Wednesday, August 15, 2018

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 and southern 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.

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Expect more police presence in Beat 811

Police presence in the northwest corner of Garfield Ridge is expected to be stepped up this
week in the wake of two separate armed robberies of women at their homes.

According to Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch President Al Cacciottolo, 23rd Ward Ald. Silvana Tabares has reached out to Chicago Lawn (8th) District Commander Ronald Pontecore to request more police patrols in Beat 811 (the central and western sections of Garfield Ridge), and that he has responded affirmatively.

• A 61-year-old Garfield Ridge grandmother was robbed at gunpoint as she stood on the front porch of her home in the 5200 block of South Newland at 12:33 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11.

The victim told police she had just gotten out of her vehicle and walked up the porch steps to enter her home, when a man ran up behind her and snatched away her Coach purse and laptop computer.

When the victim began screaming, the thug said, “Shut up, b~tch,” and pulled a pistol and fired one shot at her. It missed and hit a window.

The robber then ran away north on Newland, east on 52nd Street and then north through an alley.

The bandit was described as a black man age 18-21, about 5-foot-8 and 160 pounds, with a dark complexion. He wore a black hoody with white stripes and shiny black pants.

In a post on social media, the victim said she “was returning from the hospital after being with my son and daughter-in-law for the birth of my granddaughter.”

Police recovered a shell casing on the victim’s front lawn.

She said the because of the horrifying experience, “A very happy event in my life turned tragic…and now my life will never be the same.”

• A 35-year-old Garfield Ridge woman was robbed at gunpoint in her garage near 51st and Newcastle, at about 2:20 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 9.

The victim said she had just pulled her car into the garage, but that the overhead door would not close.

When she got out of her car to investigate and step outside the garage, a man suddenly appeared and thrust a gun into her stomach. He pushed her back into the garage and exclaimed, “If you say a word or make a noise, I’ll f~cking kill you!”

The thug and an accomplice ordered the victim to surrender her purse and other valuables, which she did. One of the two also ripped a necklace with a cross off her neck.

The victim reported that when she told the gunman to take her car or any material valuables she had on her, he said, “B~tch, I told you to shut up!”

The robbers then ran away towards 51st Street, and the victim ran inside her house to alert her husband.

The bandits were described as black men age 20-25, about 5-foot-10 with medium complexions.

Shortly after police arrived, they found the victim’s purse with credit cards inside. Missing were a wedding and engagement ring and about $200 cash.

The victim also turned to Facebook to share her experience and said the harrowing ordeal left her unable to sleep or be alone in the house.

The crimes are expected to be discussed at the next public meeting of the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch, set for 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20 at the headquarters of the Croatian Radio Club, Archer and Nordica; as well as at the next meeting of CAPS Beat 811, set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21 at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, 5550 S. Merrimac.


garfieldridgenw.com


Jewel-Osco security guard run into by angry motorist

A 68-year-old security guard working at the Jewel-Osco at 5320 S. Pulaski was injured and
Witnesses comfort the guard.
taken to a hospital after an angry motorist rammed him with his car.


The incident occurred at 6:24 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10.

The guard told police that he had approached the car--a silver, four-door Nissan Sentra--to ask the driver to move because he was parked in a fire lane.

When confronted, the driver reportedly yelled racial slurs at the guard, put his car into reverse and sped backwards, knocking bricks off a pillar, knocking over a newspaper vending box and slamming the guard into the east wall of the building.

The driver then sped away through the parking lot and then west on 54th Street.

The offender was described as a Hispanic man, about age 29 with black hair. Two women who were passengers in the vehicle were described as young Hispanic women with long, dark hair.

Police said a computer check revealed that the car had been reported stolen from the 4400 block of South Kedvale.

The car is said to have extensive rear-end damage, as well as a missing rear-view mirror on the passenger side.

Those with useful information to share about the crime are asked to call Area Central Detectives at (312) 747-8380.



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Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 811 (see map), come to Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, 5550 S. Merrimac, at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 21 and attend your monthly CAPS meeting. 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.




