Wednesday, August 29, 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.

* * *

Bust Indiana man for sexual assault of a child
Keishawn Jeffries


A 22-year-old Indiana man was charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a minor less than 13 years old after he was arrested at 1:15 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18 in the 3900 block of West 75th Place.

Keishawn D. Jeffries, of Lafayette, “was identified by the victim as the individual who engaged in inappropriate behavior with a minor,” according to a CPD spokesman, who offered no other details.





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Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beats 815 or 821 (see map), come to St. Bruno School (south entrance), 4839 S. Harding at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 5 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.



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North Sider busted in alleged baseball bat attack
Francisco Bravo


A 23-year-old North Side man was charged with battery and aggravated assault after he allegedly hit a 29-year-old man with a baseball bat and the punched him in the face. 

Francisco A. Bravo, of the 3900 block of West Roscoe, was arrested at 10:55 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22 at 3810 W. 59th St.

Police said that Bravo “also attempted to strike a 30-year-old man with him with the bat, but missed. The victims were able to restrain [Bravo] until officers arrived.”

According to public records, Bravo has been arrested five times by CPD since 2014, on such charges as domestic battery and criminal damage to property.





Woman robbed on sidewalk
A 20-year-old West Lawn woman was robbed by two men as she walked down a sidewalk in the 6700 block of South Kostner at 7:05 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 26. The victim told police that one man grabbed her arm and said, “Gimme your phone.” The victim complied and also handed over $65 cash. The second bandit then said, “Don’t call the cops. We know where you live.” Both robbers then ran away north. They were described as Hispanic men age 25-30, about 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds with brown eyes, black hair and olive complexions. One had his hair in a Mohawk.





Claim man refused to leave woman’s yard
Jordan Villalobos


A 28-year-old Colorado man was charged with criminal trespass to land after he allegedly refused to leave the yard of a home in the 5800 block of South Newland.

Jordan Hugh Villalobos, of Denver, was arrested at 9:57 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10.

The victim told police she told Villalobos to leave her property multiple times.

Police did not say if Villalobos was in the front or back yard.



garfieldridgenw.com


Bust man after he allegedly checked vehicle doors
Omar Juma


A 27-year-old Clearing man was charged with a misdemeanor “violation of anti-theft laws,” police said, after he was arrested at 3:38 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 19 at 47th and Lamon.

Omar Juma, of the 6500 block of West 63rd Street, was allegedly trying door handles of parked vehicles, as well as looking into them.

Police were alerted to the situation by an 18-year-old Clearing man—a member of the new Midway Watch civilian crime patrol--who called 911 to report the situation. The victim, a 45-year-woman who lives in the 4700 block of South Laporte, signed a complaint against Juma—as did the Midway Watch member.

According to public records, Juma has been arrested 10 times by CPD since 2014, on such charges as reckless conduct, possession of a controlled substance, aggravated assault and domestic battery. A law enforcement source described Juma as a gang member. The arrest came one day before Juma’s 28th birthday.




Burglars smash window of electronics store
Burglars broke the front window of Exclusive Wireless, 3226 W. 87th St., and stole 30 ear pods, 12 cellphones and a laptop computer. The crime was discovered by a manager, a 25-year-old man, and reported to police at 10:25 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22. Video surveillance showed that the crime occurred at 1:51 a.m.

Garage on Keating burglarized
Burglars forced open the service door of a garage in the 4900 block of South Keating and stole two drills, a toolbox with tools, four tires and rims and a stereo speaker. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 36-year-old man, at 6:40 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 25.





Jewelry swiped from home on Long
Burglars entered the rear window of a home in the 5100 block of South Long and stole assorted jewelry. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 57-year-old woman, at about 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25.

Went out to dinner, return to burglary
Burglars entered the front window of a home in the 5800 block of South Tripp and stole assorted jewelry, a TV, two iPad Minis, a baby toy and three packages from amazon.com. The crime was discovered by the victims, a 30-year-old woman and her husband when they came home from dinner at about 4:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24.






