Sunday, December 04, 2016

Center On Halsted Security Guard Among 3 New Arrests At Court-Shy Service Agency

The Center on Halsted and Ukesone (Inset) | Wikipedia, Chicago Police Dept
Just when you thought the antics at the Center on Halsted (COH) couldn't get any crazier, they have. But, on the plus side, it looks like the sprawling social service agency will finally be sending one of its employees to court--but only because now he's the one accused of committing the crime!

The COH security guard, who's charged with battering an agency client, was just one of three arrests within a week inside the firm's headquarters at 3656 North Halsted.

Neighbors have long urged the Center to send representatives to court when the organization or its employees are the victims of crimes.

The Center has publicly insisted that they do go to court when they're the victims, but a 3-year review of court records recently found that the agency has no-showed in court 25 out of 26 times.

A Three-Pack Of Arrests

On November 25, a man was arrested at the Center on Halsted and charged with criminal trespassing, violation of bail bond, and two counts of resisting arrest.

Lee | Chicago Police Dept
A COH security guard told police that 21-year-old Tony Lee of South Chicago returned to the facility after being instructed to leave. Responding officers said they saw Lee walk into the building and tried to place him into custody for trespassing.

Lee resisted, and the officers had to utilize "emergency handcuffing techniques," they said.

While searching Lee, the officers found an I-Bond that he was issued on November 17 after being arrested for trespassing at the Whole Foods, which is attached to the Center, police said.

Casey | Chicago Police Dept
The next day, a 24-year-old woman who lists the Howard Brown Health Center as her home, was arrested at the Center on Halsted for punching a 22-year-old man in the face.

Police said Tashena Casey "freely admitted" to hitting the man.

Casey was charged last February with battering a different man at the Center on Halsted, causing "lacerations and bruising," but the victim did not show up in court, and the charge was dropped.

Then, there is the pièce de résistance.

At 4:20 p.m. last Monday, Center on Halsted security guard  Adimabua Ukesone was arrested after a COH client told police that Ukesone battered him in an elevator.

The victim, a 29-year-old convicted prostitute with 23 cases on his Cook County criminal record, said Ukesone slapped his arm when he tried to video record Ukesone on the COH elevator.

Police stated that they inventoried "video evidence" in the case.

Smooth Get-Aways

In addition to all of those arrests, the Center on Halsted was also the scene of at least two other violent incidents recently in which offenders managed to escape before they could be stopped, according to police records.

At 10:50 a.m. on November 27, a sizable fight broke out at the Center and at least one person was seen recording the battle on their phone. But, the main participants slipped away before police arrived and no charges have been filed.

Later that evening, around 7:40 p.m., a series of 911 callers reported seeing an armed security guard fighting with a man who tried to climb over a register at Whole Foods.

At least four people were believed to have been involved in the incident, including one who appeared to be armed with a handgun or pistol-like BB-gun, according to witnesses.

But, once again, the men escaped before being caught, and no charges have been filed.

It would seem that the Center's policy of utilizing "restorative justice"--primarily "talking through" crimes with offenders and victims rather than pursuing a criminal case--isn't working.

Maybe they should try something that is known to produce results. Maybe they should show up in court, so these people see that their behavior has consequences.

And maybe they should also come to this Wednesday's community policing meeting to let neighbors know why the Center lied to them about their court policy. That'd be cool.
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27 comments:

  1. I have stopped shopping the Whole Foods in this location for this and multiple other reasons. First and foremost, I was trying to pull out of the parking garage, several years ago, when accosted by multiple people banging on my car hood and windows demanding that I "acknowledge" them and give them "what is theirs!" I had my kids in the car and got the f* outta there. Reported it later, but just wanted to get out before a window was broken, my kids further endangered.

    I wrote Whole Foods in regards to this. The response I got back was "eh" at best. Sorry you had a bad experience. I responded that I would NEVER shop there again. I was told that was my choice (as it is) and given alternative Whole Foods locations to shop. Kudos to them on that marketing, but boo on the concerns of the community trying to shop in the neighborhood.

    I know they are two separate entities, but they share a home, which makes them bedfellows, IMHO.

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    1. That is so scary...glad you & your kids were OK. And it's very disturbing that Whole Foods gave you such a blah response. I'd avoid shopping at ANY of their stores. You can shop at Mariano's or Treasure Island, instead. Both are quality supermarkets.