* * *

Charge man with molesting girl
Philip Hickey



A 33-year-old West Elsdon man was charged with felony predatory criminal sexual assault
on a child under age 13, after he was arrested in the 5500 block of South Homan at 1:11 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7.

Philip J. Hickey, of the 4100 block of West 58th Street, was apprehended after the child “disclosed in a forensic interview that the offender touched her vagina with his fingers and penis on multiple occasions,” a CPD spokesman said.






Arrest man on drug, weapons charges
Ramadan


A 25-year-old West Lawn man was charged with felony possession of cannabis with intent to manufacture/deliver, felony possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of ammunition without a valid FOID card.

Abdelrahma Ramadan, of the 7100 block of South Avers, was arrested at his home at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4.

According to public records, Ramadan has been arrested seven times by CPD since 2014, on such charges as unlawful possession of a firearm by a street gang member and possession cannabis.





Claim man hit boy with belt
Michael Young


A 33-year-old West Elsdon man was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery after he allegedly hit a seven-year-old boy with a belt.

Michael B. Young, of the 5800 block of South Tripp, was arrested by police at a home in the 6400 block of South Lockwood just after 4:45 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4.

Police said they “saw visible signs of bruising on [the boy], who stated that [Young] struck him several times with a belt. The victim was transported to MacNeal Hospital for evaluation.

DCFS is investigating the case, along with Area Central Detectives.





Charge man with breaking into home
Peter Garcia


A 25-year-old Clearing man was charged with burglary after he allegedly broke into a home in the 6100 block of West 59th Street and stole property at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8.

Peter Garcia, of the 6100 block of South Rutherford, was apprehended at the scene, according to a CPD spokesman, who declined to say what was allegedly stolen.

According to public records, Garcia was arrested by CPD in 2016, in the 6100 block of South Central, and charged with criminal trespass to a vehicle.





Claim Clearing man swiped cellphone chargers
Omar Juma


A 27-year-old Clearing man was charged with retail theft after he allegedly stole several cellphone chargers.

Omar Juma, of the 6500 block of West 63rd Street, was apprehended at 10:27 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2 at 6174 S. Archer.

Police declined to say what store the chargers were allegedly stolen from.

According to public records, Juma has been arrested nine times by CPD since 2014, on such charges as reckless conduct, possession of a controlled substance, aggravated assault and domestic battery.





Bust Little Village man for shoplifting
Rodolfo Perez


A 60-year-old Little Village man was charged with retail theft after he allegedly stole merchandise from the Jewel-Osco at 5320 S. Pulaski at about 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6. 

Rodolfo Perez, of the 2500 block of South Keeler, “put several food items into bags and attempted to leave without paying,” a CPD spokesman said.

Police declined to say exactly what Perez allegedly stole.

According to public records, Perez has been arrested six times by CPD since 2015, three of them on a retail theft charge.






Claim man in bar touched women inappropriately
Rodolfo DeJesus


A 28-year-old Brighton Park man was charged with misdemeanor battery after he allegedly touched two women—ages 29 and 27—inappropriately while dancing at Bohica Bar & Grill, 5518 S. Archer, at 1:59 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 4.

Rodolfo L. DeJesus, of the 2500 block of West 44th Street, was apprehended at the scene. 

According to public records, DeJesus has been arrested four times by CPD since 2014, on such charges as assault, domestic battery and criminal trespass to property.






Claim man tried to enter home
Sandro Escobar


A 21-year-old man was charged with criminal trespass to a residence after he allegedly tried to enter a home in the 4000 block of West 59th Street just after 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 7.

Sandro Escobar was apprehended by police a short distance away, in front of 5828 S. Pulaski, because he reportedly matched a description given to police by homeowners who confronted the man who they said tried to get in their front and back doors.

They said the man fled when they confronted him.

Police offered no home address for Escobar.





Charge Clearing woman with drug possession
Jaclyn Hedge


A 24-year-old Clearing woman was charged with two felony counts of possession of a controlled substance after police arrested her in the 6000 block of South Natchez at 4:49 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8.

