Magnificent Mile

Is Chicago At A Tipping Point?

Several incidents that recently took place in the city of Chicago lead me to suspect my girlfriend and I may have moved out of there just in the nick of time.

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know that I think the “Windy City” is gusting in the wrong direction when it comes to areas such as finance, public safety, and leadership.

Which sucks, since I want nothing more than the Midwest metropolis to do well.

That being said, get a load of these recent developments…

Back in January 2011 I started to blog about Chicago’s growing problem with flash mobs, flash mobbery, mob actions, wildings, what have you. I subsequently warned in May of that year:

If City Hall “loses” downtown to the bad guys- or, in this case, bad boys and girls- you lose the tourists, their money, revenue… you get the point.

You listenin’ Rahm?

More than two years later, the downtown is being “lost.” Wilding in the area is being reported in both the mainstream and alternative news media with increasing regularity. So much so that even this appeared in the Sunday Chicago Tribune paper:

Two visitors to Chicago received a rude welcome to the city Friday when one was robbed by a group of city teens and the other was punched while trying to help, officials said.

The two visitors – a 15-year-old Florida girl and a 51-year-old Michigan woman – were both walking on the Mag Mile Friday evening when the older woman was robbed of her iPhone by a group of eight juveniles, officials said…

“We had only been in town four hours and I got robbed,” Tammy said with the hint of a laugh during a telephone interview Saturday evening. “Welcome to Chicago.”

Welcome to Chicago, indeed.

The cat’s out of the bag so much that regarding the “Magnificient Mile”, aka Michigan Avenue, the storied boulevard is now being called “Muggers’ Mile.” From Chicago ABC affiliate Channel 7 News last night:

The Guardian Angels went as far as saying the “Mag Mile” is well on its way to becoming the “Muggers Mile.”


Channel 7 News Chicago Video

Instead of the usual “crime is down” line that’s been regularly touted by the Chicago Police Department this year, the Channel 7 News reporter in the segment, Michelle Gallardo, noted:

And while not all cell phone robberies are reported, police did insist in pointing out that in the last 28 days, only 3 robberies have been filed in this area.

Only 3 robberies in the last 28 days? That’s hard to believe.

The popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop shed some light on this matter early this morning. SCC wrote:

Again, here is where CompStat really shines. Reclassify the crimes from “Strong Arm Robbery” to “Theft from Person” and –tada!!!– Instant drop in violent crime. You don’t think they’re doing it? How about those juveniles that got caught the other day? The one had another smart phone and was charged with “Theft of Lost/Mislaid Property” probably because no one could identify who committed the actual robbery.

Or the lack of police that is emboldening the robbers? If someone has to wait an hour for a police report, they might as well head home and do it over the phone….or not do it at all. –Tada!!!— another drop in crime!

Downgrade and reclassify? That’s just tin-foil hat talk, right?

Sadly, I’m convinced the wilding will continue to get worse because of the ongoing Chicago Police manpower shortage and the punks only getting slaps on the wrist. City Hall and CPD brass will keep dishing out the spin to try and prevent visitors from being scared away. And I suspect the Chicago mainstream news media will keep going along with the “official line” out of fear of finding themselves out in the cold, information-wise.

Don’t think the MSM isn’t doing this already? That story about the two out-of-town Magnificent Mile robbery victims from Friday night? It made the Tribune as “Breaking News” Sunday- on page 14.

And all that wilding that took place downtown around the Fourth of July? The Tribune covered the criminal activity- once the tourists cleared out of town.

At least they mentioned it though. I don’t recall hearing/reading anything about the wildings anywhere else around town.

Let’s see. Finances. Public safety. Oh yeah- political leadership. Anyone familiar with the word nepotism? From the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Favoritism (as in appointment to a job) based on kinship.

I once worked as an assistant to a city administrator in a Chicago suburb where many residents happened to be related. This was reflected in the political structure of the city as well.

Not surprisingly, nepotism was not an unheard of event there.

I’ve experienced first-hand how family ties and nepotism can poison local, representative government.

Consequently, I believe responsible government should guard fiercely against this.

And then there’s the City of Chicago.

Mitch Dudek and Fran Spielman reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website today:

Completing a process the Sun-Times first reported in January, state Rep. Deb Mell was sworn in Wednesday to replace her retiring father as alderman for the Northwest Side’s 33rd Ward…

Emanuel’s decision to write a Mell family sequel to Chicago’s long-running saga of “All in the Family” politics is unlikely to sit well with some independent voters.

It will look like a continuation of the longstanding tradition that has allowed fathers like former Ald. Anthony Laurino (39th) to handpick their daughters — like Marge Laurino — and wives — like Carrie Austin, who replaced her late husband, Ald. Lemuel Austin (34th).

After the swearing-in, Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th), who replaced his father as alderman in 1969, read the list of names of families that have had multiple members who served in the Chicago City Council.

It includes two Burkes, four Cullertons, two Ogdens, two Hoellens, two Knickerbockers, two Baulers, two Clark’s, three Keanes, two Sheridans, two Vrdolyaks, two Austins, two Beavers, two Sawyers, two Laurinos and now two Mells.

Too bad. The specter of Nepotism rears its ugly head again.

There should be no doubt that I predict tough times ahead for the city. But it’s not just me who harbors such suspicion. Even the Chicago FOX affiliate, Channel 32 News, is running a series called “Chicago at the Tipping Point” these days.

