Arson at Chicago Tea Patriots' Christmas Party

A Statement from Chicago Tea Patriots founder Catherina Wojtowicz concerning the events on the night of Friday, December 10, 2010:


“We were the target of an arson Friday at our Christmas Party.

At appromixmately 8 p.m. smoke began to fill the rooms of Dugan’s Irish Pub where we hosting our Christmas Party. The entire bar soon became engulfed with thick, heavy smoke and the bar was evacuated. Within moments the Chicago Fire and Police arrived and began to clear and secure the premises. We were detained outside while firemen cleared the bar. After waiting an hour outside, with other dozens of other bar patrons, we were allowed back in to gather our belongings. The bar was covered in soot and patrons had great difficulty in breathing. Bar management had to close the bar for the night, thus losing revenue during the busy Christmas season.

Tuesday I received a phone call from detectives from the Chicago Bomb and Arson Department who informed me that four devices, which appeared to be roadside flares, were taped together and left lit and smoldering in the trash can of the men’s bathroom. On the lid of the toliet seat, written in red, it read: F#CK THE CHICAGO TEA PARTY

Bomb and arson police have deemed this an arson and are now investigating. To those who came to Friday’s party — THANK YOU! To those who we missed because you came after the bar closed — THANK YOU AND I’M SORRY WE MISSED YOU!! To those who were unable to make the party, here’s your 2nd chance!!

Because the devices were left in the bathroom it will be difficult to deduce who is the offender from videos and because nobody was killed or harmed (thankfully), fingerprints will not be processed for anywhere from six months to a year. However, if an offender is found, they will be charged with a felony.


Catherina Wojtowicz,

Chicago Tea Patriots

From Chicago Tea Patriots


Pro-Lifer Joe Scheidler’s Home Hit by Pro-Abortion Vandalism

Joe Scheidler is a name pro-life advocates know because he has been one of the leaders of the pro-life movement for decades. Scheidler has become a frequent target of pro-abortion activist and now his home has been vandalized.

His home was attacked in the middle of the night, at approximately 2:00 a.m., with an abortion advocate throwing bricks of asphalt through two front windows.

One of them contained a threatening note making it clear the source of the vandalism supports legalized abortions

“We are crazy feminist bitches who will destroy your sexist ideas,” a note, containing an anarchist sign and scrawled in a child-like writing, said.

“P.S. I’ve had an abortion and no laws could ever stop me,” the note continued. “You can’t make Queen Anne’s lace illegal, asshole.”

Troy Newman, the president of Operation Rescue, praised his longtime friend in an email to LifeNews.com as someone who has always has had the best interests of the pro-life movement at heart and who has been selfless in trying to protect women and unborn children.

“We denounce in the strongest terms the cowardly violence that shattered the peace of the Scheidler home last night,” Newman said after learning of the attack.

He urged the Obama administration to investigate the attack in the same way it has assertively looked into incidents at abortion facilities and the shooting death of late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller.

“We demand that Attorney General Eric Holder order the Justice Department to launch an immediate investigation into this violent hate crime and to provide the same protections to Joseph and Ann Scheidler as they have in the past for unthreatened abortionists,” he said.

Newman is concerned about the rising levels of violence against pro-life advocates, as this attack on Scheidlers’ home comes after multiple other incidents of vandalism and after pro-life protester Jim Pouillon was shot and killed outside a local high school in Owosso, Michigan because his killer Harlan Drake didn’t like him using graphic pictures of babies victimized by abortions.

Operation Rescue’s headquarters in Wichita, Kansas, has been repeatedly vandalized, and staff threatened in recent months. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, sidewalk counselors were threatened by a man at gunpoint and police later discovered a cache of weapons in the man’s vehicle, he indicated.

“Joe and Ann Scheidler are pioneers in the pro-life movement whose knowledge and experience has benefited everyone who has ever taken a stand for the lives of the pre-born,” said Newman. “Please join Operation Rescue in sending a special Christmas gift to the Scheidler’s today as a show of support and to help defray the cost of repairing the damage to their home.”