Jaclyn Hedge was taken into custody after police found “plastic white baggies of suspect narcotics” on the passenger seat of her vehicle, a CPD spokesman said.

Police and a CFD ambulance reportedly had been called to the scene to check on Hedge, who was said to be “unresponsive” while sitting in her vehicle.

Police declined to say what the suspect substance was or how much they recovered.





More women are busted in sweep of Cicero Avenue

Two more women have been arrested in what appears to be a police sweep of streetwalking sex workers, panhandlers and others on Cicero Avenue, north of Archer—since CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson publicly vowed to the Archer Heights Civic Association that he would lead the way to eliminate prostitution for good in that area.


• Charged with soliciting a ride on the public way was 31-year-old Rosie Padilla, of the 4600
Rosie Padilla
block of South Keeler.


She was arrested at 6:25 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 4 at 4701 S. Kilpatrick.

According to public records, Padilla has been arrested four times by CPD since 2015, on charges that include criminal trespass to a vehicle, violating parole by making contact with a street gang member and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon by a convicted felon. 

According to the Illinois Department of Corrections, Padilla was sentenced in 2015 to three years, six months in prison for the UUW conviction; but she was released on parole last year.

In 2011, she was convicted of aggravated battery and sentenced to three years in prison.


• Charged with obstruction of traffic by a non-motorist was 18-year-old Kaitlyn R. Kwak, of
Kaitlyn Kwak
the 4700 block of South Lamon.



She was apprehended at 4:37 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6 in front of 4711 S. Cicero.


Police said they spotted her panhandling from motorists at the intersection.









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Health Department Will Spray Insecticide in Chicago Lawn on Thursday Night

Crews hired by the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) will spray insecticide throughout the central and west portions of the Chicago Lawn neighborhood on Thursday, August 16, in the evening.

The insecticide is designed to kill mosquitoes that may be carrying the West Nile Virus. Areas targeted are those where infected mosquitoes have been found in recent days.

Weather permitting, the spraying will begin at dusk (abut 7:30 p.m.) and continue through the night until approximately 1 a.m., with licensed mosquito-abatement technicians in trucks riding up and down streets and alleys, spraying an ultra-low-volume insecticide spray up into the air.

Here is a map of the area to be sprayed--basically from Caifornia Avenue on the east to Central Park Avenue on the west, 59th Street on the north to about 75th Street on the south.

(Editor's note: The map below is labelled "August 15" but the CDPH press release says "August 16"--we tried calling the Health Department's public relations director for a clarification, but that person was not answering their city-supplied cellphone, and the phone's voicemail inbox was full and not accepting messages.)






"When our mosquito traps indicate that the West Nile virus may pose health risks in a community, we take action quickly," said CDPH Commissioner Julie Morita, M.D. "But spraying is just one step to protect our city, residents must also take appropriate steps to protect themselves."



CDPH reminds residents to take precautions against mosquitoes that may carry the virus, including:

• Use insect repellent that contains DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
• Eliminate standing water. This includes emptying water from flowerpots, gutters, pool  covers, pet water dishes and birdbaths regularly.
• Keep grass and weeds short to eliminate hiding places for adult mosquitoes.
• When outside between dusk and dawn, wear loose-fitting, light colored clothing including long pants, long sleeve shirts, socks and shoes.
• Check that all screens, windows and doors are tight-fitting and free of holes and tears
• Check on neighbors regularly who may need additional assistance, including the elderly.





Each year, CDPH conducts a mosquito surveillance, prevention and control program to protect residents from West Nile virus and other diseases spread by mosquitoes.

Though mosquitoes found to carry the Zika virus are not native to Chicago, CDPH has launched a recent campaign, #StopZika, to educate residents traveling to Zika-infested regions how to protect themselves. The campaign also reminds residents how the department is working to prevent mosquito-borne viruses that are endemic to Chicago, including West Nile virus.

In addition to spraying, CDPH's mosquito abatement program includes dropping larvacide in catch basins--starting in spring--which helps limit the number of mosquitoes that can carry the virus, and regularly testing mosquitoes caught in traps throughout the city.



