Sunday, November 02, 2008

Halloween Shooting

I heard that there was a shooting at 51st and Dorchester on Halloween.  I don't have any details.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

October 1 assault

October 1, 2008—At 9:20 pm, Wednesday, October 1, University Police
found a woman on the street at 5411 South Ellis Avenue. It appears she
was struck in the head during an assault. Details are not fully known
at this time. The victim was transported to the hospital in serious
condition. Police are investigating

Sunday, August 24, 2008

2 tenants stabbed during apartment robbery

Tribune report
7:08 PM CDT, August 24, 2008

An apartment building handyman allegedly stabbed two tenants several
times during a robbery and has been charged with two counts of
attempted murder, Chicago police said Sunday.

Thaddeus Gunnell, 36, of the 300 block of 154th Place, Calumet City,
has also been charged with two counts of home invasion for the
incident that happened about 6 a.m. Saturday in the 5000 block of
South Cornell Ave., Chicago. Fleeing with items from the apartment,
Gunnell was arrested a short time later.

Police say he entered the apartment of a 48-year-old man and
50-year-old woman, armed with a knife, and demanded money. When the
woman refused, Gunnell allegedly stabbed her several times. When the
man came to her aid, Gunnell also allegedly stabbed him several times.

The victims were taken to Northwestern Hospital in fair and guarded conditions.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

South Side landlord, 77, set afire, critically burned

By Melissa Patterson | Chicago Tribune reporter
10:27 PM CDT, August 19, 2008

A South Side landlord was critically burned Tuesday after being doused
with gasoline and set on fire, possibly by a tenant he evicted,
Chicago police said.

A family member identified the victim as Harlan Hayes, 77, of the 6300
block of South Ellis Avenue in the Woodlawn neighborhood.

Authorities responded at about 2:15 a.m. Tuesday and found Hayes
collapsed on the porch of the building next door. He was taken to the
University of Chicago Medical Center, where he remained in critical

Kathy Hinton said she called 911 after she heard Hayes screaming and
banging on her building's front door for help.

She looked out and saw that his clothes had been completely burned
off. In daylight, there was a dark handprint near the door and dark
stains on the porch.

"He was burned bad, and he was just laying there," Hinton said.

A tenant in Hayes' building said she also called police after the
smoke detectors went off and she heard a man screaming. She looked out
the window to see Hayes walking toward the building next door.

The tenant, who asked not to be identified, said she heard Hayes
implicate his attacker as he lay on the porch. She said she had seen
the man Hayes referred to threaten him over a security deposit. Police
were looking for a 28-year-old former tenant, evicted as recently as
last week. No one was in custody Tuesday evening.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Stabbing and murder

At 10:05 p.m., Sunday, August 3, on 53rd between Blackstone & Harper,
a man was stabbed twice on the street by one of four men who drove up
in a white conversion van. The victim was in stable condition in

At 5:06 a.m., Monday, August 4, on 47th at Greenwood, a man was shot
multiple times by unknown persons. He subsequently died.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Several shootings this weekend

At 11:30 p.m., Friday, July 4, on 64th Street between Kimbark and
Kenwood Avenues, a woman and two men were shot on the street by two
men who then fled in separate vehicles – one a midsized four door
silver car with racks on the top; and the other a midsized white car.
Two of the victims were treated and released from a hospital; the
other victim was in good condition at a hospital.

At 10:54 p.m., Saturday, July 5, on Drexel Avenue between 62nd and
63rd Streets, a male juvenile was shot on the street by another male
juvenile who was arrested shortly thereafter by police. The victim
was taken to a hospital where he was in critical condition.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Three recent crimes

A reader has written to alert us to three recent crimes:
At 11:25 p.m., Friday, June 6, on Kimbark Avenue between 61st and 62nd
Streets, two male juveniles and three men were shot by individuals,
possibly two men, who drove by in a large white vehicle. All five were

taken to the hospital for treatment where they were in stable condition
and expected to recover. Police believe that all the victims were
associated with a street gang and are continuing to investigate.


At 12:25 a.m., Saturday, June 7, on Dorchester Avenue between 52nd and
53rd Street, a woman was walking when a man came up from behind her,
told her to say nothing, and began fondling her. He fled when she
demanded that he stop. Police are investigating.

