Thursday, August 16, 2018

Market Days checkpoint aide stole nearly $2,500 in admission fees, prosecutors say

Montera Carr is accused of stealing nearly $2500 from a donation checkpoint. | CPD; Northalsted.com
A donation checkpoint worker at last weekend’s Northalsted Market Days was arrested after security guards saw her stuffing admission fee cash into her pants, bra, and waistband, prosecutors said.

Montera Carr had $2,490 in cash hidden on her body when festival security guards confronted her, according to court files. Carr began working the donation checkpoint at Halsted and Addison at 10 a.m. on Saturday. By 3 p.m., a security guard saw her “pocketing cash” and also saw a “wad of cash” in her pants, according to court records.

Festival workers took Carr to a security station where a guard asked, “how much did you take?” “I don’t know,” she allegedly replied. Guards recovered nearly $2,500 from her clothing, including her bra and waistband, according to charges. Police continue to investigate the theft.

The 21-year-old from Englewood is charged with felony theft. Judge David Navarro set her bail at $2,500.

Every dollar donated is of increasing importance to the sponsor of Market Days, the Northalsted Business Alliance. According to the group’s 2016 tax filing (the most recent available), the two-day Market Days festival that year netted the group just $10,942 on gross revenue of $889,000. In 2014, the annual festival along Boystown’s Halsted Street netted the group significantly more: $175,000 on revenue of $812,000, tax records show. Online copies of the alliance's 2015 tax return do not include IRS Schedule G, where festival revenues are reported.

A police department source said this year’s Market Days attendance was about 5% higher than 2017’s event.

Five people were arrested during Market Days operating hours this year, three for battery and two for theft, according to police records. There were two arrests during festival hours in 2017, both for battery, police said.

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Lincoln Park shoplifter flashed gun to escape security, prosecutors say

Chris Larsen flashed a gun at a guard who tried to stop him from shoplifting, prosecutors say. | CPD; Google
A Logan Square man has been charged with robbery after he flashed a gun at a loss prevention worker at the Lincoln Park Home Depot store, 2655 North Halsted, on Tuesday evening, police said.

Chris Larsen, 29, entered the store around 6 p.m. and collected various pieces of merchandise in a bag, according to police. Larsen then left the store without paying and pulled away from a security guard who confronted him about the alleged theft, police said.

Prosecutors said Larsen dropped the bag of merchandise and displayed a handgun in his waistband to scare the security guard off. Larsen then ran from the area.

Around 7 p.m., a witness to the incident called 911 after they saw Larsen board a westbound Diversey bus near Lakewood. Police pulled the bus over in the 3000 block of Diversey and found Larsen, who matched the suspect description, sitting in the back. He was arrested after being identified by the security guard.

Larsen is charged with one felony count of attempted armed robbery with a firearm.

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No, Water Tower Place, we will NOT edit our news because you say so

Screenshot of the story that sparked input from Water Tower Place.
Something interesting happened to us on Tuesday evening. We’d like to take a moment to tell you about it.

The night before, we published a report that detailed several recent gun arrests on the North Side, including one that took place on the sidewalk at 835 North Michigan Avenue outside of Water Tower Place. Our story was accompanied by an image of the arrested man’s mugshot overlayed on a photo of the mall’s exterior.

Then, on Tuesday evening, we got an email.

“Please edit your blog post to remove the photo of Water Tower Place,” we were told. “Thank you very much.”

The email came from Lindsay Kahn, senior manager of public relations for GGP, the Fortune 500 real estate entity that operates Water Tower Place.

There was no “hello.” No introduction. No half-hearted attempt to break the ice. Just some corporate executive whom we'd never heard of telling us what to do. It's the sort of email that guys in suits send to their workplace underlings. "Do this. Thanks."

Screenshot of the email that we received from Water Tower Place's management company
Not only did we refuse, we told Kahn that we would be writing a story about her company’s attempt to manipulate the news that we provide to our readers. We had some questions for her. She did not respond.