Chicago-based Survival And Prosperity readers can’t say the “signs” weren’t there.

I’ve already sprung into action.

Question is, what are they going to do about it?

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Regina Sobol, Rosemary. “Welcome to Chicago — now give me that iPhone.” Chicago Tribune. 21 July 2013. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-chicago-crime-iphone-robbery-magnificent-mile-20130721,0,1601942,full.story). 24 July 2013.

Dudek, Mitch and Spielman, Fran. “State Rep. Deb Mell named to replace father in City Council.” Chicago Sun-Times. 24 July 2013. (http://www.suntimes.com/21503401-761/state-rep-deb-mell-named-to-replace-father-in-city-council.html). 24 July 2013.

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Chicago ‘Magnificent Mile’ Robbery Latest In Series Of Criminal Incidents By Young People Downtown

(Editor’s note: According to the Chicago news media tonight, the Chicago Police Department is saying the following robbery story is unfounded. How much is untrue still remains to be seen.)

Here’s a headline that’s sure to make Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel cringe today:

“Woman robbed of $200K worth of jewelry on Mag Mile”

From the WGN Chicago Web Desk last night:

A 69-year-old woman was robbed of as much as $200,000 in jewelry, cash and other items by a group of young men in front of a North Michigan Avenue department store this afternoon, authorities said…

The woman… was robbed by a group of at least three and as many and eight young men, law enforcement sources said…

The woman told police the group surrounded her, and demanded her money and jewelry.

John Garcia added on the ABC Chicago website this morning:

It happened around noontime in the middle of a crowded sidewalk

Authorities say there were as many as ten young men in the group. They reportedly threatened her, but she gave up the valuables and was not hurt.

It is the latest in a series of criminal incidents involving groups of young people on North Michigan Avenue.

In March, police arrested dozens of young men and women who gathered in the area and were allegedly attacking shoppers and police.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

WGN Chicago is reporting that the Chicago Police Department is not classifying Wednesday’s incident as being a “flash mob.” But like I blogged Tuesday:

Still, if I were an urban dweller/visitor in that part of the city, I wouldn’t let my guard down for an instant. They shouldn’t be doing that anyway, especially as the more-established criminal element in the city is probably well-aware of the ongoing manpower shortage in the Chicago Police Department.

As for City Hall? They’re probably wishing May 19 had already arrived.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

“Woman robbed of $200K worth of jewelry on Mag Mile.” Chicago Tribune. 15 May 2013. (http://wgntv.com/2013/05/15/woman-robbed-of-200k-worth-of-jewelry-on-mag-mile/). 16 May 2013.

Garcia, John. “Woman robbed of jewelry, thousands in cash on Michigan Avenue.” ABC Chicago. 16 May 2013. (http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=9104284). 16 May 2013.

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Thursday, May 16th, 2013 Crime, Public Safety, Self-Defense No Comments

Chicago Flash Mobs/Mob Attacks/Wildings Derailed This Summer?

South Side youths intent on carrying out a flash mob/mob attack/wilding in downtown Chicago may find themselves unable to get to their destination this summer.

From the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) website this morning:

Coming: May 19, 2013

Faster. Smoother. Better.

Beginning May 19, 2013, the CTA will rebuild the tracks along the south Red Line, from Cermak-Chinatown to 95th/Dan Ryan—a project that will provide faster, more comfortable and more reliable service for Red Line riders.

From just north of the Cermak-Chinatown station to the 95th Street station, crews will replace everything in the track bed: ties, rail, third rail, ballast (the stone material that holds the ties in place) and drainage systems. Some stations will also receive improvements ranging from new canopies, paint and lighting upgrades to new benches and bike racks. Additionally, the stations at Garfield, 63rd and 87th will get new elevators, making all stations on the South Side Red Line accessible.

The south Red Line, called the Dan Ryan branch, is more than 40 years old and needs a full replacement…

The work is part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Building a New Chicago program, which is updating infrastructure that’s critical to the city—and includes improvements that will help ensure that CTA continues to serve customers as effectively as possible.

The project is made possible by $1 billion in state and local funding announced in late 2011 by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Pat Quinn for the Red and Purple Lines.

The Red Line will completely close from Cermak-Chinatown through 95th/Dan Ryan. The closure is expected to last 5 months, until late October 2013.

Knowing all this, I won’t be surprised if it’s a “quiet” summer along the “Magnificent Mile” and in other tourist hotspots downtown. Still, if I were an urban dweller/visitor in that part of the city, I wouldn’t let my guard down for an instant. They shouldn’t be doing that anyway, especially as the more-established criminal element in the city is probably well-aware of the ongoing manpower shortage in the Chicago Police Department.

You can read more about that CTA project beginning this weekend here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Chicago Looks To Tackle Wilding Problem

One needs only to follow local events (Second City Cop blog is my vehicle of choice) the last two years to recognize that Chicago has a wilding problem. So much so that City Hall is now even talking about clamping down on flash mobs/mob actions/mob attacks what have you. Fran Spielman reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website Monday night:

Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) has a plan to prevent a repeat of the ugly mob attacks that have plagued River North and downtown Chicago the past two summers: moonlighting, uniformed police officers paid for by local merchants.

Reilly wants to let local chambers of commerce, business improvement districts and “special service area” taxing districts hire off-duty Chicago Police officers to supplement regular police patrols…

Reilly’s ordinance, quietly introduced at last week’s City Council meeting, would allow off-duty officers to wear their uniforms while being paid $30 an hour by local businesses to work a minimum of six-hour shifts.

