Sunday, April 09, 2017

Woman Choked & Dragged By Throat At Center On Halsted; But Staff Wouldn't Help Cops Without A Warrant, Police Say


A 22-year-old, 120-pound woman was grabbed by her throat, choked, and pulled across the second floor of the Center on Halsted during a domestic violence attack on March 30, but cops could not arrest her attacker because a COH employee would not cooperate unless officers had a warrant. That's according to a Chicago police report secured by CWB Chicago via a Freedom of Information Act request.

Incredibly, the Center's decision to insist on a warrant resulted in the attacker walking free while the victim was forced to sleep in a domestic violence shelter out of fear that he would show up at her home, the report said.

Earlier in March, CWB  reported that Center on Halsted staff blocked police officers who began walking toward its second floor to find a theft offender who had been seen entering the block-long LGBTQ service agency at 3656 N. Halsted.

A government source later told CWB Chicago that two local aldermen and 19th District Police Commander Marc Buslik asked the Center to draw up a new security plan for city review in the wake of our story.

Yet the March 30th police report states that "the Center on Halsted harbors criminals and has a policy of refusing to cooperate with the Chicago Police Department."

“Grabbed By The Throat”

Around 7:30 p.m. on March 30th, a 911 caller reported an altercation on the second floor of the Center on Halsted and said that they did not feel safe. Moments later, at least one other person called for help from the scene, according to records.

Arriving officers met with the victim and a 40-year-old Center on Halsted employee who saw the attack unfold, the police report says.

The victim and her boyfriend had “engaged in an argument...[and] the offender grabbed the victim by her throat and began choking her while pulling her across the floor" before the COH employee convinced the boyfriend to let the woman go, the report said.

The employee told cops that the attacker was in a room on the second floor.

Would the COH again "refuse all cooperation with the police and insist on a warrant before [officers] could arrest the domestic violence offender?" the cop asked.

Answer: "That’s my understanding. Yes.”

The woman—who is eight inches shorter and 60 pounds lighter than her boyfriend—then asked to fill out a police report so she could get an order of protection and obtain a warrant for the man’s arrest.

Because the victim did not "insist" on an immediate arrest, police chose not to seal off all Center on Halsted access points with CPD assets while warrant paperwork was prepared and reviewed by a court, the report said.

The woman also told an officer that she was afraid to return to her home because the attacker knows where she lives and she feared for her safety, police said. At the police station, arrangements were made for the woman to stay at a domestic violence shelter.

The woman's fears were well-placed.

As she arrived at the shelter in a police car, her phone buzzed with a text message from her attacker: “I’m outside your door right now."

Silence

CWB Chicago emailed Center on Halsted CEO Modesto “Tico” Valle; COH Director of Public Relations Peter Johnson; 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney; Tunney Chief of Staff Bennett Lawson; Tunney Director of Public Safety and Community Affairs Chris Jessup; and the office of 46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman about this report on March 31 and again on April 7. None replied.

You can support CWB's newsgathering efforts with a donation to our Tip Jar.
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57 comments:

  1. "Shameful" and "squalid" is my immediate reaction to this. Someday someone is going to get killed here, and COH will then have blood on it's hands...ignoring these issues will not make them disappear, but unfortunately, that is their management style. :-(

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  2. Isn't it a crime to hide someone wanted by the police? Perhaps a lawyer on this site can answer this question. If the police get a warrant and find the man being hidden inside the Center on Halsted, can't they then also arrest the staff members that were hiding them?

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    1. It's called interference with a peace officer http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=79900000&SeqEnd=80950000

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  3. CLOSE THE COH.

    I'm shocked WF is still there, being associated with that place.

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    Replies
    1. Nah. Don't close it. It does provide many valuable services. What is needed is new leadership.

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    2. It they overthrew the leadership in there all at once the courts would be clogged with 13 frivolous discrimination lawsuits on the same day,

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    3. Close it... open it elsewhere... fact is... if you put out seed, birds will come... and then more birds... and more... the only way to then get the bird shit out of the area is to trick someone else to start throwing out birdseed elsewhere

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  4. Be great to shut it down period. It does more harm than good. Just a place to put GLBT activist in high paying jobs that did dirty things in the past.

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  5. Unfortunately, the victim did not insist that police preform an arrest. Even if the offender was arrested and charged, she would still need to go to the courthouse to obtain an order of protection. I pray that the victim not only sought an order of protection but criminal charges against the offender.

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    1. One might consider that the victim thought she was in a "safe space" that would look out for her. Instead, it looked out for the man who choked her. After being attacked by her boyfriend, why would she challenge fate by having to INSIST that the Center go on police lock-down while paperwork and courts got involved? It's ludicrous, inhuman, and inexcusable.

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  6. Does Whole Foods help COH financially?

