Wednesday, October 22, 2014

NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Robbery After Service Agency Function Highlights Criminals Among Those In Need

Russell J. Powell outside the Broadway Youth Center in 2012.
Powell is currently serving 11 years for attempted murder.
Inset top: Powell at the Center on Halsted Cyber Center.
Inset bottom: Powell's Illinois Dept of Corrections mugshot.
Yesterday evening's robbery of a man by three fellow Night Ministry outreach clients conjured up some old thoughts. We remember so many times when genuine, good people expressed legitimate concerns about how some service agencies operate in our neighborhood, only to be smacked down as racist, ageist, or some other "ist."

That's the textbook response of poor agency operators who would rather divert attention from their management by labeling those who dare ask questions.

To be sure, the Broadway Youth Center (BYC) has become a much-improved operation over the past year. But as we go about our work at CWB, we repeatedly run across arrestees and inmates whose address of record is 3179 N. Broadway—the BYC's former location where concerned citizens, derided as racists, were once told no criminal element existed.

Meet some recently-discovered former residents of 3179 N. Broadway:

• Russell Powell is seen above chillin' outside the BYC entrance in 2012. By the end of that year, Powell was sentenced to 11 years in prison for attempted murder.

Hill (Cook Co. Sheriff's Office)
• Hussun Hill, also known as Hussun Fox, Axel Zero Crusade, and Axel S. Crusade, is charged with one count of criminal trespass after allegedly entering the Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School at 1:20AM on October 16.

The school's burglar alarm was tripped and a remote observer saw a man with handcuffs on his belt inside the school. Responding officers stopped Hill shortly thereafter, biking in the 3800 block of Broadway, allegedly with handcuffs and an "extended baton" on his right hip. They took him to the school where security identified him remotely via surveillance cameras.

Hill, 22, has had more than 10 criminal cases brought against him in recent years—many in Boystown—with most being thrown out by Cook County Judge Marvin Luckman.

The address on a recent bail slip for Hill, a/k/a Crusade.
A few cases were dropped when complainants such as the Center on Halsted and Sports Authority failed to show up in court.

His convictions and sentences: Six months probation for battery in the 3300 block of Clark Street in 2009; six months probation for assault at the Center on Halsted in 2010; two days (time served) for reckless conduct outside of Boystown's Scarlet bar in 2011; two days (time served) for trespassing in the 19th district police station garage last year; and eight days (time served) for criminal damage to property at an unknown location.

• We previously told you about Steven J. Haymon. Paroled after doing tome for robbery, aggravated battery, and hate crime in connection with a 2010 incident on the Boystown strip, Haymon pleaded guilty to criminal trespass to a vehicle this summer after being found behind the wheel of a car he did not own at Roscoe and Halsted. He was sentenced to 60 days. Now, Haymon is in trouble again, charged with battery after allegedly pushing a doorman who refused to let him enter Roscoe's Tavern on October 5.
Email us. Facebook us. Twitter us.

UNCHARITABLE: 3 vs. 1 Robbery Follows Night MInistry Event In Boystown

A three-on-one robbery beat down was reported outside Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church near Belmont and Halsted at 9:15 last night. The victim and his three attackers had all just attended the Night Ministry's mobile Youth Outreach program at the nearby MB Financial Bank parking lot, police said.

According to the victim, the male offenders' descriptions are:

1) black, short. He left with the victim's red bag.
2) black, wearing a black vest and a cap with a ball on top. May go by the name "JJ"
3) black, bad teeth, wearing all black. May go by the name "Black Chris."

Around 11:45PM, the victim saw his three attackers again near the Walgreens at Belmont and Broadway. Cops arrested one of them moments later at Belmont and Clark.

CPD case HX476960.
Email us. Facebook us. Twitter us.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

BANGED UP: Sports Reporter Thought He "Might Have Broken His Finger" During Alleged Taxi Incident

Klemko (AOL)
Sports Illustrated NFL reporter Robert Klemko did not escape an alleged weekend “cabjacking” unscathed, according to court documents acquired by CWB.

Before officers knocked on Klemko’s apartment door to introduce themselves, they overheard Klemko talking on the phone, explaining that he “might have broken his finger while fighting with [a] cab driver.” Klemko was also heard saying that he “then jumped into the cabbie’s cab and drove away," according to their report.

Shortly after his arrest, Klemko was treated and released from Thorek Hospital for bruises and abrasions to his face.

