is being made at the same location for a different fight.

3:22AM - Officers discover a fight inside a parking garage in the 3500 block of Clark Street. Battery report filed.

3:34AM - Over on Halsted, officers arrest one for battery near Halsted and Aldine. Case HX409398.

3:42AM - Oh, hey. Sorry about this. The Walgreens at Halsted and Barry has been holding a shoplifter for about 90 minutes. Can anyone help them out?

3:42AM - Ya know what? We still haven’t sent anyone to meet up with the guy who got beat up near Kirkwood Bar over an hour ago.

3:50AM - Large crowd getting rowdy at the Belmont CTA station. Units are pulled from Halsted to handle.

4:11AM - First in a series of arson fires reported. Fire in the alley, 863 Roscoe. The arsonist is caught on surveillance footage.

4:34AM - People fighting in the street at Waveland and Broadway. Two calls.

Clean up begins Sunday morning at the Wellington fire.
4:53AM - Coach house on fire, “fully engulfed,” 1023 Wellington. Luckily, two women who live inside are on vacation.

4:59AM - Truck on fire in the alley, 3240 Kenmore.

5:12AM - Fire Department ambulance crew needs help. Someone is “interfering with patient care” at the Belmont CTA station. Dispatcher: “Do I have any unit at all?” Answer: Silence.

5:19AM - OK. We’re declaring a police emergency for that ambulance crew. They need help. An officer peels over and tries to locate the offender without success.

5:22AM - Two men fighting in the street at Halsted and Newport.

5:52AM - Still need someone to go to that fire on Kenmore from an hour ago.

6:17AM - District’s backlog of calls is resolved. RAP status ends.

6:22AM - In the 3700 block of Kenmore, and officer finds a home with screens removed and windows pulled out. Burglary suspected.

7:05AM - Theft report at the firehouse by Wrigley Field. Firefighter’s helmet went missing in all of this morning’s excitement.
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