Monday, May 18, 2015

HELMONT RIDES AGAIN: Late Night Mayhem Returns For 2015

Robberies. Random attacks. Neighbors waking up to find a stranger tending to his freshly-broken leg in their back yard. These all contributed to a vibrant mix as the unmitigated criminal playground that we call Helmont neared peak performance this weekend.

One of these days, police and politicians will make a concerted effort to reclaim Belmont Avenue from the criminal droves. Right? They'll try, right?

The only logical way to tell the story of our neighborhoods' nighttime madness is by giving a play-by-play. (We've tossed in a few non-Helmont reports for variety.)


2:00AM — Sergeant sees a large fight break out at Clark and Cornelia. More cars called in to disperse the brawlers.

2:13AM — A Chicago radio reporter is robbed at knife point in Boystown. 600 block of Roscoe.

Scarlet. (
2:57AM — Group of 30 young men just chased a couple of guys into Boystown's Scarlet Bar, 3320 N. Halsted. The pack is now waiting outside for the victims to leave. Police confirm a large number of people on the street--"there’s a large group walking back and forth on this block. We'll probably get more calls."

3:26AM — Police unit requests more cars and a paddy wagon to the Belmont Red Line station for a large disturbance on the street. General mayhem unfolds along Belmont from Sheffield to Halsted.

3:31AM — Officer is flagged down by a guy who reports being threatened by a man with a handgun on Belmont between Halsted and Clark. The offender, described as a black man, 6-feet tall, 195 pounds, with short hair, dressed in all black, allegedly carries a handgun in his front waistband.

3:44AM — Officer: "We got about 100 people here on Belmont. Get some cars [to Clark and Belmont] to shag these guys."

3:49AM — All of the 19th district's foot patrol officers and "entertainment team" units are ordered to report to Belmont.

4:00AM — Ambulance requested for victim of a beating at Belmont Red Line station.

4:10AM — CTA workers at Belmont CTA station report "15 transgenders soliciting and threatening them."

4:20AM — Multiple calls to the police tip line reporting groups of men conducting open sales of narcotics at Belmont and Sheffield as well as 3500 N. Halsted.

4:37AM — Two men in hoodies chasing another man eastbound on School at Sheffield.

4:39AM — Caller reports that the man who was being chased above has been robbed. Victim tells police that he was "talking to some guy in a car" at School and Sheffield when two black men approached, removed him from his vehicle, stole his wallet, and drove off in his 2003 brown Saturn L200.

5:06AM — Officers report that the man who was robbed is "very angry. He walked away and said 'screw the police, goodbye!'"

5:12AM — Officer calls for more cars to Belmont and Wilton for a fight in progress.

5:13AM — Officer calls for officers with a Tazer to Belmont and Wilton.

5:33AM — Officer to dispatcher: "Have you gotten any calls at Belmont and Clark about a male white in a checkered shirt who's threatening to stab people?" Answer: No.

6:46AM — A victim of that 2:00AM fight at Clark/Cornelia is now hospitalized at Illinois Masonic. Battery report filed.

10:59AM — Naked man jumping out of bushes to scare people and take their pictures on the Lakefront Trail between Diversey and Belmont.

9:07PM — Man shot 4 times in Uptown. He lives.

9:09PM — A pit bull attacks and kills two other dogs on the corner of Broadway and Hawthorne.


2:32AM — Resident who lives at Belmont and Kenmore says he just woke up to find a burglar in his 3rd floor apartment. Report filed.

3:18AM — Group fighting in the street at Aldine and Halsted.

3:22AM — Large crowd in the 7-Eleven parking lot at Roscoe and Halsted. Some people in the crowd are firing off stun guns.

4:12AM — Officers witness another fight breaking out at Aldine and Halsted.

4:26AM — More cars requested at Belmont and Wilton for a fight in progress.

4:28AM — 911 callers reporting a huge fight at Belmont and Clark.

Belmont CTA station mezzanine (
4:31AM — Man reports that he's been jumped on the Belmont Red Line platform.

4:34AM — Five people fighting on the Belmont CTA station's northbound platform. Another caller says it's 8 people fighting. "They're flooding my [dispatch] board with these calls….now you got a person with a knife fighting."