In the police report’s play-by-play, it’s alleged that Klemko got out of the cab at his Lakeview condo building, engaged the 36-year-old cab driver in a “verbal altercation,” punched the cabbie in the face, jumped into his cab, and drove off. Officers located Klemko by tracing the credit card he used to pay his fare.

Klemko is charged with misdemeanor battery and criminal damage to vehicle charges because the alleged victim, “didn’t want him to ‘have a felony record,'” the police report says.
Email us.  Facebook us. Twitter us.

Monday, October 20, 2014

"HELMONT" HEADQUARTERS: Steps From Alderman's Office, Gang Tag Lays Claim To Criminal Beachhead

Looking for the alderman's office?
It's under the scaffolding, just past
this Gangster Disciples tag.
UPDATE OCTOBER 21 9:30PM: The city's "graffiti blasters" removed the tag today. Nicely handled. Now, for the hard part: that gangway.
Readers of CWB quickly learn that the area of Belmont and Sheffield is one of the best places to go if you’re in the mood for a good old-fashioned mugging.

It’s a well-established beachhead for street criminals that city officials have essentially surrendered to bad elements—most notably, the Gangster Disciples (GD) street gang.

44th ward Alderman Tom Tunney’s office is located a few storefronts north of the infamous intersection—just south of this blue, six-pointed star that the GD's have conveniently placed on the sidewalk.

We’ve opened a graffiti removal ticket with the Department of Streets and Sanitation.

But, you know how that goes.

This unsecured gangway is used as a hiding spot and
get-away path for thugs operating near Belmont and Sheffield.


Just south of the alderman's office, next to the now-empty Leona's restaurant storefront, lies this unsecured gangway.

It doesn't look like much, but according to multiple robbery victims, you should do yourself a favor by not walking past it at night.

Phone snatchers and beat-down artists hide in this gangway waiting for the right victim to walk past. It also eases post-crime getaways as an easy cut-through from Sheffield to the Belmont Red Line station.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

THE HITS JUST KEEP ON COMIN': A Weekend Full Of Robberies, Batteries, And More

Our "Helmont" is a little more
The recent trend of weekend robbery sprees continues. This weekend's attacks have hit close to home.

New to the list: A 20-year-old DePaul student was attacked and robbed near Belmont and Seminary along the "Helmont" strip early Saturday. The victim was treated at Illinois Masonic Medical Center for injuries suffered during the 2:30AM assault. Case HX472222.

Other weekend reports:


2:58AM — Man walks into Addison Red Line station and reports that he’s been “jumped on.”

3:08AM — 1100 Cornelia: White guy walking around, kicking mirrors off of cars.

8:05AM — Woman in the 500 block of Hawthorne calls 911 for her roommate who reports being sexually assaulted between 4AM and 6AM. She “woke up in a parking garage.” The victim is treated at Illinois Masonic Medical Center. Case HX470915 is opened with the “address of occurrence” listed as the Hawthorne location.

10:56PM — CTA employee reports a “teen mob fight” on the Addison Red Line platform. The group is gone when cops arrive, last seen heading west on foot.


12:47AM — Patrol car is flagged down at Newport and Sheffield after a victim has their iPhone snatched. The offender, described as a black male 25-35 years old, wearing a black North Face jacket is last seen running toward Belmont.

12:55AM — Police respond to a high rise at Pine Grove and Irving Park Road after a cab driver says he has been battered and had his taxi stolen. Sports Illustrated's NFL reporter is charged with battery and criminal trespass to a vehicle.

1:20AM — Man calls 911, reports “people are jumping on my friend” at Halsted and Cornelia. Resolved by police.

1:46AM — There’s a guy outside of Philly’s Best, 907 Belmont, challenging everyone inside to come out and fight him. No takers. Resolved by police.

2:03AM — Officers happen upon a man with blood gushing from his head outside of Circuit Nightclub, 3641 Halsted. Ambulance summoned.

2:18AM — Police are flagged down at Newport and Clark by a victim who has been strong-arm robbed by a “group of young black males” in their teens or early 20’s. The offenders flee north on Clark, right through the heart of Wrigleyville's bar strip. An ambulance takes the victim to Thorek hospital. Case number is TBD.

3:02AM — A man reports that he has been robbed in the 3400 block of Sheffield by a group of three or 4 young black men who flee eastbound on Cornelia towards Halsted. There is a significant language barrier and initial reports indicated that a gun was displayed, but that has not been confirmed.  Case number is TBD.

4:33A — Someone just kicked the resident's apartment door in the 3700 block of Clifton. Criminal damage to property report filed.

