Sunday, September 29, 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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One arrested after knife fight over woman
Two men stabbed each other with a kitchen knife during a fight on the street in the 6100
Agustin Nava
block of South Keeler at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25. Arrested and charged with aggravated battery was 34-year-old 
Agustin A. Nava, of the same block. The victim, a 23-year-old Gage Park man, came to the block after his 24-year-old ex-girlfriend who today is Nava’s common-law wife, according to police, said she was being abused by Nava. The victim reportedly has fathered a child by the woman. During the argument, Nava allegedly used a kitchen knife to stab the victim repeatedly. He fought back and reportedly grabbed the knife away and started stabbing Nava. Both men were transported by CFD ambulances to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where they were listed in stable condition. Police said they recovered a bloody knife and T-shirt from the crime scene, and they observed blood smeared on several vehicles. Nava also was charged with domestic battery after he allegedly slapped the woman’s face during an argument.

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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 Beats 815 or 821 (see map) make plans to attend your next CAPS meeting, set for 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 2 at St. Bruno School (south end of the building), 4839 S. Harding. 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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Man beaten, robbed at Ford City
A 55-year-old Chicago Lawn man was beaten and robbed as he waited at a CTA bus stop near the JC Penney’s in Ford City Mall at 1:20 p.m. Friday Sept. 20. The crime was reported to police five days later. The victim said that two men walked up and punched him, knocking him to the ground. Then kicked him and stole his house keys and a handbag with a dollar inside. The offenders were described only as black men age 20-25.

Big haul for man swiping jewelry at Ford City
A robber stole 40 rings worth a total of $30,000, from Venetian Jewelers, located in Ford City Mall, 76th and Cicero. A shop employee—a 26-year-old West Lawn woman—told police that a man posing as a customer asked to see engagement rings. When she complied and unlocked a jewelry case, he grabbed a ring, pushed her away from the counter and grabbed several trays of rings. He then ran out the door towards the parking lot. A manager—a 29-year-old Skokie man—gave chase, but the robber then jumped into a waiting vehicle—a small, light-blue SUV and sped away. The robber was described as a black man age 40-45, about 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, with brown eyes and a dark complexion. He wore a red, white and blue baseball cap, a white jacket with red and blue accents, and blue jeans.

Man reportedly admits vandalizing 16 vehicles
Jacob Crouch-Short

A 22-year-old man was charged with 16 counts of criminal damage to property after he was arrested in the 5200 block of South Keating at 11:18 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19.

Jacob Daniel Crouch-Short, who according to police is from the 5300 block of East Churchward Street in San Diego, Calif., allegedly admitted to using a landscaping brick to vandalize 16 different vehicles—in the area just east of Cicero Avenue and south of Archer. Most—if not all—had smashed windows.

Bond was set at $50,000, and Crouch-Short is currently in the custody of the Cook County Department of Corrections. His next scheduled court date is Oct. 18 at Branch 38, 727 E. 111th St.

Man charged with drunk driving after crash
Adelbert Harper

A 35-year-old Southeast Side man was charged with DUI, transporting open liquor in a vehicle and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident after he was arrested at Archer and Narragansett at 5:40 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14.

Adelbert Harper, of the 1200 block of East 96th Street, allegedly drove a vehicle that rear-ended another. He was taken into custody without incident.

Kindness to a stranger ends in theft
A 40-year-old Minooka woman told police that a man snatched away her wallet—which she said contained $4,000 cash—in a crime that reportedly occurred at 4:15 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 26 on the street in the 5400 block of South Lorel. The victim told police she was at Midway Airport she met a man who asked for a ride to his mother’s house. She complied and when they arrived at the destination, he got out of the vehicle, walked around to the driver’s door and asked for two dollars. When they victim pulled out her wallet, he reached in, snatched in and ran away north on Lorel. The thief was described as a Hispanic man age 20-26, about 5-foot-8 and 140 pounds, with black hair and a medium complexion. He wore a red hoody and red gym shoes.

Arrested again, a day after his arrest

A 36-year-old Hearst area man was charged with multiple crimes after he was arrested at
Calvin Armfield
6:32 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 12 in front of 4928 S. Cicero. Calvin P. Armfield, of the 4500 block of South LeClaire, was initially stopped because he was riding a bicycle on a sidewalk, police said. A computer check showed that he is a convicted gun offender and has allegedly failed to report to authorities.

