Thursday, January 01, 2015

2014: Our Most Widely-Read Stories Of The Year

The scene at Belmont and Sheffield moments after a shooting in the
hours following the 2014 Chicago Pride Parade.
To be sure, CWB's most important story of 2014 has yet to be written: A spectacular drop in muggings in Wrigleyville and Boystown after three consecutive record high robbery counts. More on that when the final stats are in.

For now, here are CWB's most widely-read stories of 2014. We think they give a good "big picture" view of where our neighborhood's challenges lie in the year ahead:

#10 IT HAPPENED: Man Shot Near Belmont/Sheffield; Person Robbed Nearby While Cops Guard Scene
The Chicago Pride Parade has enormous challenges to overcome. Controlling the crowd during the parade is one thing. Controlling the unmitigated mayhem that fills the neighborhood after the parade is a completely different animal.

Just as the 2 o’clock bars closed after the 2014 parade, a man was shot in a gang-related incident near Belmont and Sheffield. As if to demonstrate how overrun with criminals Boystown had become that night, a man was beaten and robbed near the Belmont CTA station while cops guarded the shooting scene just yards away. No arrest was made.

#9 BOYSTOWN: Woman Raped, Robbed, Threatened With Knife In Boystown Alley
A rapist followed a woman from the gas station at Addison and Halsted, pushed her into a garage behind an active construction site, threatened her with a knife, robbed, and raped her at 4:30PM on April 14.
Police at the scene of July 6th's double-shooting near Belmont Habor.

#8 VIOLENT NIGHT: 2 Shot Near Belmont Harbor; Another Stabbed Outside Wrigley Field; Man Dies After Being Found Shot Near Mayor’s House
Yeah. So that happened on July 6.

#7 DEVELOPING: Rahm’s Son Robbed Near Family Home; Luxurious Police Service Given
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s teenage son, Zach, reported being beaten up and robbed on the street just steps from the family’s Lake View home. Zach’s “Lake View Experience” is at least the third mugging on the mayor’s block in 18 months. No arrests have been made in any of the incidents, despite the fact that police video cameras are set up at both ends of the block and a full  5% of the 19th district’s police force is assigned to sit in front and back of the mayor’s home 24-hours-a-day…even when no one is home.

There's a cop car under that crowd somewhere.  (@runningwithcf)
#6 PROUD? Squad Cars Pummeled By Rowdy Spectators
For the second year in a row, overcrowding at the Chicago Pride Parade resulted in the near-destruction of Chicago Police Department patrol cars. If the Pride Parade stays in Lake View this year, figuring out a way to get the parade’s sizable crowd to spread out along its route rather than dangerously cramming a 3-block stretch of Halsted Street will be one of the biggest challenges.

Jacob Klepacz with "Billy Cub"
#5 DEATH INVESTIGATION: Man Found Beaten On Fullerton Dies; Had Been In Wrigleyville, Streeterville
Family and friends of Jacob Klepacz handed out flyers, knocked on doors, and cultivated media relationships for nearly three months before an arrest was made after the 32-year-old was found dead on a Lincoln Park sidewalk in late April. Other stories about Jacob’s case and the arrest of suspect Marco Alvarado in July also drew strong readership.

#4 NAUGHTY: 7 Arrests At Wrigleyville Bar Crawl
The drunken crowds of December’s “Twelve Bars Of Christmas” (TBOX) bar crawl was better contained than in some recent years, thanks to the presence of significantly more private security.

TBOX also arranged for private ambulances to handle emergency calls from the event. It turns out that there’s a little problem with that: It's a violation of the city’s contract with firefighters.

#3 BY THE NUMBERS: Pride Sunday Brings At Least 36 Arrests, 70+ Medical Calls, 24 Batteries
The Chicago Pride Parade is at a crossroads. Will organizers and the city find a way to make the event safe and better managed on the streets of Lake View or will the event be moved downtown?

Officers begin moving in after a huge "disturbance" at Montrose Beach. (@dj_OM8)
#2 UP FOR GRABS: Montrose Beach Riots; Closed By Police Order; Cops Exercise Restraint
When reporters called the Chicago Police Department's Office of News Affairs about this "disturbance" at Montrose Harbor on July 13, the department's professional spin artists brushed the story off as an officer injured while trying to break up a fight. And the mainstream outlets went with that version of events. Then, we began posting the videos.

Far from being "an officer" injured in a scuffle, Montrose Harbor was the scene of a mid-summer riot in which four officers were injured, some by flying bottles, nine people were arrested, and three CPD vehicles were damaged.

Once reporters caught an eyeful of what really went on, they smelled blood in the water, causing Chicago Police Department Superintendent Garry McCarthy to bristle during a press conference the next morning when reporters insisted on asking him about what went on at Montrose Beach rather than stick to the talking points he wanted to cover.

Police officers across the country came under intense scrutiny and criticism in 2014. Notably, not a single mainstream media outlets made mention of the remarkable restraint and professionalism exhibited by our 19th district officers in the midst of this bona fide riot. We suppose it's easier to second-guess split-second decisions ad nauseum. If you'd like to see those videos, and the officers professionalism, check out our YouTube channel.
Our picture of the year.