4:34AM — EMS on the way for 18-year-old victim on the Belmont platform.

4:40AM — They're now fighting on the Addison Red Line platform.

4:41AM — Officer at Addison CTA station says he has located another victim from the Belmont platform melee.

4:45AM — Man being beaten up by 3 other men under the L tracks at School and Wilton.

4:50AM — Motorist reports that people are throwing rocks and other objects at vehicles driving past Belmont and Clark. Offenders are last seen running toward the Belmont CTA station. Driver pulls over and waits for police.

5:13AM — Resident who lives at School and Sheffield wakes up to find a stranger with a broken leg lying in his back yard. The leg was broken in one of the many fights mentioned above. Transported to Illinois Masonic. Report filed.

7:33AM — DISPATCHER: "[Illinois] Masonic is treating a man who says he got beat up at Belmont and Wilton." OFFICER: "Yeah. Imagine that!" Victim is unable to file a report when police arrive because he is getting a CAT scan.

7:58AM — Homeless man defecating in the Dunkin' Donuts parking lot. Clark and Belmont.
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  1. perhaps it's time to stop CTA service to Belmont after 2 AM. . . It will save the city some money and take a bite out of the mayhem. Nothing good happens after 2 AM anyhow.

    1. At what time does "good" start happening again?

    2. All that will do is spread it north and Fullerton and Addison and Southport will get it...But at least at Addison the police station is a street away...oh wait not like they'd do anything about it anyway

    3. It's such a typical liberal illogical thinking pattern...instead of punishing those who commit crimes, punish everyone else by shutting down services. It's the same as the law forbidding the selling of spray paint...the result is the criminals still have it to spread graffiti, but I can't buy a can to paint the patio furniture. It's the same as the former law banning didn't stop criminals from having them but honest citizens complied and had no way to defend themselves. Maybe if we shut down the L altogether that will stop all crime? Forget about the millions who use it for legitimate purposes.

    4. An "artist" on Halsted Street told me "it's easier to get a gun than a can of spray paint here". I needed a can for legit purposes too.

      Really F'd up city.

    5. @Crime

      I don't know what time the "good" starts happening but I imagine you could look through your huge pool of data and notice the correlation between crime and time of day. Perhaps cursory analysis would tell you an arbitrary time, maybe even when dawn spreads its fingertips of rose across the expanse of the city...

      The stories you post are full of criminals who escape on the CTA. Why keep the service open late at night if it is simply a criminal express train after certain times of the evening?

      I would be willing to bet a large sum of money that shutting down CTA service at the Belmont station would cut down on crime. Why not give it a shot?

      We will never have the number of police need. It's time to consider new ideas.

      Damn, I never considered myself a liberal or ever have been called that.

  2. This is what the residents want, so they should be very happy. Go team supporters of Rahm, Tunney and Cappleman!

  3. All this happens yet none of the business leaders say anything on Halsted they just seem to accept it? I know a lot of people that are avoiding the bars on Halsted because of all of this. Was with friends recently and we were like we just need to be out of here by midnight.

  4. Wow so basically don't leave your house after mid night, don't take the L early in the early morning, and to all those partiers, GL with that. Sounds like good times.... Thank you police for dealing with all of this. Friday and Saturday night must be a rough shift for the 019 during the summer.

  5. I know this refrain has been repeated here ad nauseum, but I just cannot fathom why there aren't CPD personnel stationed at and near the Belmont station all night every weekend night.

    1. Because there is not enough manpower and Rahm will not hire more police because of the pension issues.

    2. Funny, he keeps insisting that he's put more officers on the job, even though the department itself contradicts him. No doubt, though, the suddenly-urgent pension crisis will now get the blame for EVERYTHING bad and every unpopular decision City Hall makes.

    3. Why would more police be sent to this district when the voters have overwhelmingly expressed their satisfaction with the status quo? Other than on this blog, there are virtually no complaints of crime in the district. Time for the residents to grow some big balls and take their community back if that's what they really want, but I suspect they much rather have their liberal politicians representing them so they can take their selfies with them during the Pride Parade.