Armfield also was charged with five counts of retail theft after police said they learned he was wanted for the offense—although they declined to say what was allegedly stolen, when or where. He also was charged with obstructing identification after he allegedly gave a false name. A day after he was arrested, Armfield was arrested again—this time in the 4400 block of South Sawyer. He was charged with battery of a merchant and multiple counts of retail theft.

According to public records, Armfield has been arrested 11 times by CPD since 2014 on charges that included unlawful use of a weapon by a convicted felon, domestic battery, possession of a controlled substance and criminal damage to property.

Claim man swiped tire off vehicle
Raymundo Lucena

A 22-year-old West Side man was charged with theft after he was arrested at 58th and Oak Park at 8:36 a.m. Monday, Sept. 16.

Raymundo Lucena, of the 1600 block of North Linder, allegedly stole a tire off a parked vehicle, put it in his vehicle and started to drive off.

According to public records, Lucena has been arrested four times by CPD since 2015, on charges that included domestic battery and driving on a suspended license.

Claim man threatened to kill woman
Kevin Webber

A 53-year-old Clearing man was charged with assault after he was arrested at his home in the 5800 block of West 64th Place at 12:45 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 15.

Kevin T. Webber allegedly threatened to kill a neighbor, during an argument. He was apprehended without incident.

According to public records, Webber had been arrested four times by CPD in the last 15 months, on charges that included theft and burglary.

Charge Scottsdale man with weapons violation
Rodolfo Barrientos

A 30-year-old Scottsdale man was charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon after he was arrested in the 8300 block of South Kildare at 11:58 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20.

Rodolfo Barrientos, of the same block, was stopped by police after they reportedly spotted him riding a bicycle on a sidewalk. A pat-down yielded a handgun, a CPD spokesman said. 

According to public records, Barrientos has been arrested nine times since 2014 on charges that included aggravated DUI, possession of a controlled substance, assault and disorderly conduct.

Jewelry taken in home heist

Burglars broke into a house in the 3700 block of West 57th Place and stole assorted jewelry. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 40-year-old woman, at about 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 26.

Claim man was trespassing in Garfield Ridge
Sergio Soto

A 41-year-old Southeast Side man was charged with criminal trespass to real property after he was arrested outside in the 5500 block of South Newland at 9:51 a.m. Monday, Sept, 23. 

Sergio Soto, of the 10300 block of South Avenue L, allegedly was spotted hopping a fence and trying to get inside a home on the block.

A neighbor called 911, and Soto was arrested.

According to public records, Soto was arrested five times by CPD since 2016 on charges that included theft, unlawful use of a weapon and drinking alcohol on the public way.

Man waits three weeks before reporting crime

Burglars kicked in the service door of a garage in the 6000 block of South Mason and stole a power sander, a grass trimmer, a leaf blower, an air compressor a miter saw and a grinder. They also stole an iPhone from an unlocked vehicle parked in the garage. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 47-year-old man, at about 11 a.m. Sept. 1. It was reported to police 25 days later.

Claim man sold booze to a minor
Joaquin Morales-Peralta

A 44-year-old Archer Heights man was charged with selling liquor to a minor after he was arrested in front of his home in the 5100 block of South Kilbourn at 11:52 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21.

Joaquin Morales-Peralta was found lying in the grass in front of his home by police responding to a 911 call, a CPD spokesman said.

Morales-Peralta was reportedly hosting a house party and was spotted accepting cash from a minor in exchange for alcohol, the CPD spokesman added.

Claim man stolen items from parked vehicle
Eric Torres

A 40-year-old Clearing man was charged with theft after he was arrested on the street at 63rd and Major at 8:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 9.

Eric Torres, of the 6200 block of South Major, allegedly was spotted trying door handles of parked vehicles and taking items from at least one of them.

A CPD spokesman declined to say what was allegedly stolen.

According to public records, in the week after his arrest in Clearing, Torres was arrested twice more by CPD: once in the Loop and once in the North Loop—both times charged with retail theft.