According to Spielman’s article, it sounds like area merchants and the Fraternal Order of Police support the proposed initiative. The City Hall reporter did point out that John Chikow, president of the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, said there’s no money available to hire moonlighting CPD officers.

It sounds to me like the Association expects the City to pick up the tab for this program. Does anyone blame them for feeling this way? After all, their members and the revenue they generate are instrumental in keeping this city running.

Alas, this might not be an issue if the Chicago Police Department were operating at full-strength.

Still, it’s nice to see at least one elected official taking the wilding problem seriously. However, the City of Chicago needs to act now before the delinquents hit the streets. Without any additional measures in place this year I suspect 2013 is going to be another bad one for downtown Chicago when it comes to flash mobs/mob actions/mob attacks.

Remember what I blogged way back in May 2011 as all this was escalating:

If City Hall “loses” downtown to the bad guys- or, in this case, bad boys and girls- you lose the tourists, their money, revenue… you get the point.

You listenin’ Rahm?

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Spielman, Fran. “Plan calls for moonlighting cops, merchants’ cash to stop mobs.” Chicago Sun-Times. 18 Mar. 2013. (http://www.suntimes.com/news/18939262-418/plan-calls-for-moonlighting-cops-merchants-cash-to-stop-mobs.html). 19 Mar. 2013.

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Wednesday, March 20th, 2013 Crime, Government, Public Safety, Self-Defense No Comments

Crime Spike In Chicago’s Gold Coast Neighborhood?

There’s a crime spike going on in Chicago’s posh Gold Coast neighborhood. At least that’s what the FOX Chicago news desk is saying is going on these days. Reporter Joanie Lum wrote on their website this morning:

Another Gold Coast store has been hit by robbers – only this time, they were not so successful.

Ikram Fashion on was hit by crooks on Huron and State, in addition to the recently burgled Jimmy Choo store on the Gold Coast.

Police said thieves used a sledgehammer to try to break into the high-end store, but this time the glass was too thick, and they could not break in.

Ha ha.

According to Lum, four teens are suspected of this crime and targeting stores of the same caliber in the area. She added:

This is the latest incident in a crime spike that has hit the tourist-heavy, ritzy areas like the GOld Coast and the Magnificent Mile.

Last Thursday, two burglars pried open the door of the Jimmy Choo store on Oak Street at 1:45 AM and made off with several handbags, ranging in price from $500 to $1,500 a piece.

Gold Coast. Lots of wealthy urban liberals living down there. Reminds me of an anonymous comment I read in the Chicago police blog Second City Cop way back on May 3, 2011, and which I noted in a post the following day about the mob attacks and wildings going on down there:

I always tell the mutts on the west side to go and rob the liberals. They have all the money and will not put up a fight, I guess they started to listen.

Come on, Rahm. Time to “bite the bullet” and really slash wasteful spending to give the CPD the manpower and tools they need to deal with the increasingly-brazen criminals in the city.

Sources:

Lum, Joanie. “Gold Coast store hit with sledgehammer, thieves unsuccessful.” FOX Chicago. 11 Dec. 2012. (http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/20313493/thieves-tried-to-break-into-gold-coast-ikram-fashion-with-sledgehammer-unsuccessful). 11 Dec. 2012.

“Wildings Continue.” Second City Cop. 3 May 2011. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2011/05/wildings-continue.html). 4 May 2011.

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Chicago’s Thanksgiving Weekend Violence

Regrettably, the long Thanksgiving weekend was a violent one here in the Chicago:

• 4 killed, 20 wounded from Wednesday to Sunday
• 451 murders in Chicago through November 11, the Chicago Police Department told the Chicago Sun-Times this weekend
• Friday morning, a 44-year-old woman was choked, knocked to the ground, and kicked in a failed purse-snatching incident just off the “Magnificent Mile” in Chicago’s ritzy Gold Coast neighborhood- which recently suffered two other violent incidents. Once again, the man charged in the robbery attempt has an extensive rap sheet, is on parole, and was even wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet on his ankle when arrested.
• Early yesterday morning, three individuals tried to rob a commercial bakery only a couple of minutes from me on Chicago’s Northwest Side. Some employees managed to escape the rest of their co-workers being rounded-up at gunpoint and forced into a walk-in cooler- and called police. The would-be robbers (killers?) fled the Jefferson Park establishment once they realized their “mistake.”

Even though the temperatures are dropping here in the “Windy City,” the criminals are not only still hard at work, but keep getting closer. Any remaining doubts I might have had about this being the case were dispelled the other weekend when an armed robbery went down in a nearby alley.

6 more months to go still before the planned move…

Source:

Lansu, Michael. “4 dead, 20 wounded in holiday weekend violence.” Chicago Sun-Times. 25 Nov. 2012. (http://www.suntimes.com/news/crime/16621046-418/4-dead-20-wounded-in-holiday-weekend-violence.html). 26 Nov. 2012.

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Monday, November 26th, 2012 Crime, Public Safety, Self-Defense No Comments

Chicago’s Gold Coast Violence Yields Disturbing New Info

In the aftermath of two violent incidents on Chicago’s Gold Coast- the stabbing of an out-of-town visitor dining at a hotel restaurant on the Magnificent Mile and a shoplifting incident where a Chicago police officer narrowly-avoided being run down by the fleeing thieves by shooting at their car- some disturbing information is coming out.

