Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Arrest Two in Slaying of 8-Year-Old Girl

By Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post


Two people have been charged with murder in the January 22 slaying of 8-year-old Melissa Ortega in the Little Village neighborhood.

Xavier Guzman, 27, of the 4600 block of South Fairfield, and a 16-year-old boy are in custody and are set to appear at bond hearings on Thursday, January 27.
Xavier Guzman


In a press conference on January 26, CPD Supt. David Brown said, at 2:56 p.m. Saturday, January 22, officers responded to a ShotSpotter alert near 26th and Pulaski. They observed what Brown called "three purported gang members" on the corner of 26th and Komensky.




Here is full video of the press conference:

 

"Moments later, an individual emerged [from a vehicle], south of their location, near an alley and fired a handgun at them," Brown continued. "That's when Melissa and her mother were crossing the street, and Melissa was shot in the head."

Brown said the 16-year-old was the shooter, and Guzman was the driver of the getaway vehicle.

Brown said the shooter's target was a 29-year-old man. He was shot in the back as he ran from the gunfire.

Nearly hit by gunfire, Brown added, were a man and his 9-year-old daughter who were nearby, inside their vehicle.

Using surveillance cameras and license plate readers, Brown said police located the vehicle (although he did not say where), and he said the gun used in the slaying was found inside the vehicle.

Guzman was apprehended on January 24 in the 4300 block of South California. The 16-year-old boy was arrested on January 25 in the 3000 block of South Drake. 

According to public records, Guzman has been arrested three times by CPD since 2017, twice on charges that included possession of a controlled substance.





Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Southeast Side Man Charged With Archer Heights Carjacking

By Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

Police say they’ve solved a carjacking that occurred in Archer Heights earlier this month.

An 18-year-old Southeast Side man was charged with aggravated vehicular hijacking in connection with the crime.

Monte Handley, of the 9000 block of South Muskegon, was apprehended by police in the 7500 block of South Ellis on Tuesday, January 18—a day after the carjacking occurred in the 5000 block of South Kolin. In that crime, a vehicle was taken by force from a 26-year-old woman.
Handley


Police said Handley was also identified in connection with an attempted robbery that occurred at 1 a.m. January 18 at a business in the 1600 block of West 95th Street. They said Handley was observed inside the Archer Heights carjacking victim’s vehicle and that he attempted to flee from officers before he was placed into custody.

In connection with what occurred on January 18, Handley was charged with attempted robbery, aggravated fleeing, resisting arrest, driving on a evoked license and other crimes.

Bond was denied, and Handley is set to appear in court on Wednesday, January 26.

Archer Heights Civic Association President Thomas S. Baliga praised police for their actions.

"As the preeminent and resolute community watchdog group for Archer Heights, it is our responsibility to occasionally criticize police brass for any number of things when warranted," Baliga said. "However, we remain steadfast in our praise for police on the front lines. They are truly where the rubber meets the road, and we salute their work, day in and day out, to protect people and property." 

Coincidentally on January 18, CPD issued a community alert regarding other carjackings in Archer Heights.

Crime scenes include:
• 4900 block of South Keeler at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11.
• 4000 block of West 49th Street at 6:07 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 16.
• 4900 block of South Keeler at 6:10 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 16.
• 4500 block of South Keeler at 6:15 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 16.

Offenders were described as Hispanic men age 20-30, 5-foot-4 to 5-foot-11 and 140 pounds.

Those with useful information to share are encouraged to call CPD Area 1 detectives at (312) 747-8380 and refer to crime pattern P22-1-013.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Captured on Video: Armed Robbery in Motorist's Own Garage

By Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

Check out this video and screenshots posted by a man whose home security camera captured what appears to be an armed robbery said to have occurred on the afternoon of Thursday, January 13, near 55th Street in the alley between Sacramento and Richmond.

If you have useful information to share about this incident, please call CPD Area 1 detectives at (312) 747-8380.

More than anything, this video should serve as a cautionary tale for us all. Always be aware of your surroundings: front, back and sides. Use your peripheral vision, as well as your vehicle's mirrors: side mirrors and rear-view mirror. If you see something you find suspicious, don't get out of your vehicle. Keep your doors locked. Do not open your garage door. Drive away from anyone or any vehicle you find suspicious.

It may be nothing. But maybe not.

Video posted here on Facebook:

Finally, if you want to take an extra step and explore firearms training, find an established, reputable company, such as Illinois Concealed Training, located right here on the Southwest Side--and owned and operated by a Southwest Side family.

Think Some COVID-19 Test Offers Are Scams? You're Not Alone, Better Business Bureau Says

From the Better Business Bureau:

This winter’s spike in COVID-19 cases has more people than ever looking for tests. This has given rise to a new con: phony websites and suspicious in-person testing sites used to collect personal and insurance information. 

How the scam works
Several websites appear after an online search for a COVID-19 testing site in your area, and a testing clinic affiliated with a local pharmacy or a pop-up run by a local group is selected.

