Thursday, February 21, 2019

Far North Side man charged with attempted murder after extremely short police investigation

Leonard Dillard | CPD
It may be the shortest and most successful shooting investigation that Chicago has seen in years.

Police responding to a call of a person shot in the 6200 block of North Leavitt last Tuesday evening arrived to find a man and his neighbor in the alley.

Per a police report, the entire investigation unfolded thusly:

Officers asked the men, “Who’s shot?”

“Victim related…that he was shot.”

“Arrestee then spontaneously uttered…'I shot him.'”

With that, 48-year-old Leonard Dillard was placed into custody for shooting his 23-year-old neighbor during a dispute, police said. The victim was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston where his condition was stabilized.

Dillard is charged with attempted first-degree murder and Class X felony aggravated battery by discharging a firearm. He was ordered held without bail by Judge John Lyke.
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"Make Smollett pay for the investigation?" There's a form for that.

How many times have you heard people say, “they oughta make him pay for the investigation,” since the Jussie Smollett hate crime case began on Jan. 29th?

As it turns out, the Chicago Police Department has a form for that.

Should Smollett be convicted of filing a false police report as charged, a mundane piece of paper known as report #CPD-61.230, the “Cost Recovery Incident Form,” may be the police department’s first step in recovering the costs of its investigation of Smollett’s purported hoax.

Chicago ordinance authorizes the city to seek compensation, for wages and benefits of city personnel, attorneys, costs of equipment and materials, and “any other costs allocable to the provision of services” in a variety of situations.

And the first “situation” on the city’s list of recoverable incidents is “the deployment of police to respond and provide service as a result of a person’s false reporting of a crime.”

Federal authorities are investigating the origin of a white powder-covered threat letter that Smollett received at his TV show’s production facilities on the West Side one week before he reported being brutally attacked in Streeterville.

Whoever mailed that letter is likely to be charged with, among other things,  creating a hoax terroristic threat. And they'll face a double-whammy.

The city, of course, will be in a position to pursue all costs involved in that case, including the deployment of fire department HAZMAT units.

And 18 U.S. Code § 1038, “False information and hoaxes,” specifically states that—in addition to a potential five years in prison—anyone convicted of the charge “is liable in a civil action to any party incurring expenses incident to any emergency or investigative response to that conduct, for those expenses.”

And the law goes on to say that the sentencing court “shall” order reimbursement, not that it “may.”

But the resolution of any federal case is likely years away.

For now, we know that Smollett is in police custody and is due in bond court at 1:30 this afternoon. The police department has scheduled a press conference to discuss its investigation of his reported hate crime for 9 a.m.
CWBChicago's previous reporting in the Jussie Smollett case may be found here.
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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Turkish man missing from Boystown area

A 70-year-old man who speaks only Turkish has gone missing from the Boystown area, police said.

Kazim Gurgut was last seen at 10 a.m. on Tuesday in the 500 block of West Cornelia, according to a missing person bulletin. He left his home carrying only cash. His wallet and passport were left behind, police said.

Gurgut was last seen wearing the navy blue coat seen here and a winter cap. He’s 5’6” tall, weighs 180 pounds, and has gray hair.

Anyone with information regarding Gurgut’s whereabouts is asked to call the Area North Special Victims Unit 312-744-8266.
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CPS "student advocate" charged with battering student off-campus

Marvin Allen was arrested at Jenner on the morning after the off-campus incident. | CPD; Google
A Chicago Public School employee battered a 12-year-old boy and sprained the student’s wrist in an after-school, off-campus incident last week, according to Chicago police.

Marvin Allen, a student advocate at Jenner Campus, 1119 North Cleveland in River North, is charged with one felony count of aggravated battery of a child causing great bodily harm.

Police said the student and his mother told them that the boy was walking to a bus stop after school on Feb. 11 when Allen stopped him in the 500 block of West Division. Allen grabbed the boy by the arm, removed the boy’s coat, and began searching the student for a hat, they said. Allen “grabbed the arm and neck of [the victim and] spun him around by his arm,” according to a police report.

When Allen failed to find what he was looking for, he took the boy’s comb from the student’s pocket and said he would return the comb when the boy surrendered the hat, according to allegations in court records.

That evening, the student’s mother took the boy to a clinic near their home, and a doctor diagnosed the boy with a sprained wrist, police said. Allen was arrested at Jenner the next morning.

Judge John Lyke released Allen on a recognizance bond.

CPS spokesperson Emily Bolton said, “we immediately removed the employee from his position upon learning of a deeply concerning altercation that took place off of school grounds. The district has launched a full investigation and will work with CPD as the investigation remains ongoing.”

“Student safety,” Bolt said, ‘is the district's top priority.”