To us, her email is so casual, it sounds routine. From Kahn's tone, it seemed like there should be no question about what she was instructing us to do.

We asked if she sends these editorial instructions to other media outlets. You know, the big, corporate outlets that rely on the advertising dollars provided by Water Tower Place and its retailers. We asked how other news outlets handle her similar requests to edit photos and, presumably, unfavorable news copy. But, as we said, she didn’t answer.

Is it because of emails like Kahn’s that Chicago’s corporate news outlets failed to report on the brawling teen mob that left Water Tower Place on May 5th and then joined other teens to attack each other and passers-by on the streets around the mall?

Are Fortune 500 company emails about editorial content the reason that Chicago’s TV stations and newspapers took days to report on another series of youth brawls and mayhem at and near Water Tower Place on Memorial Day Weekend?

We have no idea. But we do know this: Such emails will have zero effect on the news that we report to you.

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The largest contribution we have ever received was $300 or $350. So, there are no massive donations from foundations or billionaires. Just everyday people like you who live in areas where public safety news coverage is, for some reason, overlooked and under-reported.

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Calumet City couple charged with Tuesday evening robbery spree on North Side

Walter Porter (L) and Amanda Brown | Chicago Police Dept
A man and woman from south suburban Calumet City have been charged with four counts of armed robbery in connection with a string of hold-ups across the North Side on August 14th, police said.

Walter Porter and Amanda Brown, both 22, were arrested on the DePaul University campus shortly around 10:20 p.m. Tuesday following their third armed robbery within 90 minutes, according to prosecutors.

Police said around 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Brown and Porter approached a 23-year-old man on the street in the 1800 block of West Berenice. Porter pulled out a silver handgun and went through the victim’s pockets, taking his cell phone. Both offenders then headed southbound on Ravenswood.

One hour later, a 26-year-old man reported being robbed in the 2800 block of North Greenview. The victim told police that he walked past a man and a woman who were standing with a bicycle near Greenview and George. Moments later, the male offender walked up behind him and took his cash and phone at gunpoint. Both robbers then headed south on Greenview.

Then, around 9:50 p.m., a 51-year-old man and a 49-year-old woman were robbed at gunpoint in the 2600 block of North Bosworth. The victims reported that as Porter was mugging them, Brown pedaled up on a bicycle and asked him if he “got everything.” Both offenders then left the area.

Approximate locations of the three robberies and the arrests of Porter and Brown.
Just a few minutes later, officers on patrol saw two people matching the offenders’ descriptions near Kenmore and Belden on the DePaul University campus. Police pursued the couple and arrested Brown inside a DePaul school building. Porter was stopped nearby, but pulled away from an officer, causing the cop to fall and break a hip, according to the police department’s chief spokesperson, Anthony Guglielmi. Other officers captured Porter and recovered a handgun from him after a brief foot chase near Fullerton and Clifton. Property that was taken in the robberies was also recovered from the couple, according to police.

The injured officer was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center where he will undergo surgery, police said.

Porter is charged with four felony counts of armed robbery with a firearm; felony resisting police; and felony unlawful use of a weapon. Brown is charged with four felony counts of armed robbery with a firearm. They are both due in bond court on Thursday afternoon.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Cops: Man shot in car on Lake Shore Drive near Foster Ave


A man is in serious condition after being shot while riding in a car on Lake Shore Drive near Foster Beach early Wednesday, police said. No one is in custody.

The 18-year-old victim was riding in the back seat of a Honda CRV that was southbound on Lake Shore Drive around 1:15 a.m., according to police.   As the car approached the Foster Avenue exit, someone in another SUV opened fire on the Honda, striking the victim in his legs and groin, police said.

Shell casings were located in the roadway at 5300 North Lake Shore Drive, according to police.