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    1. Yes WF pays rent to COH. We pay $ to WF for their high priced, "whole paycheck" stuff. So essentially WE as customers of WF support COH financially, which is why I shop at other places. That whole complex could be transformed into a great hotel or residential units or even a movie theatre. COH needs to go.

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    2. WH prepaid a huge amount of rent to COH, this was part of the original financing deal...if I recall correctly, this allowed COH to open mortgage - free.

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    3. Time to stay away from Whole Foods. I will put together the list of donors to COH and their contact info. Time to start writing the donors and demand change.

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  7. next time they ask for police help, tell them they need a warrant . officers shouldn t respond. lol

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  8. I say when the Rickett's transformation of the neighborhood into Wrigley wonderland kicks into high gear (and it's already begun) the Center will take it's show on the road and move north. Of course with Ricketts will be allowed the privilage of financing their move, but that's a small price for them to pay. That place won't fit in at all with what the area will become. The Center will end up in Andersonville, Edgewater or Uptown...probably one of the latter two as Andersonville won't have them. It will be done with great fanfare with hosanahs to the "new boystown" or the greater diversity to be found.

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  9. Let's just think about the logistics of a police warrant in this situation. CPD would have to station two officers at every exit (how many would that be?) for a few hours while the warrant was prepared and brought before a judge to sign. Then, the officers would have to obtain the assistance of the city's SWAT team to actually go room to room searching for the bad guy. This would tie up a ridiculous amount of police resources which would endanger the rest of our community. The COH has become a menace to Boystown.

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  10. While COH does have some downfalls they have helped me with their sliding scale behavioral health center, free HIV/STD testing. If it wasn't for the safe space they provide, I don't know what I would have done when I needed crisis help a few months ago.

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    1. Yep. Time to fix those problems. The woman thought she was in a "safe space," too.

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    2. You can get free HIV/STD tests at many places including Walgreens. I'm gay and never thought once about the COH as a testing facility. I'm not going to comment on their other obvious services but I don't think getting choked and dragged helps your mental health at all.

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    3. Apparently you've really thought this through...
      So how hard is it to figure out that maybe the COH "safe space" isn't really SAFE AT ALL if they refuse to let cops in the front door.
      ....Please....oh, never mind.....

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    4. On second thought maybe getting choked and dragged is new fangled therapy like "restorative justice". That's probably what they told her so they don't lose head count.

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  11. This supposed 'safe place' actually makes us local Lakeview residents less safe.

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    1. It's home base for the felons to slide into after making a home run at the local merchant. SAFE! (the only thing missing is a plume of dirt being kicked up)

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  12. Well it's a good thing my gay self never went to that COH more than once. I didn't know it was possible that all access doors could be sealed so I couldn't escape after enjoying something from the Whole Foods hot bar.

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  13. Since when was a warrant required for a 911 call?

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  14. Would it not be possible for neighbors of COH to band together and as a group file suit against COH as a pubic nuisance and detriment to their property values? This sort of action could be supported by the whole neighborhood and force a clean up of management here.

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    1. I dunno. They've kinda changed their tune a bit but about 5 years ago the condo "owners" would exclaim "He has a right to to that!" when a renter called out a stranger hanging out behind a bush at the side of our building for 9 hours. Let's see what happens though.

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    2. I do know of one condo that was purchased for $395,000 in 2008 that couldn't get an appraisal for more than $305,000 for a refinance in 2012 though. There's a lil bit more than market fluctuations going on around there.

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  15. If the Police had actually entered you all would be complaining about Police brutality, these are your invited guest, enjoy yourselves.

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  16. TUNNEY!!!!!!!!!!
    Any comment here??
    What about you SILENT JIM CAPPLEMAN?
    Anything at all?

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    1. I called Tunneys office this morning about this situation and the aide (who was somewhat rude and short with me) said Tunneys was not aware of the situation because he was out of town. WTF???

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  17. I went to a meet and greet for some of the police and Tom Turkey at the Side Tracks bar like 2 weeks ago. I asked Commander Marc Buslik would the Center On Halsted be pulling warrant and sanctuary in the future and what was the results of the private meeting with the Commander Marc Buslik, his answer was "they will not be doing that again" so Commander Marc Buslik lied to me

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    Replies
    1. ...wait for it....
      Shocking. Just shocking!

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    2. Sidetrack lied to me when I inquired about those bloody people running by their door all the time. They told me "It's just transient youth, that's all". Now I see they're using the place as a lie safe space.

      Now go drink the Kool-Aid, er, slushies.

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    3. DUH Side Tracks is NOT the problem. The problem is the Center and other pretend social do good fake social services by inviting and bringing down violent career high crime criminals and then letting them lose in our neighborhood. Violent career urban terrorist do not belong down here

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    4. Maybe the Commander was the one lied to by the Center.