Cards and letters can be sent to: Joe and Ann Scheidler, Pro-Life Action League, 6160 N. Cicero Ave., Chicago, IL 60646.

source: LifeNews


Snitchin results in arrest in parking box theft

A suspect was charged early this morning in connection with the theft of several of the hefty pay-and-display parking boxes from city streets, police said.

Jeffery Kaput, 38, of the 5500 block of West Cortez Street, was charged with four felony theft counts related to the 200-pound LAZ boxes, according to police. He was also charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Kaput was pulled over late Monday at 5518 W. Augusta Blvd. by an Area 5 robbery mission team after police had received a description from a witness of a car that had collided with one of the LAZ parking boxes, according to a police report.

Officers also had video evidence of the same vehicle being used by a suspect who dumped one of the meters, the report said.

The drug charge pertained to a crack pipe that police said Kaput admitted he had dropped as officers pulled him over about 11:45 p.m., according to the report.

Earlier this month, police said about 20 parking boxes have been stolen since Sept. 17, with only four recovered.

The thefts occurred citywide, with nearly half in Area 5 on the Northwest Side. It was not known how much money the boxes had held.

The deal that privatized the city's parking meters has been a political nightmare for Mayor Richard Daley and aldermen who granted lightning-fast approval of the the 75-year, $1.15 billion lease of the city's 36,000 meters.

The theft of the meters is still being investigated by Area 4 and Area 5 detectives.

Kaput is scheduled to appear in bond court later today.

from the Trib


Parents occupying field house win demands

Chicago Public Schools agreed Monday to lease a field house next to Whittier Elementary School to a community group for $1 a year and build a library inside the school.

The action comes as a group of Pilsen parents continued a sit-in to gain control of the building and convert it into a library to prevent it from being razed.

more at Sun-Times


Electronic pay machines stolen in continued sabotage of parking meters

Irate drivers may have found one way to deal with Chicago's new parking meters.

Twenty of the 200-pound electronic parking pay machines have been stolen throughout Chicago since Sept. 17, police department spokesman Roderick Drew said in an e-mail. It isn't known how much cash may have been taken from the stolen machines, he said.

Four of the pay machines have been recovered, Drew said.

Drivers who paid for parking with a credit card shouldn't be concerned about their information being stolen because the machines don't store credit card numbers, Drew said.

Although the thefts have been reported citywide, nearly half have occurred in the Grand Central Area on the Northwest Side, he said.

"Area 5 Detectives have been working with LAZ Parking to address this issue. Residents who witness vandalism or suspicious behavior should call police immediately," Drew said.

Police are still investigating, he said.

Nearly two years ago, the city signed a 75-year parking meter lease with Chicago Parking Meters LLC that led to soaring rates and initial troubles with jammed, broken and error-prone meters that angered many drivers.

Avis LaVelle, a spokeswoman for Chicago Parking Meters LLC, said in a statement she could not confirm the reports of thefts.

But she added, "Theft or destruction of pay boxes and meters is regarded as a very serious offense and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

If a driver comes across a parking spot with a missing pay box, he or she should find another nearby box, LaVelle said.

If there is no box, the driver can park, then should call the customer service line of meter operator LAZ Parking at ... to notify the company of the missing box. That call is used as "documentation of defense in the event of a possible citation," LaVelle said.

from the Trib


Witnesses dispute police account of fatal CTA shooting

Chicago police shot and killed a man on a CTA Red Line train early Saturday who, officials alleged, was walking through the train with a gun.

The shooting occurred inside the Garfield CTA station on the South Side shortly after 1:40 a.m., after a train operator directed police to the train car in which George Lash, 19, was last seen, police said in a news release.

Police said that two officers approached Lash and that he allegedly began to fight with the officers and pointed a gun at them, prompting them to shoot him.

But several witnesses who telephoned the Tribune and other media outlets Saturday countered that version of events, arguing that Lash appeared unarmed and that the shooting appeared unjustified.

"I didn't see a gun at all," said Natalie Bruce, who said she was on her way home from church when the shooting occurred. "The officers put his hands behind his back. They seemed like they were patting him down, and they tussled a little bit, but they had him pinned against the wall."

Ordered to leave the train, Bruce said she did not see the actual shooting but heard shots as she stepped onto the platform.

