Sunday, May 01, 2016

2 Charged In Fire That Ripped 126-Year-Old Boystown Home

Inset: Handzel (top) and Williams (Chicago Police Dept/Cook Co. Sheriff's Office)

A man and a transgender woman have been charged in connection with a fire that gutted the second floor of a 126-year-old Boystown home last Sunday. Both are free on bond.

Witnesses told police that they saw Keith L. Williams, 23, and Ryan Handzel, 20, walk out of the abandoned home at 651 W. Aldine moments before flames appeared from its second floor around 6PM on April 24, according to court records.

Both admitted to being inside the building before the fire was discovered, police said.

Williams and Handzel were arrested on the scene and each has been charged with three counts of criminal damage to property and one count of criminal trespass.

Molten tar fell from the burning home onto nearby cars, leading to two of the criminal damage counts,  according to witnesses and a police report.

The third damage charge alleges that the duo “recklessly by means of fire” damaged the home itself.

Brat Williams

Williams, who lists the Howard Brown Health Center as her home address, was the star of a CWB Chicago story in October 2014 after she managed to get arrested twice and victimized once on Halsted Street in a single week.

Aside from that notable week, Williams has racked up a series of other arrests in our neighborhood. According to court and police records, criminal charges filed against her in our neighborhood include:

• An April 2012 charge of aggravated unlawful use of a knife in the 800 block of Aldine, which ended with a sentence of 3 months probation and “destruction” of the knife.

• Shoplifting at the Boystown Jewel-Osco store in September 2012, which earned 1 year’s probation.

• Obstructing traffic outside of the Broadway Youth Center, 3179 N. Broadway, in September 2012.

• Criminal trespass at the Center on Halsted in February 2013. The charge was thrown out when the Center—per its policy —failed to show up in court.

• Battery at the Center on Halsted in September 2014. Again, the charge was thrown out when the Center failed to show up in court.

• Theft at the Forever Yogurt, 3510 N. Halsted, in September 2014

• Battery in the 3500 block of N. Halsted in August 2015. The charges were dropped when the witness did not appear in court.

Handzel, who did not list a home address but hails from Crystal Lake, has no previous arrests in Cook County, records show.
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35 comments:

  1. Free on bond????

    Isn't arson one of those crimes right up there with murder and treason?

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    Replies
    1. They are not charged with arson. They are charged with criminal damage.

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    2. Why criminal damage to property and not arson? Is it because the investigators couldn't find proof of a source of the fire? Seems light for burning down a house.

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    3. When a bar owner on Halsted sets a building ablaze and basically gets away scot free, what do you expect?

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    4. Let's get em everybody gotta work together especially that Williams person i know where this person be

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  2. I guess all of the wonderful counseling and social services offered at HB aren't having an impacted on these diamonds in the rough.

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    Replies
    1. Next season they'll be up on stage in Night Of 1,000 Drag Queens. You just wait and see!

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  3. We have a new leader in the ugliest mug shot competition. Hint it's not the blond.

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  4. WOW ! Both free on bond. Thats amazing , Oh I forgot, this is Cook County. Tom - are you looking into this ? ? ? Will you get back to us ???

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  5. Why aren't they charged with arson??

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  6. This fire was set so close to a school, was there nothing more they can be charged with? So despicable.

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    Replies
    1. Yea. What about the children!

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  7. Well, at least the knife was destroyed.

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  8. It's a shame when you become liberated and move to Boystown that you no longer let anyone know you're gay so as not to be associated with this trash.

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    Replies
    1. We let the far left take over... that's what happens. It's considered "socially insensitive" to teach these youths proper behavior.

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    2. Yes, but there's more to it than that and it's for PR and monetary gain to coddle them.