First, the suspect in the stabbing, 56-year-old Jimmy Harris, had been released from prison on parole just 8 days earlier. William Lee and Jason Meisner wrote on the Chicago Tribune website last night:

Harris, who has past gang ties, has at least 60 arrests and nine felony convictions dating to the late 1970s, according to Chicago police, state and court records.

“This defendant is clearly a danger to the community,” Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said in court of Harris…

60 arrests? 9 felonies? How is it that someone like Mr. Harris is awarded parole to roam freely among the law-abiding citizens of Chicago?

I wrote back on June 14 about something the Chicago police blog Second City Cop said concerning putting the wilding/mob action participants behind bars:

Regarding SCC’s suggested fix of putting these “wild childs” in prison- here in Chicago and Cook County committing a crime doesn’t always get you time.

And if you are unlucky enough to have to serve time, it might not be for long.

Some blame liberal judges. Others, a dysfunctional prison system. All I know is this. There are plenty of examples of the above that come to mind…

Sounds like we have the same situation taking place here. John Garcia of Chicago ABC affiliate Channel 7 News reported on their website this morning that:

Prosecutors say Harris was on a parole after serving half of a sentence for the 2007 slashing of a grocery store clerk.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

“Half a sentence.”

Disturbing. All I can say is, watch your six in the “Land of Lincoln” if you’re not doing so already.

Second, here’s what Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel had to say yesterday about the recent violence in the Gold Coast neighborhood. Stefano Esposito and Rosalind Rossi wrote on the Chicago Sun-Times website last night:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday pointed to this weekend’s Magnificent Mile Lights Festival ceremony as proof that the city’s upper-crust Gold Coast is safe — despite two violent incidents there within 24 hours.

“We had 1 million people and not a single incident” during the popular Saturday evening festival along Michigan Avenue, Emanuel told reporters.

The stabbing of a festival visitor inside a bathroom of a Michigan Avenue hotel occurred about an hour after the festival concluded.

“You’re interested in the Magnificent Mile. There are other things I’m looking at…. I think every day the city is making progress,” the mayor said.

Lee and Meisner added from their Trib piece:

“It’s not about just the Magnificent Mile,” Emanuel said at an unrelated new conference. “I want Roseland as safe as Ravenswood, I want South Shore as safe as Sauganash and I want Woodlawn as safe as Wildwood. And I won’t rest until that happens.”

“You’re interested in the Magnificent Mile.” “It’s not about just the Magnificent Mile.”

As nice as it is to hear that the Mayor takes the public safety of all Chicago neighborhoods seriously, law-and-order along North Michigan Avenue and at other tourist spots must be a high-priority for City Hall. Out-of-towners don’t come to the Windy City to visit the Austin or Englewood neighborhoods, for example. They head to the Magnificent Mile and elsewhere downtown to spend their hard-earned cash shopping, dining, on entertainment, etcetera. This spending activity generates a good deal of the revenue needed to fund City operations and Mayor Emanuel’s pet programs.

Let the savages run rampant on the Magnificent Mile and elsewhere downtown, and this city is toast.

Some point out the wildings and mob actions in these areas and claim the decline has already started. Truly disturbing.

“It’s not about just the Magnificent Mile.”

No, but the city sure has a lot at stake in the Mag Mile. Chicago cannot afford to let public safety be compromised along North Michigan Avenue- or else.

Sources:

Lee, William and Mesiner, Jason. “Suspect in Mag Mile stabbing had 60 arrests, 9 felony convictions.” Chicago Tribune. 19 Nov. 2012. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-1-injured-in-attack-outside-north-michigan-avenue-hotel-20121117,0,4467911.story). 20 Nov. 2012.

Esposito, Stefano and Rossi, Rosalind. “Gold Coast is safe despite incidents over weekend, Emanuel insists.” Chicago Sun-Times. 19 Nov. 2012. (http://www.suntimes.com/news/16492670-418/gold-coast-is-safe-despite-incidents-over-weekend-emanuel-insists.html). 20 Nov. 2012.

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Tuesday, November 20th, 2012 Crime, Government, Public Safety, Self-Defense No Comments

Chicago Visitor Stabbed While Dining In Gold Coast Hotel Restaurant

Here’s a public relations nightmare for the City of Chicago and its bustling tourism industry:

An out-of-town visitor in the city for a major holiday festival is attacked and stabbed inside a downtown Chicago hotel restaurant bathroom Saturday night in what some are saying is a failed robbery.

Dawn Rhodes and Adam Sege wrote on the Chicago Tribune website this morning:

A man who listed his address as a homeless shelter has been charged with stabbing a 67-year-old man who was dining with his family at a restaurant on North Michigan Avenue, police said.

Jimmy Harris, 56, was charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery with intent to do great bodily harm and aggravated unlawful restraint, police said.

Harris is accused of attacking Mir Jafar Shah, of Oak Brook, in the restroom of a restaurant in the Westin Hotel around 8 p.m. Saturday officials said.

A second man, reportedly a bartender, was cut trying to stop Harris from fleeing, police said. Harris was arrested near the hotel and a knife recovered, police said.

Shah and the bartender both survived their injuries and are expected to make full recoveries.

The same can’t be said for sure about Chicago tourism this holiday season.

Something tells me the Westin and/or its eatery is going to be slapped with a lawsuit over the incident based on a statement made by one of the victim’s family members this weekend. I won’t be surprised to hear other downtown hotels with restaurants will probably be reviewing their security procedures after what took place Saturday night. Or that they blame the City for not having more of a police presence in the area during the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival- if not at other times.