Witnesses said the shooter was in a light blue Toyota RAV4 with a Lyft logo in the back window that continued southbound on Lake Shore Drive at a high rate of speed. The Honda’s driver exited at Lawrence and transported the victim to Weiss Memorial Hospital, 4646 North Marine. Police said the victim was later transported to Stroger Hospital.

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Lincoln Park: Robber beats 7-Eleven clerk, assaults him with pizza cutter

Fred Suane is charged with robbing this Lincoln Park store and assaulting its clerk with a pizza cutter.
Police say a Lincoln Park convenience store clerk was beaten, clobbered with a pan, and assaulted with a pizza cutter during a robbery that netted the offender 10 packs of Newport cigarettes.

Shortly after midnight on August 10th, Fred Suane of Uptown walked into the 7-Eleven at 2619 North Clark Street and asked for 10 packs of smokes. When the clerk asked for Suane to present a method of payment before handing over the cigarettes, Suane allegedly became violent.

Prosecutors said he threw a bottle of milk at the 32-year-old clerk, then went around the counter and began punching the man in the face. When the clerk tried to fight back, Suane clobbered him repeatedly with a pizza pan and then tried to attack him with a pizza cutter, according to a criminal complaint. Suane then picked up the 10 packs of cigarettes and chased the victim out of the store with the pizza cutter, prosecutors said. 

Police officers found Suane nearby and arrested him. The victim was treated for cuts to his hands and arms.

Suane, 64, is charged with Class X felony armed robbery and felony aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Judge Sophia Atcherson set bail at $50,000. He is due back in court on Friday.

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Two arrested after North Side robbery spree; Officer injured

Locations of last night's three robberies and the subsequent arrests of two suspects.
A man and woman who committed three robberies within 90 minutes on Tuesday evening were later chased and arrested on the DePaul University campus, police said. One officer suffered a broken hip during the arrests.

Charges are currently pending, and the arrestees have not yet been publicly identified. Here is what we know so far:

Around 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the man and woman approached a victim on the street in the 1800 block of West Berenice. The man pulled out a silver handgun and went through the victim’s pockets, taking his cell phone. Both offenders were last seen heading southbound on Ravenswood.

One hour later, a man reported being robbed in the 2800 block of North Greenview. The victim told police that he walked past a man and a woman who were standing with a bicycle near Greenview and George. Moments later, the male offender walked up behind him and took his cash and phone at gunpoint. Both robbers then headed south on Greenview.

Then, around 9:50 p.m., two people were robbed at gunpoint in the 2600 block of North Bosworth. The victims reported that while a masked man was mugging them, a woman pedaled up on a bicycle and asked him if he “got everything.” Both offenders then left the area.

Just a few minutes later, officers on patrol saw two people matching the offenders’ descriptions near Kenmore and Belden on the DePaul University campus. Police pursued the couple and arrested the woman inside a DePaul school building. The man was arrested, and his firearm was recovered near Fullerton and Clifton. Property that was taken in the robberies was also recovered from the suspects, according to police.

An officer who fell during the arrest of the male offender suffered a broken hip, according to the police department’s chief spokesperson, Anthony Guglielmi. The officer was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center where he will undergo surgery, police said.

CWBChicago will update this story when charges are approved.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Downtown Update: Armed carjacking reported on Mag Mile; More robberies in the Loop

The men were carjacked here, at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Delaware, police said. | Google
Chicago police are investigating an armed carjacking reported Sunday night in the heart of the Magnificent Mile. Two men were sitting in a car on the corner of Delaware and Michigan around 10:30 p.m. when a gunman ordered them out of the vehicle, police said.

The offender got into the victims’ gold 2012 Kia Optima and sped eastbound on Delaware toward Lake Shore Drive. Police said one of the victims left their phone in the car. About 20 minutes after the carjacking, the phone was pinging near Presidential Towers, 555 West Madison. Police searched the area but did not locate the stolen car.