      If you want to see heavy police presence, go to places where the crime isn't Michigan Avenue, the little park in Viagra Triangle, and at today's inaugural events in the loop.

    4. Michigan and Oak was having problems early this am too.

    5. Since 2000 officers hit 29 years +1 day and 55 years old in the next 18 months at which time they get a full pension, it's going to get worse before it gets better. Tiny Dancer and McMouthpiece think two watches with officers working 10.5 hour days will solve the issue. Too bad they forgot they need squads for those officers to patrol in.

    6. Two 10.5 hour watches per day? That's 21 hours of police coverage? What happens during the other 3 hours? --The daily "Purge"?

  6. Here's some observations I made, with some neighbors, for Sunday night/Monday morning:

    Approximately 1:05-1:30am: 10-15 black trans "girls" (?) sashaying up and down Halsted, 3400 block, both sides of the street, taunting *only* white boys walking along or in duo; shouting at passing cars; going out in the streets yelling; not one single police car passed in this 30-minute time span.

    2:15am, a solo Hispanic guy walks past us (we are standing out front on a small apron leading to my driveway) and tells us he is going to "beat the shit out of _____" in a while. OK ....

    Sure enough, about 2:30am, glass is shattered just up the street (turns out to be a window at Little Jim's, Cornelia and Halsted); police officers immediately materialize on the scene; some sense of order is restored but some more black trans girls (?) on the corner at Hydrate are screaming at the officers and others passing by. (What happened to businesses being good neighbors? Roscoe's and Hydrate are not being good neighbors this spring ...)

    Five minutes later, the same solo Hispanic boy from earlier walks past us, with a bloody hand. We figured he may have broken Little Jim's window, since he came from that direction.

    3:15am, we (my neighbors and I) decide to retire for the evening, but, wait! Three more trans girls (?) taunting drivers and yelling at people who still (for God only knows what reason) are still on the streets at this hour.A guy on the third floor of a condo building at Newport and Halsted screamed at them from his balcony and that only inflamed the girls (?) to yell more. What a total display of lack of respect on the part of these girls (?) for the people who live (and sleep) in this neighborhood.

    Hellmont may be a flash point, no question about it, but Halsted between 3300 and 3600 is a shit-storm at times, too. Yes, this summer there will be HELL - but I feel good knowing my "alderman" is looking into it, and our "mayor" is working on returning law enforcment staffing levels to where they were pre-19/23 merge, and I fell especially safe knowing that I can't even walk to the 7-11 for a Coke unless it's daytime, and even then there's some level of risk. This neighborhood has gone to hell, completely. God only knows what we'll all be reading on these pages on Monday morning, June 29, following the night after the "pride" parade.

    1. Why were there two officers standing outside their Tahoe at the 7-11 at Roscoe/Halsted in Saturday night? I don't know what more you expect of them. Even if I was ignorant of the violence, the abundance of police everywhere around there would clue me to stay away.

  7. The bars don't care they are in Tunney and Rahm's back pocket. All they care is they pay their loan payments and pocket non reported cash from Pride Parade and Market Days. They would sell out if they could get what they owe or think their businesses are worth. Boystown has seen it's best days. Because it's not so gay centric like it was they are promoting in getting any customers they can to the neighborhood. The GLBT community has spread out moved to other parts of the City.


  9. just disgusting..... I cant say anymore... im so sick of it....

  10. Tunney took remedial action - he closed Ann Sathers for supper so his employees cannot make workman's comp claims when commuting home late and getting beaten.

    The bar owners do not care - they go though employee's and Go-Go boys like toilet paper.

    1. .."go through employee's and Go-Go boys like toilet paper"....hahaha! That comment wins the Internet!!

    2. Some of them look like they were recycled and used for a second or third swipe. Seriously, this is Chicago. You'd think it could lure some talent.

      I'm 41 now - "old" in gay lingo and most of them make my eyes hurt.

  11. I can't account for most bars, but I'll be damned if people are calling Roscoe's Tavern a bad neighbor, or accusing them of going through employees like toliet paper. Again, can't speak for the entire strip, but if there's one beacon of hope, it's that place. They do their absolute best to handle the day-to-day nonsense. Either way, reading this report was infuriating.