If City Hall “loses” downtown to the bad guys… you lose the tourists, their money, revenue… you get the point.

-Survival And Prosperity, May 4, 2011

Source:

Rhodes, Dawn and Sege, Adam. “Charges in stabbing at restaurant along Mag Mile.” Chicago Tribune. 19 Nov. 2012. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-1-injured-in-attack-outside-north-michigan-avenue-hotel-20121117,0,4467911.story). 19 Nov. 2012.

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Monday, November 19th, 2012 Crime, Government, Public Safety, Tourism No Comments

Chicago Still Plagued By Wilding

Not only is wilding still taking place in Chicago (around popular visitor destinations, no less), but it’s going on earlier in the day than previously reported. From William Lee on the Chicago Tribune website yesterday morning:

Cops: 2 dozen young people arrested in Near North disturbances

Two dozen young people were arrested after causing disturbances near and on the Magnificent Mile Saturday afternoon, Chicago police said this morning…

No injuries were reported though scores of police officers criss-crossed the city’s Near North Side, including on the Gold Coast, responding to numerous calls regarding rowdy teens pushing aside pedestrians and darting into traffic along North Michigan Avenue near Chicago Avenue, according to witnesses and police…

When officers assigned to a North Michigan Avenue detail tried to arrest several of them, they darted out in front of moving cars to try to evade arrest on Michigan Avenue.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Afternoon wilding? It appears our “yutes” are becoming more blatant.

And I had to chuckle when I saw the Chicago Sun-Times web article on the bad behavior. Their headline read:

20 juveniles, 4 adults arrested in Gold Coast ruckus

“Ruckus?”

“Disturbances,” “Ruckus.” Some are probably wondering if the local media outlets have been warned by City Hall about using the term “wilding” to describe such activity. The 1987 film Full Metal Jacket comes to mind here, specifically that part where “Private Joker” is shown meeting with his Stars and Stripes colleagues and CO, “Lieutenant Lockhart:”

LT. LOCKHART: We have a new directive from M.A.F. on this. In the future, in place of “search and destroy,” substitute the phrase “sweep and clear.” Got it?
PVT. JOKER: Got it. Very catchy.

Very catchy indeed. Perhaps the Chicago Police Department could do some “sweeping and clearing” of these little turds before someone really gets hurts (global headlines to surely follow) and the city effectively says “sayonara” to a big part of its economic engine (tourism).

Then again, the CPD would need more manpower to accomplish that now, wouldn’t they?

Oh well. Until the next “ruckus”…

Sources:

Lee, William. “Cops: 2 dozen young people arrested in Near North disturbances.” Chicago Tribune. 26 Aug. 2012. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-cops-20-youth-arrested-for-gold-coast-disturbances-20120826,0,4450932.story). 27 Aug. 2012.

“20 juveniles, 4 adults arrested in Gold Coast ruckus.” Chicago Sun-Times. 26 Aug. 2012. (http://www.suntimes.com/14738272-761/20-juveniles-4-adults-arrested-in-gold-coast-ruckus.html). 27 Aug. 2012.

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Monday, August 27th, 2012 Crime, Mainstream Media, Public Safety, Tourism 2 Comments

Chicago ‘Wildings’ Are Back

COME TO CHICAGO for your vacation. We need your money. Spend it or we will take it.

-Anonymous comment about the latest instances of wildings on Chicago police blog Second City Cop this weekend

When will I win the lottery? When will I win the lottery?

The reason I’m thinking this is that something peculiar happened to me twice last week.

On Monday night, for no particular reason, I wondered about the auction results for tens of thousands of American-made M1 Garand rifles in South Korea that may be repatriated to the United States soon.

Tuesday morning, I opened up the shooting sports website AmmoLand.com and saw this:

Tester Says Antique Gun Re-Importation Moving Forward

Senator led push to allow American-made firearms abroad to be re-sold to U.S. collectors…

Yes, Senator Tester was referring to the South Korean M1 Garands.

Fast-forward to Saturday night. I managed to catch a TV news segment about the Chicago Blues Festival going on downtown, and with everything else going on down by the lake (crowded beaches, Navy Pier fireworks, the World Naked Bike Ride- And Skate), I thought about wildings (or flash mobs/mob actions, if you prefer).

In case you don’t know what a “wilding” is, from the UrbanDictionary.com:

Wilding- a slang term that refers to the practice of marauding in bands to terrorize strangers and to swagger and bully.

The way I figured, conditions were just right (lots of people downtown, hot weather, Chicago Public Schools breaking for summer this week). Curiosity got the better of me and before I went to bed Saturday evening I searched for recent bouts of wildings in the city.

Nothing.

Sunday morning, I pulled up the unofficial Chicago Police Department blog Second City Cop, and lo and behold, what did I see?

A Wild(ing) Night

Any word on 018 blowing up overnight?

Oh wait – here’s a portion of the story popping up on BreakingNews.com:

Chicago police this morning were looking into at least three separate downtown muggings that were carried out by separate groups of attackers, as the city gears up for its busy summer festival season.

The attacks occurred among hundreds of tourists and music lovers emptied out of Grant Park for the Chicago Blues Festival, which city officials tout as the largest free blues festival in the world…

Apparently, 018 (referring to Chicago Police Department District 018- Near North) did “blow up-” with wildings (the local media is calling it “mob actions”). Erin Meyer wrote on the Chicago Tribune website this morning:

An 18-year-old man was charged along with seven teenagers who were charged with mob action following a series of muggings carried out Saturday night by groups of attackers, including one that left a visitor from Michigan hospitalized with a broken jaw.