Jewelry, cash missing in Kildare burglary
Burglars entered the rear window of a home in the 5300 block of South Kildare and stole assorted jewelry and about $800 cash. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 55-year-old man, at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24.

Window AC unit pushed aside in burglary
Burglars pushed aside a window-unit air conditioner, entered a home in the 3700 block of West 54th Street and stole a watch and an undisclosed amount of gold jewelry. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 44-year-old man, at about 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22.





Rear window is entry point for burglars
Burglars forced open the rear window of a home in the 4800 block of South Laporte and stole a TV, assorted gold jewelry, a PlayStation 4 video game console and an Apple iWatch. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 43-year-old man, at about 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22.

Electronics stolen from home on Tripp
Burglars opened the side window of a house in the 5800 block of South Tripp and stole a laptop computer, a TV, three video game consoles and a virtual reality headset. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 27-year-old woman, at 6:43 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22.





Tools, fishing gear taken from garage
Burglars forced open the service door of a garage in the 5700 block of South Archer and stole assorted power tools and fishing gear. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 31-year-old woman, at 6:45 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22.

Claim Yards woman carried cannabis
Kaylanie Wierzba


A 20-year-old Back of the Yards woman was charged with possession of cannabis after a traffic stop that occurred at 11:22 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11 in the 6300 block of West 51st Street.

Kaylanie Wierzba, of the 5400 block of South Hermitage, also was ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt.

Police did not disclose how much cannabis they reportedly found in the vehicle.

According to public records, Wierzba was arrested at her home last month and charged with harassing another person over the phone.





Another person busted in sweep of Cicero Avenue
Telicia Carter


Another person has 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 prostitution was 46-year-old Telicia Carter, of Milwaukee. She was arrested at 9:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17 at 4951 S. Cicero. Police were conducting a prostitution mission in the above area when Carter “approached a vehicle and offered to perform sexual acts in return for cash,” a CPD spokesman said.







Bust four near 87th and Pulaski
Michelle Broderick



Four people were arrested at 87th and Pulaski at 10:55 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11 and charged with obstruction of a roadway by a non-motorist. They are:


• Michelle Broderick, 50, of the 8800 block of South Ryan, Hometown. According to public records, Broderick has been arrested four times by CPD since 2015—three times near 87th and Pulaski.


• Ervin Schlosser, 51, of the 8100 block of South Octavia, Bridgeview. According to public
Ervin Schlosser
records, Schlosser has been arrested five times by CPD since 2017—four near 87th and Pulaski.



• James Crouse, 58, of the 8700 block of South Sproat, Oak Lawn. According to public records, Crouse has been arrested twice this year by CPD—both times near 87th and Pulaski.


• Thomas Bialka, 57, of the 12800 block of South Paulina, Blue Island. According to public records, Bialka has been arrested three times by CPD since 2016—all near 87th and Pulaski.



James Crouse


Thomas Bialka

• Charged with the same misdemeanor but in an unrelated situation was Bridgeview
Waseem Benyyssen
resident Waseem Mohamad Benyyssen, 28, of the 7700 block of South Oconto. He was arrested at 6301 S. Harlem at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14. Police said he “was walking in the roadway between vehicles, impeding the flow of traffic and being an obstruction in the roadway…vehicles had to swerve to avoid striking him.”










Charged with theft from fruit tree
Harry McGraw


A 28-year-old South Chicago man was charged with theft and criminal trespass to property after he allegedly pick fruit off the backyard tree at a home in the 5200 block of South Oak Park at 12:51 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21.

Harry McGraw, of the 8800 block of South Commercial, was arrested on the sidewalk next to the home after a witness called police, a CPD spokesman said.

Police declined to release any further details on the incident.

On social media, an off-duty police officer said that McGraw was a dog walker hired by a Garfield Ridge resident through a cellphone app.



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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

End of the Rainbow May Be in Sight

Garfield Ridge leaders want motel shut down

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

To some, the Rainbow Motel is a fun and kitschy remnant of
The colorful, kitschy Rainbow sign by day.
decades gone by—a quirky, yet respectable place that gives Garfield Ridge a bit of character.