#1 IT AIN'T EASY BEING GREEN: St. Pat's Festivities Rack Up 21 Arrests, 17 Ambulance Runs In Wrigleyville
Powered by a wave of social- and mainstream media mentions, our recap of this year's St. Patrick's Day Sh!tshow in Wrigleyville is CWB's most-read story ever.
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  1. Thanks for publishing photo #2 again. Love showing the kids a photo of daddy at work ready to serve and protect the citizens of Chicago.

    Hope we all enjoy a healthy and happy 2015. Stay safe.

    1. Thank you for your service. (We'll work harder on our long-range photography skills.)

    2. I adore our police officers, and you don't receive the credit you deserve! Chicago Police are the BEST!!!

    3. Thanks for the kind words. Greatly appreciated considering all the negativity about police out there recently.

    4. I support our police 100%. You have a very tough and dangerous job never knowing who is friend or foe. Please know there are MANY more residents than not who back you in the 19th district. Thank you for your dedicated service. We need you!

  2. If there was room for an eleventh story, surely it would be about our spineless alderthing and our clueless commander and our Pollyanna mayor, and the trickle down effects of their individual and collective inaction on dealing with the criminal elements so widespread throughout this once kind and gentle neighborhood.

  3. Thank you CWB for all your work in 2014. Keep up the good work in 2015!

    1. Oh my...yes yes and YES!!! Thank you so much CWB.

  4. AnonymousThursday, 01 January, 2015

    If there was room for an eleventh story, surely it would be about our spineless alderthing and our clueless commander and our Pollyanna mayor, and the trickle down effects of their individual and collective inaction on dealing with the criminal elements so widespread throughout this once kind and gentle neighborhood. That says it all. Very well stated!

  5. Many heartfelt thanks to CPD and CWB!
    -a mom

  6. Now I can't find the story about the punk who mugged a 60+ year old woman on Halsted and was caught using her credit card in a nearby restaurant. He had also been interviewed for a video on the social services in Lakeview he needed. I've been wondering what ultimately happened to that shithead.

    1. Here you go. We had to used the search term "Brazilian."

      We'll include Robert Vacha in an upcoming review of where some 2013 and 2014 cases stand.

    2. CWB, you are the best. I was wondering about that loser as well. Thanks for providing data and coverage on what the other news media are too chickenshit to touch. If only EVERYONE in this neighborhood knew of and read your coverage ......

    3. He has been free for months. Here is his Facebook page...current posts show that his major concern is the color of his hair:

    4. Months? Looks like November 22 to me. I wonder what the outcome was? Looking forward to the CWB update!

    5. He just had his hair done at...where else?,,,Boystown's Robert Jeffery salon at 3434 N Halsted. So he is back amongst all of us with his dyed hair.

    6. Looks like on Facebook it has changed its name to "Jacob Lapinskas" and indeed has among its highest priorities: the smell of weed (post of 1/2/15 at 12:10pm), Christmas Eve shower sex (post of 12/24/14 at 3:12am), its hairstyle (post of 12/29/14, 5:16pm), and so on. Doesn't it live in the 5500 block of south somewhere? Why is it coming all the way up here to Boystown? L:astly ... wonder how long before we'll be hearing about another crime committed by "Jason Lapinskas"/Robert Vacha.

    7. Note the comments to his YouTube video's good to see that he is properly identified as an entitled punk who robbed an old lady...

    8. It comes all the way up to Boystown for the free services provided by Center on Halsted and Broadway Youth Center. The CoH should not be "confident" that criminals are not hanging out there. I saw that creep there last week.

  7. Excellent work CWB and everybody working 19.. And all of this was accomplished while being so short-staffed.

  8. CWB....thank you, thank you, thank you for what you do. I just with the entire city of Chicago was aware of what is going on in once, nice & safe, neighborhoods. The media spin and lies are ridiculous. Nothing but propaganda. Are we living in communist Russia or North Korea, where the regime controls everything, including the media?

    I thank you, CWB, and also Second City Cop, who tells the TRUTH. I am dumbfounded that Chicago’s “media” refuses to tell the truth and instead continues the bullshit from our hideous little mayor.

    1. Yes, Chicago was always corrupt, but it worked. There was some competence and constituent service. The culturw has completely changed with that little carpet-bagging snivel from Skokie decimating good neighborhoods to make bad ones less bad, but still unacceptable.

      The media are now an extension of the city's P-R department.

  9. I feel obliged to comment on the poster who thinks we are living in communist Russia or North Korea. I immigrated here from a suburb of Moscow in 1982. I was granted citizenship under "political consideration". Please don't compare Chicago media to a communist country. You have no idea what you are talking about.

    1. In Soviet Union, hyperbole uses YOU!

    2. The Russia/N. Korea comment is sarcasm. However, one must admit that our media serves more propaganda and the mayors spin instead of reporting what is REALLY going on. Unless you live in the neighborhood and/or read this fabulous blog, people are totally unaware of what is going on in this once, safe neighborhood. Outsiders believe Wrigley/Boys Town is still a very safe place to live.

      I wonder why the media doesn't report what is really going on. I thought this was a free country with free speech. I would also think that any journalist who blew the lid off the mayor's cover up would win awards and/or move up the ladder of success in his or her field.

      What power/control/threats are going on here, to keep the media mute??