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    5. Sidetrack and other businessess ARE a problem by not giving a flying fuck about their customers, flat-out lying to them and care nothing about anything except their almighty $. We went through this before. A simple "Yes, there have been some incidences, it's best to take a cab" would have sufficed. They don't have to tell the whole story and let any skeletons fly out of their closet or anything.

      The gay bar owners and employees took care of us where I'm from.

      "DUH"?

      There's obviously a generation gap here, Enjoy what has become of gay life in the urban environment.....just being preyed on and patronized from all angles...including from your own. Those money mongering "capitalist" gay businesses!

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  18. Whoever the victim is...sue! Same goes for any employee who was subject to assault or battery. Sometimes our legal system relies on private plaintiffs to enact justice.

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  19. Meanwhile the judge that was involved in the Jennifer Hudson family massacre was just shot dead outside his home.......

    Chicago is really a mess.

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    1. .....this is probably why those judges are so lenient in that city.

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  20. So they effectively condone domestic violence, that should be the spin on this story

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    1. Agree 100%
      When you protect criminals, there is no 'safe space. It's not really rocket science.

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    2. Its actually worse than condoning...closer to aiding and abetting

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  21. Sound like the Center NEEDS to be sued and put out of business for the betterment of future victims!

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  22. the club house for violent offenders

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  23. Who or what is the source here? I understand it's easy to go after government and the Center but what's the source of the facts? Did CWB interview the victim?

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    1. Please read the story. Every relevant statement is attributed.

      The Center on Halsted was repeatedly asked for their side of the story. We delayed publication for over a week to allow for their input. They never once replied.

      The police department does not release the names of crime victims.

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  24. I saw Tom Tunney tonight & asked when The Center was going to go away. He immediately said "It's Not!!" When asked about the so called transparency he said that he was mad but actually stated that this last incident was more about the police overreacting. Are you kidding. When I pressed he said he had to go. Typical spineless twerp. Tunney is unaccountable & is not a friend of the taxpayers at all. He's a sad worthless little gnome

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    1. I have yet to get a reply to my call and email about the most recent COH shenanigans. But that is exactly what he did to me after a CAPS meeting last summer. I asked him nicely when or if he would address problems associated with the COH and he cut me off and said, "The Center is there forever. Nobody's closing it down." I started to ask another question and got as far as "Wh .." when he cut me off and said he was late for an appointment (yeah, right..) and then I got the last laugh, as he got tangled in the revolving door and nearly fell down, trying to get away from me. He is indeed our esteemed ALDERPUSS and he has indeed demonstrated a medically curious lack of a spine. I'm done with his lack of courtesy and respect to his taxpaying constituents. Sorry, not sorry, Tommy, photo-ops with children and old ladies and of you shoveling shit at 6:00am Monday morning after the Sunday pride parade ... not sufficient for me. Come on, DO YOUR FUCKING JOB!

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  25. Alderpuss Tom Turkey is all about the Cubs meetings and their has to ba a pay out for kissing up to the Center On Halsted the play pen/ club house for apparently very adult VIOLENT career criminals - urban terrorists. It's very obvious the Center On Halsted take in a bunch of adult criminals not kids, and then letting them lose on the public of Lake view and wriggly vile and they do not care because the protect the criminals they dont want to give future criminals the feeling of not coming up here. About 5 years ago about 500 showed up at the school auditorium north of the police station and were angry over a summer of high crime and then a stabbing in the 7/11 lot of Roscoe. Tunney knows all about the crime but for some reason had a blind eye to it, their must be a pay off for that kind of behavior. As a resident Tunney has I guess a hatred to us law abiding citizens, no one would take this kind of flack from so many citizens unless the pay out to him was worth it

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  26. Thank you so much for researching and reporting on COH, and reaching out to community "leaders". I wonder if COH Board members might be more responsive, considering how frayed COH's relationship with the community is becoming. COH Board member names are easily found on their website, but there are no email addresses provided. Does anyone know any of the Board members or have their email addresses?

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  27. Tunney is wrong. The Center on Halsted WILL be closed and sooner than one might think....

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  28. Funny, I supported the mission of COH when I moved in to the neighborhood. Still do.
    There are a fair number of decent, reasonable, honorable people who need their services.
    Too bad that the current management disrespects those people. Too bad they're shitty neighbors. Too bad they've chosen to go down the SJW path instead of taking a principled approach to effective community service.
    Too bad.
    You'll never get a dollar from me.

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    1. They get a dollar from you every time you pay taxes.

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  29. Hey i hate these lawsuits against do gooders but if i were the woman i would sue the center for endangerment in their space and fir harboring her attacker. Maybe then the misogynists at the center might change their ways and stop protecting the perps male and female. How can they even justify protecting a guy who attacks a woman.

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