11:25PM — Someone just got knocked out at Roscoe's Tavern. EMS responds. One arrest for battery. Case HX473226


1:57AM — Man says he was just punched in the throat and had his phone stolen at Waveland and Racine.

2:35AM — Man on the ground at Belmont and Greenview after reportedly "being attacked." EMS transports.

3:49AM — Man approaches CTA employee at Belmont Red Line station, says he just got beat up.

5:00AM — Multiple calls of a street fight in the 500 block of Diversey. One guy is reportedly hit by a bottle. Officers note the activity to be "two groups of drunk mutual combatants." No report filed.

5:47AM — There's a man sitting in the street at Belmont and Racine.

5:49AM — At Belmont and Racine, a caller says a guy just got jumped. He's in the street.

5:57AM — A different caller says a man just stopped them at Belmont and Racine to ask them to call police. He said he had been jumped on and robbed. 25 minutes later, police will report that the man "walked away" from them. No report filed.

6:14AM — Woman has police meet her at Broadway and Surf where she reports being criminally sexually assaulted overnight in the 2900 block of Pine Grove. Officers transport her to Illinois Masonic Medical Center. Case HX473458 is opened.

6:44AM — Remember that guy who got hit in the head with a bottle on Diversey? Well, he's in Illinois Masonic Medical Center and he needs a police report. Aggravated battery case HX473461 filed.
Email us. Facebook us. Twitter us.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

JOCK JAMMED: Sports Reporter Charged With Battery In Taxi Incident; Victim Declines Felony Option

Police guard the abandoned taxi at Waveland and Lake Shore Drive.
UPDATE OCTOBER 21: Details of the court filing are up. Klemko did not escape unscathed.
Robert Klemko, Sports Illustrated’s Chicago-based NFL reporter and a frequent sports media guest, was arrested in his Lake View condo early Saturday morning, after a Checker taxi driver reported being cabjacked.

Klemko, 27, gained significant media exposure after live Tweeting his "arrest" during the Ferguson riots.  He did not turn to social media during today's arrest.

CWB sources say Klemko is charged with two misdemeanors—simple battery and criminal trespass to a vehicle—in connection with the incident that police classified as vehicular hijacking. The victim reportedly did not want to pursue felony charges.

Klemko (USA Today)
Police responded to Klemko’s high rise at Irving Park and Pine Grove around 1AM after a janitor called 911 to report that a cabbie was in the lobby—shaken after being allegedly battered and carjacked by one or more passengers.

The cabbie told police that Klemko and his companions became fares off of Delaware Place downtown and headed to the Lakeview location.

At some point after the alleged confrontation, Klemko headed to his apartment. How the taxi cab got from Klemko's building to Waveland and Lake Shore Drive while the cabbie was in his lobby is a bit of a mystery. Three or four other passengers were reported to have been in the cab when it traveled to Lake View.

Detectives are working to identify other suspects in the case, CPD  #HX472070.
Email us. Facebook us. Twitter us.

UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT: Cabbie Says Sports Reporter And Pals Carjacked Him In Lakeview

Police guard the abandoned, allegedly carjacked, taxi cab at
Waveland and Lake Shore Drive this morning.
UPDATE OCTOBER 21: Details of the court filing are up. Klemko did not escape unscathed.
Update 3:40PM: Misdemeanor battery and criminal trespass to vehicle charges have been filed.
Updated 10:43AM—Reliable police and media sources have told us that charges are filed. Thanks for your patience as we dot the i's and cross the t's to get it right.
The driver of Checker Cab 1331 was just doing his job when he drove some fares to Lakeview from Delaware Place early this morning.

Somewhere along the line, things took an unexpected turn.

The janitor of a highrise near Irving Park and Pine Grove called police at 12:55 this morning to report that the cabbie was in the building lobby, shaken, allegedly battered, and carjacked by his former passengers.

Police quickly located his cab, abandoned at Lake Shore Drive and Waveland. They also located and took into custody one of the alleged perpetrators: A moderately well-known sports reporter.

CWB is withholding the man’s name because charges have not yet been filed.

Evidence technicians are working the taxi over and detectives are pursuing the case. Police have classified the incident as vehicular hijacking in case HX472070.
Email us.  Facebook us. Twitter us.

TRIPLE PLAY: 2 Are Robbed, 3rd "Apple Picked" In Wrigleyville This Morning

Three victims were relieved of their valuables in three separate incidents—two robberies and a phone snatching—at essentially the same Wrigleyville intersection this morning. None of the offenders is in custody.