The material being used to control the adult mosquitoes, Zenivex™, is approved for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and has been widely applied to control mosquitoes in outdoor residential and recreational areas across the city. The spray will be applied by licensed mosquito abatement technicians from Vector Disease Control International, described by CDPH officials as a leader in the mosquito control industry. Guiding the crews through the streets will be supervisors from the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation. 

While the spray is not believed to be harmful to people or pets and is routinely sprayed in residential areas across the nation, residents of targeted neighborhoods may choose to stay indoors and close their windows while spraying is underway, as an extra precaution. CDPH staff are leaving door hangers in parts of the affected areas to notify residents that the spraying will occur.

"Spraying to kill adult mosquitoes is an effective component of an integrated pest management program," added CDPH Environmental Health Medical Director Cort Lohff, M.D. "It is our expectation that this effort will further limit the mosquito population and prevent cases of human illness in Chicago."

As part of ongoing response efforts, CDPH will continue to collect mosquitoes from traps located throughout the city and test these mosquitoes for West Nile virus. Using results of these tests, CDPH will determine the appropriate steps to be taken in order to best protect Chicago residents.

West Nile virus cannot be transmitted from person-to-person. Instead, it is transmitted strictly through mosquitoes.


Thursday, August 9, 2018

Daughters in pajamas inspire mom

Clearing woman’s new book is fun for kids

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

Every mom knows that young children can be a source of exhilaration, exasperation—and inspiration.

Barbara Berg-Mies knows. Her young daughters inspired her
to write a children’s book, “I’m Going To Gramma’s In My Pajamas”—newly published several weeks ago.

“It was just one of those moments,” the lifelong Clearing resident recalled. “I looked at my daughters (Riley, 5, and Aubrey, 3) and said, ‘Let’s go to Gramma’s,’ and they looked at me quizzically and said, ‘But Mom, we can’t go to Gramma’s. We’re in our pajamas!’”


Barbara Berg-Mies
How that endearing bit of kid logic became a book was helped along by Berg-Mies’ frustration with books available today.

“There are not a lot of good children’s books out there. Some are pretty lame,” she said. “I thought, ‘I could do this so much better.’”

The observation was interesting, since Berg-Mies is not a writer by profession—she is a longtime certified massage therapist at a chiropractic practice in suburban Westmont.

“But I read a lot as a child,” she said, noting that her love of reading served her well as a student at St. Rene Goupil School and Queen of Peace High School. “Now, as a mother, I think I know what children like.”

“But I don’t think I could write books for adults,” she added. “Children’s books are enjoyable—the rhyming, the light-heartedness, the fun.”

“I’m Going To Gramma’s In My Pajamas” was illustrated by
Tyler Ptaszkowski
Tyler Ptaszkowski, a 13-year-old neighbor of Berg-Mies.


“I needed someone to illustrate my book, because I can’t even draw a good stick figure,” she laughed. “Tyler’s mom told me about him, and I thought, ‘You know, it would make sense for a kid to illustrate this book.’ I think children who read it will respond more to illustrations drawn by another child.”

Tyler impressed Berg-Mies.

“He’s an avid reader, just like I was at that age,” she said. “He has a wonderful imagination. He’s a kid who’s clearly going places. So I said him, ‘I’m giving you carte blanche. Do whatever you feel is best.’”

The youth worked on drawings for “Pajamas” over a five-month period, and the result is a minimalist yet endearing black-and white illustration that helps breathe life into Berg-Mies’ words.


Aubrey and Riley are excited to see their mom's new book.
“I’m Going To Gramma’s In My Pajamas” is available in paperback for $10 at amazon.com.

Berg-Mies and Tyler recently signed copies of the new book at the Clearing Branch Library. More public appearances are planned, including one on Sept. 15 at the Clarendon Hills Public Library, just a few days after Grandparents Day.

Those who want to book Berg-Mies as a speaker or simply keep up on her appearance schedule are advised to search for BBM Publishings on Facebook.


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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 and southern 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.

* * *

South Side man charged in gas station beating
Stephon Austin



A 22-year-old South Side man was charged with battery after he was arrested at the Shell gas station at 5500 S. Pulaski at 10:20 a.m. Wednesday, July 25.