Burglars hit garage on Kildare

Burglars entered a garage in the 8500 block of South Kildare and stole two leaf blowers, a pressure washer, two cordless impact wrenches, a power drill and two lawn mowers. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 57-year-old man, at about 6 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24.

Charge Orland Park man in drug rap
Gregory Meyer

A 39-year-old Orland Park man was charged with possession of a controlled substance after he was arrested at an apartment in the 6200 block of West 65th Street at 8:25 a.m. Friday, Sept. 13.

Gregory M. Meyer, of the 8200 block of West Spyglass Circle, also was charged obstruction of identification after he allegedly gave a false name to police.

Police did not say what narcotic they allegedly found or in what quantity.

Arrest number 10 for Hearst area woman
Megan Marin

A 33-year-old Hearst area woman was charged with possession of a controlled substance after she was arrested at 9:17 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17 in the 4700 block of South Lavergne. 

Megan L. Marin, of the 4500 block of South Lawler, was spotted walking behind a garage while appearing to conceal something, police said.

A pat-down reportedly yielded an undisclosed amount of an undisclosed drug, police said. 

According to public records, Marin has been arrested 10 times by CPD since 2016 on charges that included prostitution and retail theft.

Bust woman on ride solicitation rap
Cassandra Carnahan

A 30-year-old Hearst area woman was charged with soliciting a ride on a public roadway after she was arrested at 6:18 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, just steps west of 48th and Cicero. 

Cassandra Carnahan, of the 4500 block of South Lawler, was reportedly spotted flagging down a vehicle.

According to public records, Carnahan has been arrested 10 times by CPD since 2015, on charges that included possession of a controlled substance, criminal trespass to a residence and driving on a revoked license.

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Friday, September 27, 2019

Mayor Lightfoot Visits Garfield Ridge

By Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

It's not often at all that Mayor Lori Lightfoot visits the Southwest Side--let alone Garfield Ridge.

But she did exactly that on Thursday, September 26, helping cut the ribbon at a food processing kitchen at 5370 S. Cicero.

In any event, here is the press release that the mayor's people put out. Southwest Chicago Post video is embedded below it.

Mayoral Press Release:

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot joined Farmer’s Fridge, World Business Chicago and members of the community for a ribbon-cutting at the company’s new 50,000 square foot facility located at 5370 S. Cicero Avenue in the Garfield Ridge neighborhood. The facility currently employs 170 individuals, many from surrounding neighborhoods, and is expected to double the number of kitchen staff by the end of 2020 to fuel the company’s rapid expansion.

“Chicago is home to incredible neighborhoods with talented and highly skilled workers who need companies to meet them where they are, and today’s opening is doing just that,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “Farmer’s Fridge has changed the way people think about healthy eating by providing access to fresh, healthy food. That commitment to helping people lead healthier lives will now be strengthened with this new facility that will expand economic opportunities and create jobs for our neighborhoods and the people who live in them - particularly on the South and West Sides where Chicagoans have not seen the investment they deserve for far too long.” 

Through this new facility, Farmer’s Fridge will continue its rapid expansion and open an additional 150 Fridges by the end of 2019, while working toward national expansion as it grows its kitchen facility team and hires more local employees to support this growth into new markets

"As a Chicago transplant, I am deeply grateful to this city for its incredible support of entrepreneurship and powerful local network of talent which has helped grow Farmer's Fridge from a single location to more than 350 Fridges in just six years," said Luke Saunders, Founder & CEO. "With the opening of our new 50,000 square foot production facility, we’re thrilled to be part of the South Side community. We're excited to bring great local talent onto the Farmer’s Fridge team and look forward to doubling our kitchen headcount by the end of next year."

Established in 2013, Farmer’s Fridge is a privately-held food and technology company founded and headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. The company operates a network of automated smart Fridges that serves chef-curated meals and snacks in seconds, including salads, sandwiches, grain bowls and more. Each Fridge offers an affordable, seasonal menu of wholesome, handcrafted food items where it typically wouldn’t be available, including high-traffic office towers, hospitals, convenience stores, universities and airports.