In the first attack, a group of young people beat and robbed the 40-year-old man in the 500 block of North State Street just before 10 p.m….

A second attack, which police believe to be unrelated, occurred about 30 minutes later near the Lake/State Red Line station in the 100 block of North State Street. A couple was accosted by an unknown number of suspects near the Chicago Theatre. A male victim suffered minor injuries and was also treated at Northwestern.

Police received a report of a third attack near Navy Pier, but police couldn’t provide the exact time of the attack.

Not too long after Meyer’s article, Chicago Tribune staff reported another wilding that took place Sunday night. From the Tribune website:

A man walking home from work was attacked and beaten by a large group of people on the Gold Coast late Sunday, police said…

The group of attackers was comprised of between 15 and 20 males and females, police said. Preliminary police reports indicated that they may have been teenagers.

Police are listing the attack as a battery and there is no indication that the man was robbed…

When will I win the lottery?


“3 hurt in weekend mob attacks”
WGN TV Video

From the comments I read on Second City Cop, this weekend’s wildings were worse than what’s being reported by the Chicago media. It’s alleged CTA commuters were also beaten, and naked bike riders pulled of their bikes and beaten/fondled.

Naked bike riders. You’ve got to be kidding me.

Over a year ago on May 4, 2011, I blogged:

I’ve been hearing more about kids coming together and forming groups for the purpose of carrying out criminal activities lately. Back on January 24, I wrote about an incident in which eleven of these “honor students” were eventually busted for shoplifting at three stores along Michigan Avenue’s “Magnificent Mile.” According to the CPD, they stole more than $5,000 worth of merchandise during their “shopping spree.”

I added this warning:

As long-time Chicagoans know, if Chikow thinks now is bad, wait ‘til summer. Furthermore, if City Hall “loses” downtown to the bad guys- or, in this case, bad boys and girls- you lose the tourists, their money, revenue… you get the point.

You listenin’ Rahm?

The question bears repeating.

Sources:

SCC. “A Wild(ing) Night.” Second City Cop. 10 June 2012. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2012/06/wilding-night.html). 11 June 2012.

Meyer, Erin. “Man, 7 teens charged in downtown muggings.” Chicago Tribune. 11 June 2012. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-police-probing-downtown-muggings-20120610,0,7863065.story). 11 June 2012.

“Cops: Man beaten by group in Gold Coast neighborhood.” Chicago Tribune. 11 June 2012. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-cops-man-beaten-by-group-in-gold-coast-neighborhood-20120611,0,3063104.story). 11 June 2012.

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Weekend Wilding, Flash Mob, Mob Action In Chicago

Call it what you will- wilding, flash mob, or mob action, as the City of Chicago and local media are referring to this type of criminal activity these days- but the disturbing thing is, it’s still going on in downtown Chicago. From the WGN News website this morning:

A 15-year-old boy is arrested and charged with felony mob action for an incident along the Magnificent Mile over the weekend.

It happened Saturday night around 8:30 p.m. on the 800 block of North Michigan Ave.

A Chicago Police officer spotted a group of at least 20 people jumping up and down in front of Water Tower Place.

As he went in to investigate, he saw they were beating a man lying on the ground.

The officer arrested the 15-year-old as the others ran away…

The teenager’s name is not being released because he is a minor.

Maybe it’s time the law prohibiting the release of the name of a minor convicted in a crime be changed? I’m thinking serious crimes at least, like “felony mob action.” And perhaps accompanying this information should be a home address to hopefully motivate their guardian(s) into doing a better job of raising the crime kid. Last I checked, similar information for convicted adults were being provided to a number of local papers in the Chicago suburbs and the southeastern Wisconsin town I frequent.

Otherwise, if minimal punishment is being dished out to these punks, downtown Chicago will be full of modern-day Fagins and Artful Dodgers soon enough.

And I doubt the only heinous act they’ll be committing is a a bad song and dance routine, like in the musical (just kidding- I actually like Oliver!).

Cruel to be kind, baby. Cruel to be kind…


Nick Lowe
“Cruel To Be Kind” (1979)
YouTube Video

Source:

“Teen charged with mob action on Mag Mile.” WGN News. 8 Aug. 2011. (http://www.wgntv.com/news/wgntv-teen-charged-mob-on-mag-mile-aug8,0,4932756.story). 8 Aug. 2011.

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Monday, August 8th, 2011 Crime, Public Safety No Comments

Flash Mob Of 50 Teens Hit Chicago Walgreens

Almost missed the following Chicago flash mob, I mean, “multiple offender” incident, that took place earlier in the week (hat tip, Jenny Churchill of The Alyona Show). From the CBS Chicago website last night:

The teenage robbery mobs are at it again on North Michigan Avenue.

Some 50 young people barged into a Walgreens at Michigan and Chicago on the Magnificent Mile on Tuesday afternoon. They took bottled drinks and sandwiches off the shelves, then ran off, CBS 2′s Suzanne Le Mignot reports.

A police report says authorities were able to nab three of the thieves…

50 flash mobsters? Wow. With all those participants, did they rent out a coach bus or something to get to the Walgreens? Funny thing is, I didn’t see this story anywhere in the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, or other media outlets. I don’t think even Second City Cop picked up on this.

