Monday, July 27, 2015

THEIR WORDS: With 15 Mugged Since July 4, Two Victims Tell Their Stories

At least 15 people have been attacked and robbed on our neighborhood’s streets since the Fourth of July—sharply reversing a successful anti-robbery campaign that was launched in 2013 by recently-transferred district police commander Elias Voulgaris.

Last night, two of this month’s victims told us their stories:

Beaten & Robbed On Halsted Strip

At 1:17AM last Monday, Chicago police responded to multiple 911 calls of two men fighting on the street at Buckingham and Halsted. In fact, the men were not fighting. One of them was being robbed. We're withholding his name, but that's him in the picture. And this is his story:

“I got the shit beaten out of me. Woke up in the hospital in my blood-covered shorts. They completely stripped me down of everything I had. Like a bunch of animals.

The scene of the robbery. (Google)
“I was walking past Nookies, almost to Town Hall Pub, and I remember turning around for some reason and one of the guys charged me and began to hit me in the face. I fought back—I believe knocking him to the ground—and then that's when everyone started in on punching me.

“I remember being punched repetitively in the back of my head, my back, and my side. At one point I heard a girl's voice say ‘they should just let them two fight.'

“After being hit so many times in the back of the head I think it just made me loopy and knocked me out. I remember the police officer (I'm guessing) asking if I needed to go to the hospital. But I was so out of it next thing I know I was at the hospital and covered in blood and I couldn't really remember why or where I was.

Map showing 14 known robberies in our area since July 4. The victim of a 15th
robbery could only recall that it happened in Wrigleyville.
“During the brawl I remember my [backpack] being ripped off. My flip flops flew off while the fight was happening. I assume that's when they got my cell phone and wallet as well.

“They took my cell phone, wallet, flip flops, shirt and my backpack. In my bag I had sunglasses, prescription glasses, Beats headphones, a school book and a few other things. I had to get my locks changed because they took my keys too.

“They charged up my credit cards and called Chase to make themselves authorized users on my account.

“It just sucks. I'm a college student just making it and people come and take everything I've worked so hard to get. I don't have money to just go out and get those things back.”

Out of the hospital now, the victim says he suffered “a swollen face, black eyes, busted nose, and black and blue lips. My jaw is very sore. I have to go to the dentist to get it checked [today]. Still can't really chew much. Deep cuts on my feet since they took my flip flops. Scratches on my right leg and a bruised hip. I’m still super stiff and can't move around for too long because it hurts.

“I'm attending Loyola this summer and prob going to have to drop my class because I have been dealing with all of this and haven't had time for class.

“This pic from the hospital is nothing compared to how I looked the next two days.”

“The worst part is I've heard nothing from police and my friend works at the state's attorney and can't help because they haven't made it an open case yet.”

We hope that justice will be served soon.

Jogger Mugged Outside Wrigley Field 

Over the weekend, we reported that three people had been mugged in our neighborhood between midnight and 6AM on Saturday. It turns out that there was a fourth victim.

His name is Lucas Wittwer. He was beaten and robbed at approximately 2:40 that morning—within minutes of a similar attack near the Addison Red Line station. Here is what he told us:

Lucas was robbed to the right of this fire station, across from Wrigley's left field wall.
“Thankfully I got off pretty easy with just a decent scrape on my elbow and a few bumps on the head.

“I had just finished a run and I was walking west on Waveland approaching Seminary only about 30-40 feet from the firehouse when I walked past two people.

“They were on either side of the sidewalk making me walk in between them, but I really didn’t think anything of it. I walked a few steps more and then one of them punched me in the side of the head taking me straight to the ground.

“They started yelling ‘give me your phone.’ I curled up into the fetal position and held on to my phone assuming that, it being Wrigleyville on a Friday night/Saturday morning, someone would either hear them yelling or me yelling 'help' and would scare them off. That didn’t happen.

The community alert issued by police Sunday night.
“So, after more hits to the head I let go of my phone. One of them then reached into my pocket to take a wallet but I didn’t have my wallet as I had just been on a run. They demanded that I give them money but once it was clear that I had none they ran westbound.

“All in all they made off with my Lumia 830 and my cheap exercise headphones.

“I walked over to Clark and Waveland and there was already a cop car there. They took me to the station on Addison and I filed my report. [Then] they gave me a ride to Masonic. A CT scan and an x-ray found a concussion and a head injury. Luckily no broken face bones.

“There are two things that stood out to me. One was the sheer time everything took. I was mugged at around 2:35-2:40 am … and I didn’t get home until 6 am.

“The other thing was the fact that after the robbers ran away, I was just sitting there and a group of people walked by and I asked ‘I just got jumped. Could one of you please call 911 for me?’ They all kept on walking. One did say ‘yeah give me a minute’ but kept walking and to my knowledge did not call 911.”

[CWB Chicago can confirm that no 911 call was received on Lucas' behalf.]

“That is probably the thing that will stick with me the most about this whole thing.”

A Break?

At 2 o’clock this morning, Chicago police took three individuals into custody for questioning after the trio fled from an officer who tried to talk to them near Cornelia and Reta in Boystown. The three bear resemblances to descriptions offered by at least one recent robbery victim. It is too early to know if this will lead to a break in the robbery cases.

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