Stephon D. Austin, of the 9600 block of South Yale, walked into the gas station “and dragged an 18-year-old male employee into the parking lot and began beating him,” police said. 






* * *

Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 814 (see map), come to Vittum Park, 5010 West 50th Street, at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, August 9 and attend your monthly CAPS meeting. 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.



* * *



Arrest Garfield Ridge man driving stolen vehicle
Michael Vengrin


A 20-year-old Garfield Ridge man was charged with criminal trespass to a vehicle in front of 6201 S. Monitor at 8:49 p.m. Friday, July 27.

Michael S. Vengrin, of the 5100 block of South Menard, was placed into custody “after officers responded to a call of a suspicious auto with occupants inside,” a CPD spokesman said. “Officers attempted to pull over the vehicle for traffic violations, at which time the driver (Vengrin) attempted to flee. He was detained moments later and taken into custody.”

Police said they then learned the vehicle was stolen and that Vengrin said he was not aware of that.







Man allegedly smashed window of liquor-store door
Todd Sloan


A 34-year-old Archer Heights man was charged with criminal damage to property after he allegedly used a rock to smash the front door of a liquor store near Archer and Menard at about 2 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1.

Todd A. Sloan, of the 4900 block of South Knox, was arrested near 53rd and Menard by two officers who saw him commit the crime, according to a CPD spokesman.

Sloan is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 17 at 51st and Wentworth.

According to public records, Sloan was arrested for battery at 6107 S. Archer (the address of Jewel-Osco) in 2016.



garfieldridgenw.com



Charge man with obstructing police
Juan Bailon


A 36-year-old man was charged with obstruction of a peace officer in an incident that occurred during a traffic stop in front of 6523 S. Karlov at 1:30 a.m. Monday, July 30.

Juan R. Bailon “disobeyed an order to keep his hands on the hood of a police vehicle while a field investigation was being conducted during a lawful traffic stop,” police said. “The subject walked aggressively towards the officer with a menacing voice and with a physically tensed posture, yelling, ‘Fuck you.’ The subject refused to obey orders given by the officer, therefore obstructing the investigation.” Police did not disclose a home address for Bailon. 

According to public records, Bailon has been arrested nine times by CPD since on 2014, on such charges as batter, domestic battery, retail theft, drinking alcohol on the public way and criminal damage to property.





Charge man with trespassing at 63rd Street bar
Christopher Escobedo


A 23-year-old Brighton Park man was charged with criminal trespass to land after he was arrested at Marianna’s Place, 5625 W. 63rd St. at 4:15 a.m. Sunday, July 29.

Christopher A. Escobedo, of the 4400 block of South Western, “returned to an establishment that he was told not to return to after he had earlier caused a disturbance by being loud and unruly,” a CPD spokesman said. “He was asked to leave, left and came back before being placed into custody.”

According to public records, Escobedo was arrested by CPD and charged with criminal trespassing in 2016, near Belmont and Western.





Bust Oak Lawn man again near Midway
Ahmad Omar


A 28-year-old Oak Lawn man was charged with obstruction of traffic by a non-motorist after police arrested him in front of 6301 S. Cicero at 4:26 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1.

Ahmad Omar, of the 5600 block of West Edge Lake Drive, was apprehended "after he was observed walking in the roadway obstructing traffic," police said.

According to public records, Omar has been arrested nine times by CPD since 2014, on such charges as panhandling and criminal trespass to land. Six of those arrests have occurred this year, in a four-block stretch of Cicero Avenue just southeast of Midway Airport.






Bust North Sider for blocking traffic near Midway
James O'Brien


A 31-year-old North Side man was charged with obstruction of traffic by a non-motorist after he was arrested at 6258 S. Cicero at 6:13 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1.

James H. O'Brien, of the 7300 block of North Damen, was spotted “walking in the roadway between vehicles and impeding the flow of traffic,” a CPD spokesman said.

According to public records, O’Brien has been arrested four times by CPD in the past 16 months—three times near 63rd and Cicero.










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