Three gunshots reported along the Midway around 59th and Ellis just after
midnight. This was followed shortly by a fire in one of the University buildings,
also located on 59th and Ellis.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Two muggings Saturday, 59th and Ellis

At 6:30 p.m. and 8:10 p.m., Saturday, May 17, near 59th Street and
Ellis Avenue, individuals walking alone were approached by male
juveniles and/or men who demanded their valuables. In the first
incident, a woman was approached from behind by two offenders who
tried unsuccessfully to take a wallet from her hand, and then fled.
In the second incident, a man was approached from the front by one
male juvenile, and from behind by two male juveniles or men, who
knocked him down, kicked him, took his wallet, and then fled. In this
second incident, University police subsequently arrested the first
offender who was identified by the victim. Subsequent police
investigation resulted in the arrest of another male juvenile and a
man, but the victim could not identify them. Police continue to

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Three crimes this weekend

Between 12:45 and 1:00 p.m., Sunday, April 6, near 55th Street and
Lake Park Avenue, and then again shortly thereafter near 55th and
Ellis Avenue, a man in a white, two door 1990-99 Pontiac drove up to
the same woman, made obscene gestures from his car, and asked her to
perform a sex act. The victim ignored him, and the offender left
without getting out of his car. He was described as an African
American in his 40's or 50's, 5'10" – 6', 230-240. (This incident was
not reported to police until April 8.)

At 4:45 p.m., Tuesday, April 8, on 57th Street near Lake Park Ave. –
a man on the Metra platform was confronted by three male juveniles or
men who punched him several times and took his BlackBerry.

At 10:08 p.m., Tuesday, April 8, on Dorchester Ave. between 58th and
59th Streets, a man was walking when he was confronted by two male
juveniles or men who punched him and took his laptop, cell phone, and
wallet. The offenders then entered a four door gold Dodge Intrepid,
driven by a third man, and drove away.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Armed robberies at 54th and Ellis, and 52nd and Kenwood; crime prevention summit

On Sunday, March 30, 2008, at 9:26 p.m., on 54th Street between Ellis
and Greenwood Avenues, and at 11:15 p.m., on 52nd Street between
Kenwood and Dorchester Avenues, individuals walking alone were victims
of armed robbery. In both incidents a man confronted the victim,
displayed a silver-colored or chrome-plated gun, and demanded and took
valuables. Neither victim was harmed, and the offender fled after the
robberies. After continuing investigation, police believe that it is
likely the same man was involved in both incidents. The descriptions
given of this man are general – an African American 25 or younger,
about 5'9", 140-150 pounds, wearing dark clothing.

For those of you who want to learn more about safety and security
issues, please plan to attend the "Crime Prevention Summit" on Friday,
April 4, 2008 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Room W1 of the School of
Social Service Administration (SSA), sponsored by UCPD and the Chicago
Police Department. For more information, call (312) 747-8382.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Shots fired at 63rd Street and Kenwood Avenue

At 3:10 p.m., Monday, March 24, Parking Security Personnel reported
shots fired near the corner of 63rd Street and Kenwood Avenue. Two
automobiles were damaged. No injuries were reported. Both Chicago
Police and the University of Chicago Police immediately arrived on the
scene. Police continue to investigate the incident.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Shooting at 52nd and Harper

At 9:44 p.m., Wednesday, March 19, near 52nd Street and Harper Avenue,
a man was shot on the street by one of three other men who were in a
black Jeep Cherokee. The victim was taken to a hospital where he was
reported in serious but stable condition. Police are investigating.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Mugging 55th and University

At 12:50 a.m., Saturday, February 2, 2008, just west of University
Avenue near 55th Street, a woman was walking toward the entrance to
Pierce Hall when a man ran up to her from behind, pushed her against a
wall, took her purse, and fled back to a maroon four door vehicle.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Armed robbery, Kenwood and 61st

At 12:15 a.m., Wednesday, January 30, on Kenwood Avenue between 61st and
62nd Streets, a man was walking from his house to his nearby parked
car. He was confronted by another man who got out of a late model, dark
colored, two-door Chevy, displayed a gun, and demanded the victim's
valuables. The victim struggled with the offender for the gun. During
the struggle, a second man got out of the car and fired two gun shots at
the victim, who ran unhurt back to his house. Police are investigating.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Comprehensive listing of recent hyde park crimes

As I have reported before, crime listings in the newspaper indicate only a fraction of crimes reported in Hyde Park. All police reports are aggregated at the Chicago Crime Database, and recently this list has been more conveniently aggregated at Everyblock. Here is a listing of crimes entered in the database between January 15 and today. There is generally a one week delay between the time a crime is reported and its appearance in the database.