In one version of this scam, you arrive at the testing site and are asked to complete a form with personal information, your driver’s license and medical insurance cards are photographed. Then, a swab is done and a promise is made that test results will arrive within a short time. Unfortunately, the test is a fake and the results never arrive. It was an excuse to get your information.

In another version of this con, you complete an online appointment form with personal, insurance and medical information. In some cases, a small fee is paid. But, on the day of the appointment, the pharmacy has no record of your reservation. Again, the phony form was a way of phishing for personal information.

One victim reported to BBB Scam Tracker this experience at a phony testing site: “Not until I got home did I realize I provided WAY too much personal information… They used a swab of saliva and said I would be notified by email within 24 hours. It has now been two weeks no results, and they are still there doing COVID tests.”

How to avoid COVID-19 testing scams

Understand the COVID-19 testing options in your area. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reminds consumers that no-cost COVID-19 tests are available to everyone in the U.S. at health centers and select pharmacies. If someone insists you pay for a test, especially if they claim it will cost you hundreds of dollars, it’s a scam.

Only get tested at authorized testing sites or health centers. Visit your state, tribal, local or territorial health department’s website to find an authorized testing site in your area.

Watch out for lookalike websites. Scammers have become adept at creating websites that look just like websites belonging to well-known, trusted businesses. Before entering your personal information to an online form, make sure the website you are visiting is secure and there are no misspellings or unfamiliar names in the URL bar.

Be wary of unsolicited callers and messages. No legitimate company or health clinic will call, text, or email you without your permission. If you get an unsolicited message from someone, it’s best not to give the caller or sender any personal details before confirming it’s from a legitimate source.

Read the fine print on any documentation you are asked to sign. Question where the personal information is being kept as well as if it is secure, what lab is processing the results, and read the agreement carefully before signing. If anything within the agreement does not seem right, leave and find another testing facility.
 
For more information
Read about other popular COVID-19 scams and additional testing scams at bbb.org. It may also be helpful to learn about other ways scammers are taking advantage of the pandemic with vaccine scams, clinical trial scams, contract tracing cons, counterfeit face masks, and government agency impostors.

If you’ve spotted a scam, report it to BBB Scam Tracker, even if you didn’t fall victim or lose any money. Your report can help others avoid common scam tactics.


Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Crime News Update

   Editor's note: The crime news reported by the Southwest Chicago Post---taken directly from Chicago Police Department incident reports---is not by any means an exhaustive catalogue of all crime reported in the Chicago Lawn (8th) District. For example, it typically does not include news of crimes committed in the eastern sectors of the district---because the Southwest Chicago Post's coverage area is primarily the neighborhoods that border Midway Airport and secondarily because including the relatively large volume of crime news from elsewhere in the district would be a logistical challenge. We make this note to offer a little helpful perspective and remind everyone that while crime is definitely a concern in all parts of the district (as it always has been), crime remains relatively low overall in the western section of the district. May all of us work together diligently to keep it that way. May all of us also remember that a person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


* * *


Convicted gun offender busted at Ford City

A 27-year-old Chicago Lawn man was charged with failure to register with authorities as a convicted gun offender, after he was arrested during a traffic stop in a west parking lot at Ford City at 9:37 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11.
Delgado


Erwign Delgado, of the 6600 block of South California, was stopped by officers who said they heard him screeching his vehicle’s tires excessively. He also was cited for driving on a suspended license and failure to secure a child younger than age 8 in an approved car seat.

According to public records, Delgado has been arrested 18 times by CPD since 2014 on charges that included battery, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, failure to appear in court, domestic battery, aggravated domestic battery, aggravated kidnapping, criminal trespass to a vehicle, drinking alcohol on the public way, gang loitering and possession of a stolen vehicle.


* * *

Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in and/or own a business in Beats 813 or 833 (see map) make plans to attend your next CAPS meeting, set for 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 25 online in webinar format. Hear updates on crime in your neighborhood and learn how you can work with neighbors and police to make the community safer and better for all. Here is the link to join the event from your computer: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82519159498. To join via one-tap mobile, dial +13126266799,,82519159498#  or +13017158592,,82519159498#. Via landline telephone, 
dial +1 312 626 6799. Webinar ID: 825 1915 9498 



* * *


Claim MDW traveler hit police
Mohon



A 32-year-old man from Arlington, Neb. Was charged with battery after he was arrested at Midway International Airport at 9:48 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 23.

Nick Henry Mohon allegedly hit two CPD officers escorting him off airport grounds.

A CPD spokesman said Mohon tried to board a passenger jet but was turned away because staff believed he was intoxicated.




Man allegedly resisted arrest at MDW
Pavon


A 42-year-old West Elsdon man was charged with resisting arrest after he was arrested at Midway International Airport at 1:43 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 26.

David V. Pavon, of the 4000 block of West 59th Street, allegedly resisted officers arresting him because he was wanted on a warrant. A CPD spokesman declined to discuss the nature of the warrant.

According to public records, Pavon has been arrested five times by CPD since 2017 on such charges as assault, battery, domestic battery, aggravated battery of a police officer, theft and trespassing.



He slapped me, woman tells police
Calderon



A 47-year-old Garfield Ridge man was charged with domestic battery after he was arrested in front of St. Richard Church, 5030 S. Kostner, at 1:16 a.m. Monday, Dec. 20.