To others, it’s a no-tell motel that—despite its remodeling and attempts to attract respectable couples looking for a romantic getaway—can occasionally be a haven for sex workers and johns, as well as drug
abusers.
...and by night. Most of its colorful lights long ago burned out.


In the latter group is the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch crime fighting group, as well as new 23rd Ward Ald. Silvana Tabares, who this week announced that she has asked City Hall to bring legal action against the motel at Archer and Nottingham, with an eye on shutting it down.

“I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen a lot of problems with that place,” Tabares said before about 125 people at Monday’s public meeting of the GRNW, coincidentally held at the headquarters of the Croatian Radio Club, next door to the Rainbow Motel.

“In the past year, there have been 42 calls to the police about prostitution, about public intoxication, drugs” at the motel,” Tabares said, as a number of people nodded their heads in assent. “Last week, I had a visit from a resident of the 23rd Ward who found a syringe [near the motel property]. He brought it to our office. That is unacceptable.”


Leading the charge to bring a public nuisance case against the Rainbow, at least initially, was the leadership of the neighboring 13th Ward. A flyer from the office of Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan and 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn urged people to sign a petition asking the Emanuel Administration to bring a case forward. Those who want to sign the petition or have any questions were encouraged to call (773) 581-1313 or stop by the office at 6014 S. Central. The original flyer has since been updated to put Tabares and the 23rd Ward office, 6247 S. Archer, (773) 582-4444, in the forefront.

The Rainbow Motel has been around since 1954. Its tall sign was reportedly erected in the early 1960s so that motorists on the new Southwest Expressway (which opened in 1964 and was later renamed the Stevenson) could see it.

The Rainbow expanded in the 1970s when it absorbed what had been a fast-food restaurant, according to a WBEZ-FM report last year that quoted manager Sagar Patel.

Over the years, its imaginative and occasionally outlandish “theme rooms” have included a pink palace, a space-walk room, Valentine’s suite, a Las Vegas room, a “night in Paris” room and more.

Is the motel what its detractors claim? A call to the Rainbow earlier this week for a response was answered by a person who said, “There’s no one here.” When asked when the manager or owner would be available for a brief conversation, the person said, “I don’t know. In about a week, maybe.”

Reaction in the neighborhood late Monday night was mostly in agreement with Tabares.

“Just the thought of that place grosses me out,” said Garfield Ridge resident Sandy Bauer. “I like where I live; but to think we have that in our midst…maybe it fit in years and years ago, but I don’t see it being compatible today. I’d shed no tears if it were gone.”

Rafi Villanueva said that “every motel will have some calls for police service, even the nice ones. I think they should check the motels at 65th and Cicero. I’ll bet they get a police call a week, too.”

“I think we need to look at what effect [the Rainbow Motel] is having on the business strip,” said Diana Peresutti. “It’s right across the street from Weber’s [Bakery]—a place so popular that some of its customers drive in from other states to buy its cakes. Do we really want a place like the Rainbow right across the street from Weber’s? I wouldn't want Weber's to leave. Maybe there’s something better that could go there.”


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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.

* * *

Details few about man shot in the head
A 37-year-old man was shot multiple times in the head in a crime that occurred in the 8300 block of South Pulaski at 8:17 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19. The victim was transported to Advocate Christ Medical Center, although police said they did not know who took him there. He was reported to be in serious condition. According to a social media post by 18th Ward Ald. Derrick Curtis, the shooting may have been gang related.





Two teens shot in traffic on Pulaski
Two 19-year-old men were shot as they rode in a vehicle in the 4600 block of South Pulaski at 11:26 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17. Police said the gunman fired from a Gray Jeep that pulled behind the victims’ vehicle. Both victims were transported to Mount Sinai Hospital, where they were listed in stable condition. No one is in custody.


garfieldridgenw.com


Apparent gang argument may have led to shooting
A 26-year-old West Lawn man was apparently shot in the hand as he and a friend—a 32-year-old Bridgeport man—argued with a third man inside the 7-Eleven at 4500 W. 63rd St. at 10:07 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20. A clerk at the store told police that after he heard the men hollering and then a gunshot, he ran to the store’s office and hid for protection. Police responding to a “shots fired” call found a trail of blood that started in the store and led outside. In the parking lot, they found the victim sitting in a car. Police described him as generally uncooperative, saying he was waiting for a friend who was inside, buying liquor—although no one was in the store. Police checked store security video and found the victim and his friend flashing gang signs to the third man, who pulled a gun and waved it at them. The victim later told police that his injury was not from a gunshot but accidental—that he cut himself with his own pocket knife. He refused medical treatment, police added.