Other offense: Missing person 800 block E. 59th St Other offense: Lost property 1500 block E. 53rd St Other offense: Telephone threat 900 block E. 57th St Deceptive practice: Credit card fraud 1500 block E. 53rd St Deceptive practice: Forgery 5700 block S. Maryland Ave Theft: Pocket-picking 5200 block S. Ingleside Ave Other offense: Other vehicle offense 5400 block S. Lake Park Ave Theft: $300 and under 5500 block S. Lake Park Ave Theft: From building 900 block E. Hyde Park Blvd Vandalism: Criminal damage to property 5300 block S. Ingleside Ave Simple battery: Simple 5300 block S. Woodlawn Ave Vandalism: Criminal damage to property 5300 block S. Woodlawn Ave Other offense: Telephone threat 5700 block S. University Ave Theft: From building 5100 block S. Kimbark Ave Deceptive practice: Illegal use of cash card 5100 block S. Harper Ave Vandalism: Criminal damage to property 5400 block S. Ellis Ave Motor vehicle theft: Theft/recovery: automobile 1400 block E. 55th Pl Aggravated assault: Knife/cutting instrument 900 block E. 58th St Criminal trespass: To land 5300 block S. Blackstone Ave Robbery: Strongarm: no weapon 5100 block S. Harper Ave Robbery: Strongarm: no weapon 5400 block S. Woodlawn Ave Theft: Over $300 5200 block S. Cottage Grove Ave Narcotics: Manufacturing/delivery of heroin (white) 5200 block S. Harper Ave Deceptive practice: Credit card fraud 1500 block E. 55th St Simple assault: Simple assault 900 block E. 55th St Simple battery: Domestic battery: simple 1400 block E. 53rd St Aggravated battery: Other dangerous weapon Theft: From building 1200 block E. Hyde Park Blvd Other offense: Death 5800 block S. Maryland Ave Motor vehicle theft: Automobile 1400 block E. 53rd St Robbery: Armed: handgun 5300 block S. Harper Ave Simple battery: Domestic battery: simple 5800 block S. Blackstone Ave Robbery: Armed: handgun 5800 block S. Maryland Ave Motor vehicle theft: Theft/recovery: automobile 5800 block S. Blackstone Ave Criminal trespass: To land Other offense: Death 5300 block S. Blackstone Ave Simple assault: Simple assault 1500 block E. 52nd St Theft: Over $300 900 block E. 54th St Criminal trespass: To land 5400 block S. Woodlawn Ave Theft: Over $300 1500 block E. 53rd St Theft: Retail theft 1200 block E. 56th St Theft: From building 5600 block S. Blackstone Ave Motor vehicle theft: Automobile Theft: From building 5400 block S. Harper Ave Robbery: Armed: handgun 5600 block S. Woodlawn Ave Vandalism: Criminal damage to property

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Purse snatching, 56th and Greenwood

At 11:50 a.m., Monday, January 21, at 56th Street and Greenwood Avenue,
a woman was walking when two men drove up in a 1990-93 black four door
Maxima (with a broken tail light on the passenger side) and asked
directions. As she was talking to them through one of the car's windows,
one of the men reached out and grabbed her purse. They then drove away.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Purse snatching, 9 AM Jan 18, University and 56th

At 8:50 a.m., Thursday, January 18, on University Avenue between 55th
and 56th Streets, a woman was walking when she was confronted by another
woman who grabbed her purse. When the offender found nothing inside,
she returned the purse to the victim, and returned to a nearby white
vehicle driven by a second woman and drove away.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Suspects in Cisse case plead not guilty

Two of the three suspects accused in the Amadou Cisse murder case pleaded not guilty to all charges Friday, authorities have said. Eric Walker, 16, and Demetrius Warren, 17, both pleaded not guilty to charges. A third suspect, Benjamin Williams, 21, has not entered a plea.
More: Suspects in Cisse case plead not guilty

Looking back on the Amadou Cisse tragedy

A reader wrote to ask me, essentially, if I thought there were any lessons to be learned from the murder of Amadou Cisse, if one were to investigate the crime.

I told him that I think there are several potentially revealing angles to look at. First let me say that I don't think it would be interesting or insightful to look at any failure on the side of the university or police. I don't think parallels with other school shootings apply here.

Most interesting, I think, would be to focus both on Eric Walker and Amadou. The tragedy isn't really just about Amadou, but about Eric and Amadou, as well as Warren and Williams, the accomplices. Both Amadou and Eric came from turbulent backgrounds --Amadou's father was killed in battle in Gambia, and Eric's father was gunned down when Eric was three. Both families are certainly devestated. I don't think Eric was expecting to come across the likes of Amadou-- another fighter, who wasn't willing to give in easily, contributing to the deadly result. So the meeting of these two people, so different yet alike in some ways, presents a potentially insightful line of inquiry.

A secondary theme, one that is potentially well investigated in other contexts, is the clash between the university population and the neighborhood. I think Walker said something to the effect that he was going to Hyde Park to commit a crime because people up there have money. From my own experience, I used to think that the crimes around here had a really strong racial component--black on white or black on asian. However, this makes it seem as though class may be playing a role anyway.

There are some other aspects also about clashes between the cultures--on Walker's side, the "gangster" mentality, failures of the education system and parenting -- these are discussed here.
The University side, to some degree, perhaps can represent some isolationism from the surrounding community, despite the best of intentions an efforts.

Despite the time that has passed, every few days it seems someone leaves a message here remembering Amadou. We have heard very little from the community of the perpetrators, a piece of the conversation that I think is sorely missed.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Mugging Wednesday Blackstone and 59th

At 8:55 p.m., Wednesday, January 9, on Blackstone Avenue between 58th
and 59th Streets, a woman was confronted by an unknown man who indicated
he had a handgun, demanded her valuables, took her wallet, and fled.
Police are investigating.