Saturday, May 18, 2019

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.


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Man shot in West Lawn drive-by
A 36-year-old man was in stable condition at Advocate Christ Medical Center after he was shot multiple times in the West Lawn neighborhood. Police said the victim was hit in the 7100 block of South Lawndale at 7:17 p.m. Saturday, May 4. The shooter fired from a passing vehicle. No one is in custody.


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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, May 21 at Garfield Ridge Presbyterian Church, 5550 South Merrimac. 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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Felon arrested on weapons, drug rap
Victor Smekal


A 30-year-old Clearing man was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon by a convicted felon after he was arrested on the street in the 5600 block of West 64th Street at 6:40 p.m. Friday, April 19.

Victor A. Smekal, of the 5800 block of West 63rd Street, was arrested by police executing a search warrant, a CPD spokesman said.

Officers reportedly found a handgun in his vehicle, as well as a quantity of cocaine on him. 

According to public records, Smekal has been arrested five times by CPD since 2014 on such charges as reckless conduct, theft and possession of a controlled substance.




Claim man punched two others in disturbance
Marco Padron-Garcia



A 32-year-old Scottsdale man was charged with two counts of aggravated battery after he allegedly punched two people, multiple times, during a domestic dispute.

Marco A. Padron-Garcia, of the 8600 block of South Kildare, was arrested in the 8500 block of South Kedvale at 7:47 a.m. Tuesday, April 23.

According to public records, Padron-Garcia has been arrested three times by CPD since 2017 on charges that included violating an order of protection and aggravated assault.





Say man punched other man in the mouth
Desmond Landrum



A 27-year-old West Elsdon man was charged with domestic battery after he allegedly punched a 26-year-old man in the mouth during a quarrel in a home in the 5300 block of South Kenneth at 4:15 p.m. Saturday, April 27.

Desmond Landrum was arrested without incident.

According to public records, Landrum was arrested by CPD almost exactly four years earlier on the West Side and charged with criminal damage to property.







Bust man who allegedly threatened police
Zbigniew Stopka



A 26-year-old Garfield Ridge man was charged with assault and battery after he allegedly threatened and shoved a police officer in the 5600 block of South Parkside at 7:40 p.m. Monday, April 29.

Zbigniew Stopka, of the 6000 block of West 55th Street, allegedly said, “I’m gonna f~ck your ass up” to an officer investigating a domestic disturbance call.

According to public records, Stopka has been arrested six times by CPD since 2014, on such charges as domestic battery, assault, theft and criminal trespass to land.





Arrest Dolton man on DUI charge
Christian Martinez



A 35-year-old Dolton man was charged with aggravated DUI after a traffic stop by police in the 5400 block of South Nagle at 1:33 a.m. Tuesday, April 23.


Christian Federico Posadas Martinez, of the 1500 block of Berg Drive, also was charged with driving without a license and obstruction of traffic. 








Bust Oak Lawn man on coke rap in Brighton Park
Eric Mendez


A 37-year-old Oak Lawn man was charged with possession of cocaine after police arrested him in front of 4330 S. Kedzie at 2:23 p.m. Friday, April 26.

Eric Mendez, of the 4900 block of West Harnew Road, was “observed by police conducting hand-to-hand narcotics transactions,” a CPD spokesman said.

At a CAPS Beat 815/821 meeting last month, a CPD official said that officers recovered about 22 grams of cocaine with a street value of about $2,000. Further, the official said, Mendez concealed the drugs in a magnetized box stuck to the undercarriage of his vehicle.

According to public records, Mendez was arrested by CPD in 2015, also in Brighton Park (near 40th and Albany) and charged with possession of a controlled substance.





Bust Vittum Park man on weapons violation
Juan Mendoza



A 21-year-old Vittum Park man was charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a laser sight after he was arrested during a traffic stop at 10:52 p.m. Wednesday, April 17 at 4759 S. Cicero.

Juan C. Mendoza, of the 4800 block of South Lorel, was arrested after officers reportedly found a handgun under the driver’s seat, as well as the laser sight.









Charge man with stealing another person’s belongings
Yahir Ayala



A 19-year-old Gage Park man was charged with theft after he allegedly stole belongings from another person in the 5300 block of South Kolin at 1:20 a.m. Friday, April 26.

Yahir Ayala, of the 5700 block of South Sacramento, was apprehended without incident. A CPD spokesman declined to offer any other details.






Claim woman stole merchandise from Jewel-Osco
Jeanette Bigos



A 66-year-old McKinley Park woman was charged with theft after she allegedly stole merchandise from the Jewel-Osco at 6107 S. Archer at noon, Friday, April 26.