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Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beats 813 or 833 (see map), come to West Lawn Park, 4233 West 65th Streetat 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 28 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.





* * *

Burglars use VW to smash into storefront
Burglars drove a Volkswagen Jetta through the front window of an electronics store at 3226 W. 87th St. and stole a Hoverboard and an undisclosed amount of cellphones. The crime was discovered by police responding to a burglar alarm just after 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 19. Video surveillance footage showed at least two burglars. Both were described as black men age 18-27, between 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-11 and 125 pounds. Both had short black hair and dark complexions. One wore a white Nike T-shirt and a red Adidas jacket. No one is in custody.





Lockport woman busted for SW Side burglary
Cindy Sweeney


A 46-year-old Lockport woman was charged with burglary after she was arrested at a home in the 4900 block of South Knox at 12:50 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14.


Cindy L. Sweeney was arrested “after she was identified by the victim via surveillance video, breaking open the victim's basement door and exiting with proceeds from the home,” a CPD spokesman said.

The victim’s home, in the 5000 block of South Kildare, was burglarized some time between July 2-10.

According to public records, Sweeney was arrested by CPD on June 12 in the 4600 block of West 51st Street and charged with solicitation of a ride on a public roadway by a pedestrian.





Burglars hit Dore construction site
An estimated $6,000 worth of tools were stolen from three locked storage units at the construction site of the new Dore Elementary School, 7134 W. 65th St. An employee of a Wood Dale-based construction firm discovered the crime at about 6 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21. He told police that locks on the site’s entrance gate and on the storage units had been cut.

Dad’s gun taken in garage burglary
Burglars forced open the service door of a garage in the 4600 block of South Springfield and stole a pistol from a vehicle parked inside. The crime was discovered by the garage owner, a 30-year-old man, at about 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16. The gun belongs to his father, a 50-year-old Cicero man.






Burglary victim may have left door unlocked
Burglars entered a home in the 4100 block of West 58th Street and stole a TV and assorted jewelry. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 48-year-old man, at 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18. There was no sign of forced entry, and the victim told police he may have left a door unlocked.

Open garage hit by burglars
Burglars entered an open garage in the 3800 block of West 59th Street and stole a weed whacker, a leaf blower and several speakers. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 29-year-old woman, at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19.





Garage burglars swipe wallet from vehicle
Burglars entered a garage in the 4300 block of South Kedvale, entered a vehicle parked inside and stole a woman’s wallet. The was discovered by the victim, a 37-year-old woman, at about 11 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16.

Cash swiped from Kostner apartment
Burglars forced open the kitchen window of an apartment in the 5300 block of South Kostner and stole about $200 cash. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 24-year-old woman, at about 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18.

Man says burglars stole his cash
A 22-year-old man told police that someone stole $1,200 cash from his apartment in the 5700 block of South Kenton. He told police he discovered the crime at about 11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18. There was no sign of forced entry, police added.






Another woman busted in sweep of Cicero Avenue
Debra Qualls


Another woman has 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 prostitution was 25-year-old Debra A. Qualls, of the 4400 block of South Lavergne. She was arrested at 6:55 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16 at 4700 S. La Crosse.

A CPD spokesman said that Qualls was apprehended after she “agreed to perform a sex act in exchange for U.S. currency.”







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Monday, August 20, 2018

Health Department Will Spray Insecticide in West Lawn on Tuesday Night

Crews hired by the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) will spray insecticide throughout the West Lawn neighborhood on Tuesday, August 21, 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 (about 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 Central Park Avenue on the east to Cicero Avenue on the west, 59th Street on the north to the neighborhood's diagonal southern border.



"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.