Sunday, April 22, 2018

Women Charged With Robbing Man At Knifepoint Near Belmont Red Line Station (You may remember one of 'em)

Handzel (left) and Smith. | Chicago Police Dept
Two transgender women are in custody, charged with robbing a man at knifepoint near the Belmont Red Line station early Saturday. One of the accused was previously convicted of “accidentally” burning down a home in Boystown and also accused of robbing another man in Boystown—an incident that she  excused as a “mistake.”

Prosecutors today said that 22-year-old Ryan Handzel and 24-year-old Dionte Smith flagged down cops near the 800 block of West Fletcher at 3:30 a.m. Saturday and reported that a man had just robbed them. Cops spoke with the alleged robber who said the women had it twisted: They had just punched him in the face and robbed him at knifepoint, according to prosecutors.

A search of Handzel and Smith revealed that they were in possession of the true victim’s property, according to police. Both women are charged with felony armed robbery. Judge Mary Marubio ordered them held without bail on Sunday.

In October 2016, Handzel was accused of punching a 24-year-old man in the face two times during an argument in the 800 block of West Waveland. When the victim dropped his cell phone after being punched, Handzel picked it up and handed it to another offender who fled the scene, police said.

Handzel was given probation for setting fire to this Boystown home.
Police said Handzel told them, “I hit [the victim] in the head twice, but I didn’t intend to steal [the] phone.” She was charged with battery and theft, but the charges were dropped when the victim failed to appear in court.

Most infamously, Handzel is one of two women convicted of “accidentally” burning down a 126-year-old Boystown home in April 2016.

Handzel and her co-offender, Keith L. Williams, were both sentenced to probation for the fire.

Handzel continues to list the Crib youth shelter at 835 West Addison as her home.

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