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    2. I had a similar experience coming out of the garage, and had my kid in the car as well. I called COH and they didn't care. Didn't think of calling WF - I sort of felt that WF got a surprise siamese twin that turned out to be a psychopath, so felt like they were already burdened (do they pay the SWAT team that prowls their store, for instance?). In any case, COH is a bad neighbor to us all so I kind of feel for WF.

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  2. I use Howard Brown for health services and when I read that people list it as a home addy after a crime makes me mad.. I wish they would step up and refuse these people who are doing crimes in our area

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    1. I often buy stuff from Brown Elephant and tack on a little extra to my receipt as a donation and I admit, I read this article right after doing so and thought, "Maybe I won't add that extra from now on."

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    2. I used them as well for free testing, etc. I truly appreciate their service in that respect and I am truly open minded but having a loud-mouth Ru-Paul working there is truly unprofessional. She/he wasn't funny either.

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    3. That is an excellent idea in theory

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  3. Ms. Casey (usually with a couple or four cohorts) "hangs" often at the now-famous Peets (Halsted/Cornelia), never purchasing anything, just taking up space while charging her cell phone, while paying customers often have no available seats. And of course management does nothing about it. I avoid that Whole Foods location ... don't want to get caught in the crossfire of a gang shootout or a police action. CoH needs to be, no, MUST be held accountable on the matter of lying about their court appearances.

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    1. I will NEVER go into that Peet's. I can't imagine why any non-gang-banger would ever even enter that criminal-friendly establishment. It's not like there aren't a bunch of other coffee shops within a stones throw.....

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    2. That also applies to some of the Halsted Street bartenders doing the same in other coffee shops and establishments across the city. See what happens when you park your hiney at their bar for over 10 minutes without ordering anything. Hanging out on the street, not hailing a cab, not smoking a cigarette while waiting for a carry-out, pacing back and forth.....non of my business while I was waiting for a carry-out inside but had to ask myself WTF is he doing? At that age no-less. My Chicago native friends told me he's probably dealing drugs after some further elaboration of my observation.

      Just hangin' out is a Chicago thang. I never adjusted to this concept either.

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  4. Modesto Valle needs to be held acountable for his staff. That means having them show up yo court. He is a joke of a person. He is a Tunney puppet.

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    1. Valle has gotten away with a scandalous amount of questionable "management" decisions. The CoH is little Tommie Tunney's showpiece, one of the "capstones" of his long and illustrious "political career," and it is doubtful anything will ever be done to alleviate the problems caused by the presence of this "social service agency." What was once visioned as a center to assist and support gay men, it is now a thriving hotbed of protection for the criminal thug element that has no business being in this neighborhood to begin with.

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  5. Whole Foods has made a grave error supporting COH. They are now paying and it will only get worse. I saw the fight with the security guard, in full store, it was horrific. Unless that place, The Crib and all the other tax write-offs are shut down, it's going to continue.

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    1. Actually, Whole Foods leases the property from COH. FYI

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  6. "Restorative justice"...what a crock of shit.

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  7. I do know some of the COH employees take some frequent lavish vacations. It's possible they couldn't get a refund or credit on their prepaid excursion tickets to attend court.

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  8. Lot of Drama on that block. They should turn it into a community theater.

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  9. I don't know why Whole Foods doesn't just brick over the entrance to COH.

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  10. We need a center on Halsted to give us sanctuary from the violence and intolerance of Center on Halsted.

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  11. Not to worry. They will all be out on probation. I wonder if there is any way to know what judges are letting the losers off when it happens

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  12. The police arrested Ukesone for that? What the hell.

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  13. What does an "agency client" mean? Who did he beat? Maybe I'm the only one that doesn't know what that means. I'm so sick and tired of the COH, I still shop WF but only walk on the North side of Waveland and go during daylight.

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    1. Don't giveaway your secrets stoop!

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  14. it seems you are sensationalizing the charges against this security guard. seems he admitted swatting someone's arm (someone who cwb would normally be crawling all over as scum) and got charged instead of real detective work. i've been the victim of that myself. better to deny you defended yourself rather than get arrested, even when you are innocent of any crime.

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    1. I have read and re-read this illiterate, mush-head comment and still cannot understand what the writer is trying to convey. "BeReal": please go back to school so you can compose a sentence that others can understand and then change your name to "BeLiterate."

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  15. The security guard slapping someone on the arm is hardly a violent attack.

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