12:47AM — Patrol car is flagged down at Newport and Sheffield after a victim has their iPhone snatched. The offender, described as a black male 25-35 years old, wearing a black North Face jacket is last seen running toward Belmont.

2:18AM — Police are flagged down at Newport and Clark by a victim who has been strong-arm robbed by a “group of young black males” in their teens or early 20’s. An ambulance takes the victim to Thorek hospital. Case number is TBD.

3:02AM — A man reports that he has been robbed in the 3400 block of Sheffield by a group of three or 4 young black men who flee eastbound on Cornelia towards Halsted. There is a significant language barrier and initial reports indicated that a gun was displayed. That has not been confirmed.  Case number is TBD.


A purse snatcher who struck at the Clark/Belmont Starbucks around 1:30 yesterday afternoon wound up looking down the wrong end of a cop’s gun moments later. An officer was tipped off to the theft and gave chase, eventually cornering the thief in the 900 block of School. An arrest was made and “a bunch of witnesses” from Starbucks gave statements. Case number TBD.
Email us.  Facebook us. Twitter us.

Friday, October 17, 2014

TASTE OF HELMONT: NSFW Vid Shows Fight, Sizzling Stun Gun

The blue sparks of a stun gun are seen in this screen shot
from a video  recently posted to YouTube.
Update October 18: The video has been removed by its owner.
New video on YouTube appears to show a fight outside the Belmont Red Line station early on the morning of September 28.

As CWB reported later that day:
12:32AM - Several reports of 15 people fighting outside of the Belmont Red Line station, heading east. One participant reportedly has a Taser. She is said to be running toward Halsted. A sergeant arrives and can't seem to locate any disturbance.
12:49AM - Officers find the victim from that dust-up on Belmont. She has not been tazed (although the offender did have a Tazer). On the other hand, she and at least one companion were pepper-sprayed during the incident. Ambulance summoned.
This video will not be winning any awards, but the sparks and sizzle of a stung gun are readily apparent around the 2 minute 20 second mark. Plus, this gives ordinary folk the opportunity to experience a little taste of what makes "Helmont" so special.
Email us.  Facebook us. Twitter us.

OUT OF STYLE: Thug With $1000 Coat Busted, Cops Say

Image: SSQQ
Chicago police believe they have captured the mugger with the $1,000 coat, however no charges have been filed as of Friday afternoon.

Officers took the suspect into custody for a warrant investigation after conducting a street stop at 4:37 Thursday morning near Halsted and Belmont. Based on the rather rare Pelle Pelle brand coat that he was wearing, detectives were called in to investigate further.

Early Wednesday morning, a woman was beaten and robbed of her purse near Lakewood and Henderson by a man who was wearing a, uh, similar garment.


An incident last Thursday in which an employee of the 7-Eleven at Broadway and Waveland was battered by a "youth" who allegedly frequents the Center on Halsted has been upgraded to attempted robbery.

Burglary Bonanza

Burglaries seem to go in waves around here. Here are a few recent confirmed cases:

Sunday, September 28, 3AM — Attempted forcible entry in the 1300 block of Eddy. HX446610

Monday, September 29, 7AM — Forcible entry burglary to an apartment. 3100 block of Seminary. HX448669

Saturday, October 4, 4PM — Unlawful entry garage burglary. 400 block of Belmont. HX456282

Sunday, Ocrtober 12, 9:45AM — Criminal damage to property in the 1200 block of Newport. (An apparently intoxicated man kicks in two rear doors, then falls asleep on a family's couch) Case HX464591.

Monday, October 13, 5:27PM — Witnesses report a burglar has tried to break into a first-floor apartment in the 600 block of Addison. Officers cannot locate the offender or the unit's occupant, so no report could be immediately filed.

Monday, October 13, 6:17PM — Unlawful entry burglary to an apartment in the 600 block of Wellington. HX466369

Thursday, October 16, 2:10AM — Break-in at Anshe Emet Synagogue, 3751 Broadway. Police arrest a suspect one block away. Case number TBD.

Thursday, October 16, 8:34AM — Forcible entry burglary to a basement unit in the 800 block of Aldine. Case HX469529.

Thursday, October 16, 4:18PM — Burglary report (details not yet clear). 3100 block of Southport. Case number is TBD.

Thursday, October 16, 6:47PM — Burglary to an apartment. 3800 block of Clark. Case number is TBD.
Email us. Facebook us. Twitter us.