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    3. I agree I saw these two get on the eastbound Belmont Bus at Western when I was coming home from work that same night. Both holding papers in their hands and talking loudly while the pink haired one was talking about how he had never been arrested before. Guess that was just when they were released. Center on Halsted has encouraged too much trash to be allowed in this neighborhood and should work more on educating people on proper social behavior. It might at least help these people get ahead further in life if they learned proper social skills. The police need to get tougher too. Take that incident last June where about 100 of them looted the Circle K mart on Halsted and Addison. Screw being politically correct, if the cops got out there and started busting open some heads, people might learn that they just can't come up here and do what they want and then hop back on the redline to the southside home when they're done.

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  9. Guilty, pay up---and stay out of our neighborhood. When will this end???

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  10. The problem with the do gooders in Boystown they didn't realize there are some very bad people that happen GLBTQ. Those owners and do gooders have destroyed East Lakeview and Halsted.

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    Replies
    1. that's such a great point. the COH acts like all GLBTQ are a privileged class, so they don't screen or discipline at all. They've sort of ranked their misfits as untouchable, because - I suppose? - the kids (young adults, mostly) are "different" than us and deserve blanket understanding. That spell wore off long ago, I think, in this neighborhood, but COH still seems to pat their little Veruca Salt's on the head every time they act up (or commit a felony).

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  11. What could be done to stop the COH policy of being a no show in court? I'm guessing you or I would not be allowed to get away with that

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  12. Law abiding citizens are becoming fed up with this scum. We'll take our tax dollars elsewhere and move out of this city. After being here since 1993, I'm doing just that. Good riddance to this idiocy, governmental incompetence, and moronic criminal justice system.

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    Replies
    1. I've been here since 1993 too. Now I can't get out of this place fast enough.

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    2. So,, you moved into one of the most trashed democratic areas of the country and expected a good quality of life? Come on out to montana, just know that we punish abject stupidity.

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  13. Victims who don't show up in court might do so out of fear. Friends and family of the accused can and do follow the witnesses out of the building to the parking lot/bus stop and threaten them. They even follow them to their home and watch them come and go. Even vandalize their property. I have heard of bullet holes shot in the windows in an attempt to get the witness to not press charges. Police can't help or protect you unless you can provide proof that someone is after you. It's "he said, she said". Even then, police can't be with you 24/7. When the media reports an individual being gunned down for no apparent reason, I suspect the person was silenced to prevent testifying in a trial for some serious crime.

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  14. How much was the bond? and how did they pay it? If one is on probation, that should be immediate jail time.

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  15. Keep singing "Kumbaya."

    The egalitarians will never see the light.

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  16. What will she have to do to be removed from our community? It appears that she has been terrorizing the neighborhood for years along with social services agencies cheering her along. What does a person have to do in Chicago to go to jail? She's robbing people, robbing stores, knife attacks and has finally burned a building down but is still wondering around enjoying her free items.

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  17. Screw being politically correct. Ever since the COH opened crime rate has skyrocketed and not come back down. COH needs to go!

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    Replies
    1. If I were still there I'd organize "positive loitering" where normal, 30-40 something year old dull gay males take over the place a few days a week. I bet it would be fun and gay males would actually talk to each other again like they did decades ago before being cast aside for the latest wave of "We're here, we're queer".

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  18. This Kieth Williams has been arrested and charged in the past for shopplifting liquor and cosmetics go figure.The first time he was caught he had a teddy bear with a whole inside the bear and thats wear concealed the products.This piece of shit amoung others still comes back to the store even though he has been arrested and charged.

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  19. Tiny Tom today features CofH on his Facebook page for Healthy Chicago 2.0.
    It'll be the last thing standing after everyone else vacates his Ward.

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  20. Have seen these 2 in the lobby at the center twice since. It's lovely that you can burn a building down in our neighborhood which you don't live in and then come right back and hang out.

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  21. I feel as she needs be put in jail for a very long time. she has terrorized a lot of people. Lets get rid of her

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  22. just saw and called police on him standing if front of Center On Halsted Ryan Handzel, 20 on 9/20/2016

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