The 12-year-old and his family have been offered support by CPS and parents of Jenner students were notified of the incident.
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Nordstrom guards tackle, help disarm gunman in Mag Mile store

Phillip Smith was arrested at the Mag Mile Norstrom location. | CPD; Google
Two Nordstrom loss prevention officers tackled and helped police disarm a man who was holding a gun inside the retailer’s Magnificent Mile location last Tuesday evening, prosecutors said.

The store’s agents were watching as a known scam artist tried to purchase merchandise with a counterfeit $100 bill just before 8 p.m., according to police. But when the guards moved in to detain Phillip Smith for police, Smith pulled away and began to grab for his waistband to pull out a gun, according to court records.

Police said Nordstrom officers tackled Smith. Another employee ran and found a cop who joined the struggle inside the store at 55 East Grand. While the three men wrestled with Smith, the police officer pulled something from under Smith’s body: an ammunition magazine loaded with 22 rounds of .40-caliber bullets, he would later report.

One of the security guards then succeeded in prying the rest of a Glock semi-automatic from Smith’s left hand, police said. The cop was soon able to handcuff Smith and take him into custody.

Prosecutors charged the 34-year-old with felony unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and deceptive practice. Judge John Lyke ordered him held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Also last week, a security guard at the Palmer House chased down and detained a robbery suspect who tried to mug a tourist outside the landmark hotel.
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Top Foxx press liaison tweets about her dislike of journalism; Also—Foxx recuses self from Smollett case

"This," Ellis later said "was in reference to the current state of journalism" | Twitter
If we told you that the chief spokesperson for a powerful politician offered a personal opinion that journalism is about clicks over quality and sensationalism over integrity, you might think we were talking about you-know-who. But we’re not.

Instead, those insights were made in a tweet sent Tuesday morning by Kiera Ellis, the chief spokesperson for Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.

Ellis’ tweet said her disheartenment caused her to not pursue journalism post-college. “There’s a bottom line that most of these outlets are beholden to at the end of the day.”

There was no indication in the tweet about what prompted Ellis to share her personal views of the industry to which she serves as Kim Foxx’s top liaison.

We contacted Ellis to see if she could elaborate and provide some specifics about which sensational stories or which specific journalists she was speaking of. We didn’t get much:

“I have a degree in journalism,” she said. “I am allowed to have a personal opinion about journalism that is separate from my job as a spokeswoman.”

And, of course, she is right.

But we don’t like kale, and we’d certainly not want to go to work with it every day.

In an unsigned statement, Foxx’s office said, “Since the opinions expressed in the referenced Twitter account are those of that user, the SAO has no comment on the matter.”

Ellis has since set her Twitter account to "private."


Meanwhile, an official message from the State’s Attorney press office had heads turning later on Tuesday.

Kim Foxx had recused herself from the ongoing Jussie Smollett hate crime case “out of an abundance of caution…to address potential questions of impartiality based upon familiarity with potential witnesses in the case.”

No further specifics were given, and no elaborations were made.

Multiple sources within the local journalism community have indicated that reporters are currently working to reveal more information about Foxx’s involvement in the Smollett case and the timing of her announcement. We’ll see if those reports pan out. If they do, it probably won’t improve Kiera Ellis’ opinions of journalism.
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Southport: Smash-n-grab burglars strike Bluemercury

Bluemercury on Southport. | Yelp
You probably already know about the string of smash-and-grab burglaries in which crews of thieves are breaking through glass doors to steal high-end bicycles from retailers on the North Side between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Well, this morning, there’s a twist.

Around 5:50 a.m. on Wednesday, a motorist reported seeing two masked men hauling garbage cans full of cosmetics through the broken glass door of Bluemercury, 3512 North Southport.

The thieves loaded tubs of beauty products into a pick-up truck and then sped southbound through a nearby alley before turning west on Cornelia, the witness said. No one is in custody. Area North detectives are investigating.
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"Hold me down. They got some kind of threat through the mail": How the Jussie Smollett saga began

Jussie Smollett | Instagram
At 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 22nd, a tactical sergeant in the Chicago Police Department’s Ogden District was waved down near the West Side production studio where Fox television’s Empire is based.

“Hold me down,” the sergeant told dispatchers. “They got some kind of threat through the mail.”

And so began the long, twisted, and still unravelling tale of Jussie Smollett, star of the Fox program, and recipient of the threat letter who a week later would claim that two masked men beat him, put a noose around his neck, poured bleach on him, and called him racist and anti-gay slurs near his Streeterville apartment building at 2 a.m. on Jan. 29th.

CWBChicago on Monday reported on the month-old, multi-agency federal investigation that now has Smollett in its cross-hairs as possibly being the person who mailed the threat letter that started it all.