Jeanette Bigos, of the 3300 block of South Archer, was apprehended without incident. A CPD spokesman declined to say exactly what was allegedly stolen.










Bust Berwyn man on trespassing rap
Ernesto Martinez



A 45-year-old Berwyn man was charged with criminal trespass to a residence after he allegedly refused to leave a backyard in the 5100 block of South Nordica.

Ernesto Martinez, of the 3600 block of South Clarence, was apprehended in the 5200 block of South Nordica at 5 p.m. Monday, April 22.






garfieldridgenw.com













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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Deadline Extended! NominateYour Deserving Hero Today to Win a Free Roof


‘Roofs 4 Heroes’ initiative launched by business leaders


By Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

The deadline has been extended for active-duty military
members, honorably discharged veterans and civilian first responders to apply to receive a free roof for their home.
Now through 5 p.m. Saturday, May 25, nominations will be accepted for active-duty military members, veterans and first responders in need.

The “Roofs 4 Heroes” initiative was launched last month by Geno Randazzo of All Exterior Contractors, in partnership with Beacon Roofing Supply, Tamko Building Products, the Garfield Ridge Chamber of Commerce and State Farm Insurance agent Mike Riordan.

“We want to make sure all our local heroes have ample opportunity to apply and be a part of this exciting contest,” Randazzo said. “If you know anyone who fits the description, please encourage them to apply now. 

“Home ownership is part of the American Dream, and that dream is made possible through the bravery of our men and women in uniform,” Randazzo continued. “But that dream can turn into a nightmare for veterans and others in need, when they don’t have the security of a good roof over their heads.”

A blue-ribbon committee will review all nominations, and two winners will be announced on Memorial Day.

Nominations may be made online at allexteriorcontractors.com/roofs-4-heroes.

The person nominated must:

• Live in the greater Midway area: Garfield Ridge, Clearing, West Lawn, Scottsdale, Burbank, Oak Lawn, Bridgeview, Bedford Park, Archer Heights, Mount Greenwood or Summit.
• Be an honorably or medically discharged veteran, an active-duty military member or a first responder.
• Have ownership in a home (either on mortgage/insurance/deed.

Those making nominations must be relatives or friends of nominee and provide a copy of the nominee’s DD214, military or first responder ID.

Nominations must also include a photo of the roof in need of repair, as well as the approximate age of the roof.

Finally, nominations should include biographical information about the nominee and reasons why the nominee is a deserving hero.


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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

GRNW Sell-A-Bration Coming; Like a Big, Fun Garage Sale at Kennedy HS

Those wishing to sell rummage items are invited to reserve
space at the upcoming Sell-A-Bration hosted by the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch, set for 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 25 in the west parking lot of Kennedy High School, 56th and Narragansett.


The Sell-A-Bration will include a basket raffle. Proceeds from the raffle and space rentals at the event will help fund the GRNW’s various neighborhood initiatives.

Information on space reservations may be obtained by calling Arlene at  (773) 229-1993 or sending an email to email@garfieldridgenw.com.

Additionally, donations of empty baskets, as well as gift items to fill them, are needed.

Rain date for the event is Sunday, May 26.







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Friday, May 3, 2019

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.


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Woman robbed, carjacked at McDonald’s
A 35-year-old Brighton Park woman reported that she was robbed and carjacked as she parked her car in the lot at the McDonald’s at 4704 S. Cicero at about 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 24. The victim told police she had just put the vehicle in “park” and was getting out when two men quickly approached. One pulled her out of the vehicle, and both jumped in and sped away south on Cicero. They were described as black men age 20-25. One stood about six feet tall and weighed about 150 pounds, with black hair in braids and a medium complexion. He wore a dark blue sweater and khaki pants. The other offender was about 6-foot-5 and 170 pounds, with a medium complexion. The stolen vehicle is a red, four-door 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The victim’s Michael Kors purse was in the car. The victim said it contained $800 cash, as well as credit cards, ID cards, a work permit and other items.





Robbed of his pants, shoes, phone, keys, wallet
A 26-year-old West Elsdon man was beaten and robbed as he walked towards his vehicle in the 5800 block of South Karlov at 12:45 a.m. Thursday, April 25. The victim told police that a vehicle pulled alongside, the passenger got out and said, “Look down. Drop your phone and keys.” When the victim looked up, he saw a gun in his face. The robber punched him in the head and demanded that he look down. The offender then stole the victim’s Adidas athletic pants and shoes, his cellphone, car keys and wallet. The gunman then jumped back into the vehicle—a four-door white sedan—which sped away. The gunman and the three other occupants of the sedan were described only as Hispanic men.