I have to wonder if its absence from the headlines has anything to do with the fact that the Taste of Chicago started today?

Source:

“Teen Mob Hits Walgreens On The Mag Mile.” CBSChicago.com. 23 June 2011. (http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/06/23/teen-mob-hits-walgreens-off-the-mag-mile-steals/). 24 June 2011.

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Friday, June 24th, 2011 Crime, Mainstream Media, Public Safety 1 Comment

Wilding Chicago

Back in January, I first wrote about the problem of flash mobs and wilding in downtown Chicago. For a while, such activity struggled to command attention. However, after last weekend’s events, the word is out around the Windy City. Rosemary Sobol wrote on the Chicago Sun-Times website just before lunch today:

Four men were assaulted Saturday night within minutes of each other by large groups of youths in separate attacks in the Streeterville area, raising fears of flash mobs.

And from Jeremy Gorner and Andy Grimm on the Chicago Tribune site:

One man was smoking a cigar Saturday night on a bench in the Streeterville neighborhood when his evening was interrupted by a group of young men who robbed and beat him. Another man was parking his motor scooter outside Northwestern University’s downtown campus when the same group apparently made him their next victim, police said.

Police believe the group of about 15 to 20 youths in their mid- to late teens also was responsible for two more attacks moments later along the lakefront.

At least seven people thought to be part of the group were arrested Saturday in connection with the robberies and mob action, a crime that has become a problem in Streeterville, the Gold Coast and the Magnificent Mile, authorities said.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

A number of local media outlets had latched onto the story by Sunday night.

Some interesting points about this weekend’s crime spree:

1. There’s an old Chinese proverb that says, “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right name.” Well, that applies here. This weekend’s attacks weren’t flash mobs. Rather, they were instances of wilding. As I’ve pointed out before:

Flash mob- A group of people who are organized via various mass communications to come together at a specified place and time, perform some (typically whimsical) action, then disperse.

Wilding- a slang term that refers to the practice of marauding in bands to terrorize strangers and to swagger and bully.

(Source: UrbanDictionary.com)

2. Even though it was technically evening when the beatings and robberies commenced, they were done in “broad daylight,” according to one of the victims, with other people around.

It seems the “yutes” are getting more ballsy.

3. Finally, two of the victims were out-of-towners. One was a 68-year-old man from the state of Washington. The other, a 42-year-old from Japan. From the Tribune:

The latest incidents in Chicago apparently started about 8:20 p.m. Saturday, when a 68-year-old man from Washington state was sitting on a bench smoking a cigar in the 300 block of East Chicago Avenue as the young men approached, authorities said. The group beat him, robbed him of an iPad and BlackBerry and fled the scene, authorities said…

One was a 42-year-old man visiting from Japan, who was beaten up and had his iPod stolen from him.

Not good. What was that I said back on May 4?:

Furthermore, if City Hall “loses” downtown to the bad guys- or, in this case, bad boys and girls- you lose the tourists, their money, revenue… you get the point.

If this keeps up, those tourists not scared off by the criminal activity will be packing heat or carrying some other personal defense tool. It may just be a matter of time before someone ends up on a slab- either an out-of-towner or one of our “honor students.”

Sources:

Sobol, Rosemary. “Four robbed, attacked by mob of young men in Streeterville.” Chicago Sun-Times. 6 June 2011. (http://www.suntimes.com/news/5788512-418/four-robbed-attacked-by-teen-mob-in-streeterville.html). 6 June 2011.

Grimm, Jeremy and Grimm, Andy. “Teen mobs suspected in downtown assaults.” Chicago Tribune. 6 June 2011. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chibrknews-northwestern-chicago-police-warn-about-mob-action-attacks-20110604,0,7878457.story). 6 June 2011.

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Chicago’s Flash Mob And Wilding Problems Draw More Attention

The growing problems with “flash mobs” and “wilding” in Chicago’s downtown area is gaining more exposure these days. For those of you unfamiliar with the terms, from the UrbanDictionary.com:

Flash mob- A group of people who are organized via various mass communications to come together at a specified place and time, perform some (typically whimsical) action, then disperse.

Wilding- a slang term that refers to the practice of marauding in bands to terrorize strangers and to swagger and bully.

Way back on January 24 I wrote the following:

The other week I was watching Turner Classic Movies with my girlfriend when a Depression-era movie came on. At one point in the show, a mob of street kids took advantage of a distracted grocer to steal a good number of item off his shelves. Apparently, life may be imitating art these days in the American “recovery.” From the local CBS news affiliate in Chicago, Channel 2, on January 20:

Eleven teenagers have been arrested after they allegedly shoplifted merchandise from three stores on North Michigan Avenue on Wednesday.

Five girls – between the ages of 14 and 16 – and six boys – between 15 and 17 – were arrested at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday near 10 E. Pearson St., police said. All 11 were charged as juveniles with retail theft.

Police said the group shoplifted at three stores along Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile on Wednesday.

Employees at The North Face, 875 N. Michigan Av.; AX Armani Exchange, 520 N. Michigan Av., and Filene’s Basement, 830 N. Michigan Av., identified the teens as a large group of people who took several items off of store shelves, then ran out without paying.

In all, they stole more than $5,000 worth of merchandise, police said.