New details have now been learned about those very early moments in the ongoing saga as the first police, fire, and federal law enforcement officers handled the threat letter.
CWBChicago is waiting for the Chicago Police Department to fulfill a Freedom of Information request for a full copy of the threat letter incident report. But, on Tuesday, Fox Chicago reporter Rafer Weigel posted the report’s narrative section on Twitter.

Back-up officers’ body cameras were rolling as they arrived and met with the tactical sergeant at Empire’s executive offices. They met with Smollett and the show’s executive producer, Dennis Hammer.

The threat letter (bottom) and envelope (top). | TMZ
Escorted to Hammer’s office, the officers saw the now-infamous envelope sitting on the corner of a wooden desk. It had been mailed four days earlier in the southwest suburbs.

Hammer told police that he wore gloves to open the envelope and peek inside. And Smollett said he, too, wore gloves to remove the letter from its envelope. He discovered “an unknown white powdery substance on the front of the letter,” officers said.

With that, the fire department was called, a HAZMAT hot zone was established, and CFD specialists began processing the letter. Before long, tests were complete: The white powder was determined to be acetaminophen, the generic name for Tylenol.

Forensic field testing found an “unknown protein substance” on the letter, which was placed into an evidence bag. Hammer’s and Smollett’s gloves were placed in a second bag.

Less than 90 minutes after the tactical sergeant was flagged down, federal law enforcement took over the case. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service had been notified, and an agent from the FBI’s Chicago Field Office had paid a visit to the Empire offices.

That agent, who has been with the bureau for 17 years, has worked international terrorism cases and is currently the FBI’s weapons of mass destruction coordinator and a chemical agent instructor for the FBI SWAT team.

Needless to say, whoever mailed that letter to Smollett should be very concerned to know that an investigator with that level of experience was merely the first person assigned to the case.


NBC News reported on Tuesday that Jussie Smollett pleaded “no contest” in 2007 to giving false information to police after he was pulled over for DUI in California. According to the report, Smollett identified himself as his younger brother, Jake, and signed Jake’s name on a processing document. Smollett eventually completed an alcohol education program and successfully fulfilled the terms of his sentence, NBC said.
• • •
See all of CWBChicago's previous Jussie Smollet case reporting HERE.
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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Loop: Hotel security foils robbery outside Palmer House

Dashaun Patrick was detained by Palmer House security near the hotel's Wabash entrance. | CPD; Google
Security at the Palmer House came to the rescue after an Indiana man was beaten and robbed near the landmark hotel in the Loop, police said.

A hotel guard was watching as 26-year-old Dashaun Patrick of Chatham walked up to the tourist in the first block of South Wabash around 10 p.m. last Wednesday, according to court records. After failing in an attempt to steal the 34-year-old victim’s phone, Patrick began punching the man in the head and face, pulled the man’s jacket off over the victim’s head, and then ran away, according to police.

When police arrived, the security guard had already captured Patrick and had him waiting for cops in the hotel lobby. After the victim identified Patrick as the person who attacked him, officers returned the man's coat and took Patrick into custody.

Police said they found five credit cards, social security cards, and RTA free ride permits belonging to other people in Patrick’s possession during a custodial search. Inside Patrick’s fanny pack officers allegedly found 17 Xanax pills.

Patrick is charged with felony robbery, possession of a controlled substance and theft of lost or mislaid property. Judge John Lyke ordered him held in lieu of $150,000 bail.
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Lincoln Park bicycle shop burglarized Tuesday as break-in spree coasts along

Three burglars enter Johnny Sprockets bike shop in Lakeview early Sunday. | Johnny Sprockets
Since mid-January, a small group of high-end bicycle retailers from Lincoln Park to Lakeview to Lincoln Square has been repeatedly targeted by burglars who strike between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. And it seems that nobody can stop them.

Around 4:20 this morning, Cycle Smithy at 2468-1/2 North Fullerton was burglarized for the second time in a month.

A taxi driver told police that he saw four black males in their 20’s wearing dark hoodies emerge from the store with about five bicycles that they then hauled away using two cars: a Chevy Impala and a gray Nissan Sentra. The witness reported that he followed the two vehicles as they turned east on Fullerton, then south on Lake Shore Drive.

This morning’s break-in comes after three burglars made off with four high-end bikes from Johnny Sprockets, 3140 North Broadway, at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday.

And last Tuesday, the Turin bike shop at 4710 North Damen was burglarized for the third time since Jan. 12th.

On Jan. 28th, police issued a community alert warning bike retailers of the emerging pattern after Turin and Cycle Smithy were burglarized within days of each other.

The thieves have been entering stores by breaking through front door glass and even compromising the new metal gates that Turin installed after their second break-in last month.
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