“Farmer’s Fridge is a great example of the impact that Chicago’s growing innovation ecosystem is having not just in our central business district but in our neighborhoods” said Andrea Zopp, President & CEO, World Business Chicago. “It is especially exciting because this is home grown business that was incubated here, grew here and today is creating, economic opportunity for Chicago residents”

Farmer’s Fridge is uniquely tackling the three major barriers that prevent people from eating healthier: taste, convenience, and affordability through a revolutionary way to get fresh, delicious food in seconds. Currently, there are 350 Fridges located in three states filled with 25 balanced meals, snacks, and beverages. Farmer’s Fridge uses proprietary technology that tracks inventory and individual Fridge sales patterns to ensure that each location is stocked to fully optimize demand and minimize waste. The maintenance-free, low-energy Fridges have become a go-to amenity for businesses across multiple regions, having already served over two million meals to date.

In addition to serving more than two million handcrafted meals over six years in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Indianapolis, Farmer’s Fridge has adopted a Zero Waste policy and has composted over one million pounds of food through Organix Recycling to reduce landfill waste. Farmer’s Fridge has also donated 255,000 pounds of food through partnerships with local food pantries.

Mayor Lightfoot remains committed to bringing jobs into Chicago, with a special focus on the South and West Sides of the city where the need is the greatest. The City of Chicago is committed to partnering with organizations like Farmer’s Fridge who fuel the growth of neighborhoods which have experienced long-term disinvestment. Yesterday, the Mayor joined the Entrepreneur of Color Fund to announce at additional $3.6 million investment to support entrepreneurs and small businesses on the South and West Sides.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

It's Isa's way

Street dedicated in memory of Garfield Ridge teen

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

The 5200 block of South Rutherford will always be a place
Isa's sign is unveiled by her her sister, Lexi.
where people can dance with Isa—so to speak—and be inspired by the life of a Garfield Ridge teenager.

Family, friends, neighbors and even complete strangers gathered on Sept. 20 at 52nd and Rutherford to witness the unveiling of a street sign that proclaims the block to be honorary Isabel Lopez Way.
Isabel "Isa" Lopez

A self-described “dancer for life” who enjoyed Broadway stage productions and danced competitively in local troupes, Isabel “Isa” Lopez succumbed to her public, inspiring fight against cancer in 2017.

“She was a beautiful young woman who loved life,” said 23rd Ward Ald. Silvana Tabares, who played a key role in obtaining the street designation. “She loved her family, and she loved dancing. The strength of Isa and her family is an example to all of us. Let this sign remind us of her love and courage. Each time we drive by this block or we walk down this street, let this sign remind us of what true courage really looks like; because it’s Isa on the dance floor, with a smile on her face.”

Tabares presented extra street signs to Isa’s mother, Victoria,
Alderman Silvana Tabares hugs Isa's mom, Victoria.
and father, Roberto.

“People often tell me that I’m so strong and courageous,” Victoria said as she stood shoulder to shoulder with Roberto. “I am strong because of Isa. Isa taught us about strength and courage. She is the reason that Roberto, Lexi (Isa’s sister) and I continue to live. We live for her. We live for the things she can no longer do, and we know that she is with us every step of the way.

“I know she is with us now, and I know she would want to turn this into a giant party—with a lot of dancing, of course. That is our Isabel: so full of life, so loving, kind and caring.”
Lexi’s remarks echoed those of her mother, and she climbed a ladder and unveiled the street sign, as the dozens of people in attendance applauded.


Isabel was diagnosed with T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma on Feb. 12, 2015 and began chemotherapy the following day—her 15th birthday.

“We could not believe this was happening,” her mother recalled. “Isa was a healthy 14-year-old dancer. Dancing is what she loves. This was her freshman year at Queen of Peace High School, and she was looking forward to a new chapter of her life.”

In her battle with cancer, Isabel partnered with the American Cancer Society to educate and motivate millions. Her image appeared on posters and large public billboards, and an ACS video public service announcement featuring her has aired nationally.

Like most of her classmates, Isa transferred to St. Laurence High School when Queen of Peace shut its doors. Illness prevented her from ever attending classes at St. Laurence; but in a Facebook post, school officials said, “We still consider her a part of the Viking family.”

A number of boys and girls from St. Laurence were on hand to show support.

Also on hand was the student band of Byrne Elementary School, Isa’s alma mater, a pipes and drum contingent from the Emerald Society, Chicago Police Department, and other supporters.

Editor's note: Here is some footage we shot of the unveiling ceremony.