Police said the stolen car has a temporary license tag and a sticker on the rear window that says “Chicago Car Center.”

The offender was a black male in his early 20’s who was dressed in a white t-shirt and khaki pants, according to the victim.

Area Central detectives are investigating.

More Robberies In Loop

At least two people were robbed in Loop on Sunday by offenders who were on bicycles, police said.  No one is in custody for either hold-up.

In the first case, a man on a mountain bike displayed a handgun and tried to rob a victim in the first block of East Washington around 5 a.m., according to a police report. The offender fled without getting anything of value from the victim. Police said the would-be robber was black, 19-24 years old, thin, and wore a blue shirt with a Banana Republic logo, blue pants, and black shoes. He was last seen riding eastbound on Washington on a bike.

Then, just before midnight, a man was robbed by two offenders in the first block of South Dearborn. The offenders stopped the victim, punched him, and went through his pockets before fleeing southbound on Dearborn, according to police. The first offender rode a bicycle. He was a black male dressed in a maroon shirt, faded blue jeans, and white shoes. The other robber was a black male who wore a white shirt, blue jeans, and carried a book bag.

River North: Gun Charge For Homeless Man

A homeless man who took a gun out of his pocket to “adjust himself” after going to the bathroom in River North was arrested when a passer-by saw the firearm in the man’s hand, according to police.

Wakili Boyd | CPD
Officers said they were flagged down by a man who was sitting in a car near LaSalle and Chicago on the afternoon of August 8th. He told cops that a man who was pushing a cart made eye contact with him while holding a gun as he walked down the street. The man did not point the gun at him, though, the witness said.

Police found 44-year-old Wakili Boyd nearby in the first block of West Chicago. During a pat-down search, an officer found an unloaded .38 caliber handgun in Boyd’s left pants pocket, prosecutors said.

Boyd told officers that he“found the gun in his belongings” and only took it out of his pants because he had to adjust himself after going to the bathroom, police wrote in their report.

Prosecutors charged Boyd with felony possession of an unloaded handgun without a Firearm Owners ID card. Judge Sophia Atcherson set his bail at $2,000.

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Monday, August 13, 2018

North Center: Man charged with lewd behavior near daycare center, knife threats

Bogathy | Chicago Police Dept
Charges have been filed against a man who allegedly exposed himself and touch himself inappropriately outside of a North Center daycare center in April. The arrest was made after the man returned to the area two weeks ago, according to a criminal complaint.

An FBI agent told police that he was dropping off his children at a daycare center in the 2600 block of West Irving Park Road on April 30th when a man approached his car, pulled down his pants, and began touching himself. The agent recorded the incident on his phone and then informed the school.

Three months later, on the afternoon of July 31st, a seven-year-old boy and a 27-year-old man were in the 3100 block of West Irving Park when they reported being threatened by a man with a knife. The offender threatened the two victims and spit on the boy, according to police. He ran from the scene after the older victim sprayed him with pepper spray.

Officers searched the area and stopped 51-year-old Russell Bogathy in the 2500 block of Irving after seeing him walking down the street with a knife in his hand, police said. A faculty member from the daycare center who saw the arrest taking place approached the police with a community alert that detailed the April incident.

Prosecutors charged Bogathy with misdemeanor aggravated assault, misdemeanor battery, and misdemeanor indecent behavior-lewd exposure. Judge Joanne Rosado ordered him held without bail. Bogathy was also ordered held on a warrant for failing to appear in court on a separate trespassing charge.

Bogathy is due back in court on August 30th.

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Monday Gunday: A look at how the courts are handling Chicago's gun cases

Reginald Tyus is accused of possessing a handgun outside of Water Tower Place. | CPD; Wiki Commons
People walking on the Magnificent Mile late on August 3rd called 911 to report seeing a man with a gun tucked into his waistband near the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Chicago Avenue.