Shots fired at man and his girlfriend
An 18-year-old Garfield Ridge man said that a gunman fired shots at him and his girlfriend, a 19-year-old Vittum Park woman, as they rode in his SUV at 8:44 p.m. Wednesday, April 24 in the 5400 block of South Narragansett. Police were alerted to the crime by a ShotSpotter report of 10 rounds fired. The victim told them he had just picked up his girlfriend and was driving back to his house when he noticed a dark Chevy Camaro following them. He said that near his home, he stopped his SUV and got out to confront those in the Camaro. He said that someone in the car fired at him and his vehicle and then sped away south on Narragansett and then west on Archer. The victim got back in his SUV and sped away east; but he later returned to the scene. There was no description of the shooter. Police said they hoped to review surveillance footage from a nearby business.







Tried to run me down, crossing guard says
A 33-year-old crossing guard reported that a woman driving a white 2016 Kia tried to run her over while she was crossing children in front of Columbia Explorers Academy, 4520 S. Kedzie, at about 8 a.m. Wednesday, April 24. The victim, a Sleepy Hollow resident, said that after the incident, the driver made a U-turn, came back and said, “You better watch your back,” to the crossing guard. The motorist then parked nearby and stared at the crossing guard. When a police vehicle passed by, the motorist drove off, the crossing guard added. The motorist was described as a Hispanic woman age 25-30, with long black hair and a light complexion.





Charge South Sider with armed robbery
Mario Williams


A 30-year-old South Side man was charged with four counts of armed robbery after he was arrested at 11:34 a.m. Thursday, April 18 at 54th and Harding--24 minutes after he allegedly robbed the Boost Mobile store at 5101 S. Cicero.

Mario T. Williams, of the 3500 block of South Rhodes, was “identified in two separate armed robberies where he produced a handgun and demanded property,” a CPD spokesman said.

On May 1 at the CAPS Beat 815/821 meeting, a CPD official said that Williams had actually robbed four stores--three of them outside the Eighth District. The official added that merchandise from the Boost Mobile store was found with Williams.

Williams is currently held without bond by the Cook County Department of Corrections and is due in court on May 17. According to public records, Williams was arrested by CPD last year on the West Side and charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a convicted felon.





Barking dog helps thwart home invasion
A barking dog may have helped thwart a man trying to break into a house in the 5500 block of South Kenneth at 10:53 p.m. Thursday, April 25. A 19-year-old man who was home at the time said that when he heard his dog barking and facing a back window, he went to investigate and saw a man outside, trying to open a window. When he saw the teen, the would-be home invader ran away through an adjacent alley. He was described as a Hispanic man age 18-20, about 5-foot-5 and 115 pounds with a light complexion. He had tattoos on his neck and face.







Traffic dustup ends with gun threat
A 48-year-old Clearing motorist reported that someone threatened him with a handgun after a traffic dispute that occurred at 63rd and Oak Park at 8:55 a.m. Tuesday, April 23. The victim told police that the offender pointed a pistol at his and said that if his vehicle had bumped his, “You woulda ate this bullet.” The offender then sped away west on 63rd Street in a black Jeep Cherokee with Chicago Police Memorial Foundation plates, the victim said. The offender was described as a Hispanic man age 30-35 with brown eyes, black hair and an olive complexion.





Summit man hit with DUI rap
Alejandro Barrera



A 25-year-old Summit man was charged with two counts of DUI, as well as failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to carry a driver's license and operating a motor vehicle without insurance.

Alejandro Barrera, of the 5300 block of South Hunt, was apprehended by Chicago Police in the 7100 block of West 63rd Place at 9:55 p.m. Wednesday, April 17--about a block away from where he allegedly crashed his vehicle into at least one parked vehicle, police said.





Charge Naperville man with criminal damage to property
Jeremy Guillen



A 28-year-old Naperville man was charged with two counts of criminal damage to property after he was arrested in the 5400 block of South New England at 5:52 a.m. Sunday, April 21.

Jeremy F. Guillen, of the 1700 block of Tamahawk Lane, allegedly “damaged the victim's screen door and broke two metal pieces off the door,” a CPD spokesman said.





garfieldridgenw.com


Seventh arrest since 2014
Cesar Barrera



A 24-year-old man was charged with driving on a revoked license after police curbed his vehicle in the 5700 block of South Archer at 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 16.

Cesar E. Barrera was apprehended without incident.

According to public records, Barrera has been arrested seven times by CPD since 2014 on charges that included reckless conduct, drinking alcohol on the public way and domestic battery.




















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