Tomas Calderon, of the 5900 block of West 55th Street, allegedly slapped a 43-year-old woman in the face during an argument.



* * *

Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in and/or own a business in Beat 811 (see map) make plans to attend your next CAPS meeting, set for 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 18 at Ward Hall, 5157 S. McVicker. Hear updates on crime in your neighborhood and learn how you can work with neighbors and police to make the community safer and better for all. This meeting will double as the January meeting for the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch.



* * *


Slumped over the wheel, arrested in Scottsdale

A 43-year-old Chicago Lawn woman was charged with criminal trespass to a vehicle after she was arrested in the 4400 block of West 84th Street at 10:47 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 26.
Mueller


Misty C. Mueller was encountered by officer responding to a call of a driver having a medical emergency and being slumped over the steering wheel of a vehicle. As they tended to her, police reportedly learned the vehicle was driving was stolen and that she was wanted on two different warrants.

According to public records, Mueller was arrested three times by CPD in 2021 on such charges as possession of a controlled substance, driving on a revoked license and criminal trespass to real property.




Accused of retail theft on Christmas Eve at Ford City
 
A 51-year-old Chicago Lawn man was charged with retail theft after he was arrested at Ford City at 11:50 a.m. Friday, Dec. 24.
Collazo


Miguel A. Collazo, of the 2700 block of West 71st Street, allegedly stole merchandise from a store in the mall, a CPD spokesman said without elaborating.

According to public records, Collazo has been arrested six times by CPD since 2014 on charges that included burglary and retail theft (five times).








Charged with gun crime at Walgreens

A 19-year-old Englewood man was charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon after he was arrested at the Walgreens at 47th and Pulaski at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 23.
Coleman



Darius J. Coleman, of the 1200 block of West 71st Place, was apprehended by police after a store manager called 911 to report a man with a gun in the store.

A CPD spokesman said Coleman had a loaded pistol in a pants pocket.





Charged with slapping woman in the face
Ramirez



A 29-year-old Brighton Park man was charged with domestic battery after he was arrested in the 4900 block of South Archer at 9:31 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 28.


Ivan Ramirez, of the 3500 block of South Washtenaw, allegedly slapped a 22-year-old woman in the face as she drove a vehicle he was riding in, a CPD spokesman said.




Arrest Indiana man after chase

A 27-year-old man from Hammond, Ind. was charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, striking an unattended vehicle and eluding police after he was arrested in the 3800 block of West 55th Street.
Miller


Jermaine M. Miller allegedly refused to stop his vehicle when ordered to do so by police. As they followed him, his vehicle struck a parked vehicle, a CPD spokesman said, and he bolted. Police apprehended him after a foot chase.

According to public records, Miller has been arrested five times by CPD since 2014 on such charges as violating conditions of bail, criminal trespass to real property, criminal trespass to state land, theft and possession of a controlled substance.





Teen allegedly punched girl in the face
Gonzalez



An 18-year-old West Elsdon man was charged with domestic battery after he was arrested at his home in the 3900 block of West 58th Street at 3:10 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20.


Jovani Gonzalez allegedly punched a 15-year-old girl in the fact during an argument.




Claim woman drove drunk
Brown


A 51-year-old South Side woman was charged with DUI after police curbed her car at 52nd and Harding at 8:28 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 23.

Tawana Brown, of the 100 block of East 102nd Street, was apprehended by officers responding to a 911 call about a person driving recklessly.

A CPD spokesman said one tire of the vehicle was missing, and it was riding on a bare wheel. Brown also was ticketed for driving an unsafe vehicle, driving an uninsured vehicle and driving on a suspended license.




Charge man with domestic battery
Wolotek



A 36-year-old Garfield Ridge man was charged with domestic battery after he was arrested at his home in the 5500 block of West 55th Street at 9:09 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 29.


Celej Wolotek allegedly pushed a 57-year-old man to the floor during an argument.




Charged with breaking window in Scottsdale
Zavala


A 21-year-old Brighton Park man was charged with criminal damage to property after he was arrested at 84th and Keating at 7 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 1.

John Zavala, of the 4100 block of South Albany, allegedly threw a stone at the front window of a home, breaking the glass pane.

According to public records, Zavala was arrested by CPD in October 2018 near 30th and Komensky and charged with obstructing traffic.





Charge man with domestic battery
Carlos



A 28-year-old West Elsdon man was charged with domestic battery after he was arrested at his home in the 3900 block of West 55th Place at 5:38 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 1.


Jose Carlos allegedly struck a woman during an argument.




Charged again with domestic battery
Saucedo


A 32-year-old Scottsdale man was charged with violating an order of protection and domestic battery after he was arrested in the 6400 block of South Springfield at 2:20 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31.

Candelario Saucedo, of the 7800 block of South Knox, allegedly pulled the hair of and punched a 27-year-old woman during an argument.

According to public records, Saucedo has been arrested by five times by CPD since 2015 on such charges as criminal damage to property, robbery and domestic battery (three times).