On May 4, I discussed the Windy City’s problem with flash mobs and wilding again:

Planning on visiting downtown Chicago anytime soon? Fun place, lots to do, generally safe, but be sure to watch your back, as it sounds like budding criminals have ganged up and are increasingly having their way with the place- and people. From the unofficial Chicago Police Department blog Second City Cop early yesterday morning:

How long is the media going to ignore this?

• 018 was waaaaaay out of control tonight, flash mobs and wilding all over the gold coast; from rush st to water tower wild packs of 50-60 deep would bum rush stores, steal, and flee. Also a couple strong arms thrown in for good measure, as well as a group of almost 100 on the lake front knocking people off of bikes, and beating people at random.

• I wonder how much longer they will be able to keep the downtown wildings quiet?

• It’s zero hour baby — our tactical heros were out on michigan ave. last night with wagons and plain clothes putting the fear of Phlaeger into the south side yutes — so the sweet children just moved over to ontario and clark.

Today, I found the following on the Chicago Sun-Times website (hat tip Second City Cop blog). Fran Spielman wrote yesterday:

Acting Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Tuesday he may follow Philadelphia’s lead when it comes to the text-messaging, shoplifting “flash mobs” now terrorizing the Michigan Avenue shopping district

They get their marching orders and lists of items to steal via text message, swoop into stores on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile in groups, then grab as much loot as they can before scattering to the winds.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

“now terrorizing the Michigan Avenue shopping district.”

I don’t know about you, but the evidence seems to show that the “terrorizing” has been going on for quite some time now.

And, as I warned earlier this month, if City Hall “loses” downtown to the “sweet children” turning the area into their violent playground, the game is up (goodbye shoppers, tourists, revenue). Mayor Daley understood this (which might help explain what some have alleged was an intentional media blackout of these events)- and here’s hoping Mayor Emanuel gets it as well.

Source:

Spielman, Fran. “Top cop Garry McCarthy has plan to go after Michigan Ave. ‘flash mob’ rings.” Chicago Sun-Times. 25 May 2011. (http://www.suntimes.com/news/5570104-418/top-cop-garry-mccarthy-has-plan-to-go-after-michigan-ave.-flash-mob-rings) 26 May 2011.

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Thursday, May 26th, 2011 Crime, Government, Main Street, Public Safety 4 Comments

Downtown Chicago Hit By Flash Mobs, Wildings

I always tell the mutts on the west side to go and rob the liberals. They have all the money and will not put up a fight, I guess they started to listen.

-Anonymous, Second City Cop blog yesterday

Planning on visiting downtown Chicago anytime soon? Fun place, lots to do, generally safe, but be sure to watch your back, as it sounds like budding criminals have ganged up and are increasingly having their way with the place- and people. From the unofficial Chicago Police Department blog Second City Cop early yesterday morning:

How long is the media going to ignore this?

• 018 was waaaaaay out of control tonight, flash mobs and wilding all over the gold coast; from rush st to water tower wild packs of 50-60 deep would bum rush stores, steal, and flee. Also a couple strong arms thrown in for good measure, as well as a group of almost 100 on the lake front knocking people off of bikes, and beating people at random.

• I wonder how much longer they will be able to keep the downtown wildings quiet?

• It’s zero hour baby — our tactical heros were out on michigan ave. last night with wagons and plain clothes putting the fear of Phlaeger into the south side yutes — so the sweet children just moved over to ontario and clark.

BTW, for those of you who don’t know what a flash mob or wilding is, from the UrbanDictionary.com:

Flash mob- A group of people who are organized via various mass communications to come together at a specified place and time, perform some (typically whimsical) action, then disperse.

Wilding- a slang term that refers to the practice of marauding in bands to terrorize strangers and to swagger and bully.

I’ve been hearing more about kids coming together and forming groups for the purpose of carrying out criminal activities lately. Back on January 24, I wrote about an incident in which eleven of these “honor students” were eventually busted for shoplifting at three stores along Michigan Avenue’s “Magnificent Mile.” According to the CPD, they stole more than $5,000 worth of merchandise during their “shopping spree.”

And on March 2, CBS 2 Chicago ran the following segment about how stores on the Magnificent Mile were are on alert after several recent “theft mob” incidents:


“Mag Mile Shops On Alert After Flash Mob Thefts”
CBS 2 Chicago Video Link
ANY CHARACTER HERE

From the accompanying story on the CBS 2 Chicago website:

Greater North Michigan Avenue Association President and CEO John Chikow said he organized a meeting Tuesday with law enforcement and representatives from about 70 stores along the Mag Mile. “The police gave a briefing as to what their current activities are. I think there’s a stronger commitment on the part of the businesses to call when there are problems because they’re seeing the police are responding very quickly,” Chikow said…

“We’re not gonna tolerate this in the district. We’re just not gonna tolerate it,” Chikow said.

Wonder how he feels after the latest bout of teenage angst from the crime kids?

As long-time Chicagoans know, if Chikow thinks now is bad, wait ‘til summer. Furthermore, if City Hall “loses” downtown to the bad guys- or, in this case, bad boys and girls- you lose the tourists, their money, revenue… you get the point.

You listenin’ Rahm?

Sources:

“Wildings Continue.” Second City Cop. 3 May 2011. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2011/05/wildings-continue.html). 4 May 2011.

“Mag Mile Shops On Alert After Flash Mob Thefts.” CBS 2 Chicago. 2 Mar. 2011. (http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/03/02/mag-mile-shops-on-alert-after-flash-mob-thefts/). 4 May 2011.

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Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 Crime, Government, Public Safety, Self-Defense 6 Comments


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