Police stopped a 20-year-old man named Reginald Tyus outside of Water Tower Place because he matched the witnesses’ description of the gunman. During a pat-down search, police found a 9-millimeter handgun in Tyus’ right pants pocket and a loaded extended ammunition magazine in his left pants pocket, according to prosecutors. Police said Tyus “admitted” to carrying the gun for protection.

Prosecutors charged Tyus with felony aggravated unlawful use of an unloaded weapon, misdemeanor possession of ammunition, and felony possession of ecstasy. Judge David Navarro set his bail at $5,000, allowing him to go home by paying a $500 deposit.

Police say they stopped Dwayne Hutcherson because he looks like a gunman who opened fire outside this Uptown firehouse. Hutcherson was carrying a firearm when cops arrested him, according to prosecutors. | CPD; Google
Dwayne Hutcherson, 25, is charged with being a felon in possession of a weapon after police say they found him carrying a handgun in the 4500 block of North Magnolia last Sunday afternoon. Police stopped Hutcherson because he looks like the man who was seen on surveillance video firing six or seven shots at a car near the fire station at 1212 West Wilson on August 2nd, according to a police report.

Arresting officers felt a bulky object in Hutcherson’s backpack that turned out to be a loaded 40-caliber handgun, prosecutors said. Hutcherson was charged with being a felon in possession of a weapon. State records show that Hutcherson was convicted of receiving-possessing a stolen motor vehicle in 2016.  Judge Sophia Atcherson set his bail at $40,000, allowing him to go home by posting a $4,000 deposit.

A bouncer at Boss Bar allegedly disarmed Emmanuel Rice during a disturbance on July 29th. | CPD; Google
Prosecutors say 26-year-old Emmanuel Rice got into a dispute with management at the Boss Bar in River North around 3:30 a.m on July 29th. He allegedly battered a 47-year-old manager at the tavern, 418 North Clark, prompting security to intervene. At one point, Rice reportedly yelled, “What the f*** do you want to do? We can take care of this right here,” as he reached into his front right pocket.

Two witnesses told police that they could see the butt of a handgun in the pocket Rice was reaching into. The security guard grabbed Rice’s right hand and began fighting to get control of the gun, according to a police report. Police say the bouncer eventually succeeded in disarming Rice of a loaded 22-caliber handgun before officers arrived.

Prosecutors charged Rice with felony possession of a firearm by a felon, misdemeanor aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and misdemeanor battery. Judge Navarro ordered him held without bail.

Left to right: De La Cruz; Hunley; and Word | Chicago Police Dept
• Police in River North were waved down in the 200 block of West Hubbard early on July 13th by a passer-by who reported that one of two men who were fighting nearby had a gun. The officers approached the arguing men and one of them, Aaron De La Cruz, started running from the area while holding his waistband, police said. Officers quickly caught up with 31-year-old De La Cruz and found him in possession of a loaded 22-caliber handgun, according to a criminal complaint. Prosecutors charged De La Cruz with one felony count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon without a Firearm Owners ID card. Judge Mary Marubio set bail at $75,000. De La Cruz went free by posting a $7,500 deposit.

• Gerald Hunley, 22, was arrested in the Near North neighborhood on July 17th because officers recognized him as the man who was seen on surveillance video firing a gun at people in the 800 block of North Cambridge on June 9th, according to prosecutors. Hunley, who was already a registered gun offender due to a previous weapons conviction, was charged with Class X felony aggravated discharge of a firearm. Judge Marvin Luckman set his bail at $100,000. Hunley was set free to await trial after a friend posted a $10,000 bond.

• In Lincoln Park, prosecutors say 29-year-old Darius Word came out of a home int he 2600 block of North Hoyne with a shotgun around 4:30 p.m. on August 4th. Wood racked the gun and pointed it at a woman and other people in the area, according to court complaints. Wood is charged with misdemeanor aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and failure to register as a gun offender. Judge Navarro set bail at $1,500. Wood went free by posting a $150 deposit.

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