After the shooting, Lash was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at about 2:30 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

Police spokesman Roderick Drew said Saturday that a gun was recovered at the scene. The Independent Police Review Authority, which reviews all police-involved shootings, is investigating.

from the Trib


Tinley Park cop cruiser shattered

A landscaping brick was used Sept. 2 to shatter the windshield of a squad car and to damage a 2009 Chevrolet Impala in the 17300 block of Valley Drive.
from the Southtown Star

Pilsen parents occupy field house to protest demolition

Several dozen parents are staging a sit-in at a Pilsen elementary school field house, protesting the planned demolition of the dilapidated structure.

"We want it turned into a library, that's what we want," said Araceli Gonzalez of the Whittier Elementary school field house, 1900 W. 23rd St.

Gonzalez, who has a 10-year-old daughter at Whittier, had staked out the field house and surrounding playground with about 30 other parents and community members to stop the demolition of the building. Parents said they had been camped out in the field house since Wednesday.

The field house -- paint peeling, roof warped -- had been set to be destroyed this fall after a CPS engineer found it to be structurally unsound, said CPS spokeswoman Monique Bond. But the demolition is not happening this week, as permits have been delayed, Bond said.

Although parents have lobbied for the building to be repaired or rebuilt into a library, Bond said the district lacked the money.

"(With) the budgetary constraints we are under, nothing is going to happen," Bond said. "That building has to come down."

But community members said they hired their own engineer who came to a different conclusion. Pilsen resident Gema Gaete said their engineer determined that the building could be salvaged with minimal investment.

While nobody has been arrested, the sit-in at times has become tense. Police this morning pushed the doors of the field house open, but did not try to enter the building.

"Why are you treating us like criminals?" Gaeta said when school liaison Sgt. Ramone Ferrer pushed the door open. "Go fight the real criminals."

"I'm asking you guys to step out so we can talk," Ferrer said, during the heated conversation.

"You cannot take control of the building," he said.

The parents, who said they have been asking for a library for years, refused to move.

Although the school has classroom libraries parents said they are too small, their book collections incomplete.

"Our kids are missing out," said parent George Merga. "They want to read books, they don't have a place they can come and sit down."

Along the outside of the building, signs read "Mr. Huberman don't wreck our dreams" and "re-polish don't demolish."

Under the noon sun, the protest continued. Parents shouted, "Queremos Biblioteca!" CPS officials milled around outside the playground fence.

Police are working to facilitate a meeting between parents and school officials, blocking others from entering the school property.

"The residents want for their children, a library, a library that is dearly needed in this community," said 10th District Commander Scott Ruiz. "Hopefully both sides will get together and they will talk."
from the Trib

Bogus driver took bus for a spin

There was something not quite right about the CTA bus that pulled into the agency's 103rd Street garage last week.

It hit another bus as it entered, and when a CTA worker went to confront the driver, who was wearing a bus driver's uniform, the man took off on foot, according to video from the bus' security cameras.

Turns out, the driver was not a CTA employee. Authorities believe he stole a uniform from an acquaintance last month and used it to pass himself off as a bus driver. He is now the subject of a search by the CTA and Chicago police.

The driver knew what he was doing, CTA President Richard Rodriguez said Thursday.

Video shows that he was able to log in and start the bus. He used the bus between about 8 p.m. and midnight Sept. 9. The bus traveled between the garage and 95th Street, according to the GPS on the bus, Rodriguez said.

The man, whose identity has not been released by police, even picked up passengers and stopped the vehicle a few times.

"This person was in uniform, so the person looked like a legitimate CTA employee. So every indication, anyone off the street would have said that this was an employee," Rodriguez said.

The CTA employee whose uniform was stolen is cooperating with police and is not considered to be involved in the theft. CTA officials are now re-evaluating check-in procedures.

from the Trib


Woman charged with her third attack on jail guard

A Chicago woman who is already facing prison time for attacking a jail guard is apparently at it again, charged with her third assault on an officer in just over a year.

Sabrina Streeter, 27, who was sentenced to prison last week for assaulting a Cook County Jail correctional officer, was charged with assaulting yet another officer just days before she was to leave the jail for prison, according to a release from the Cook County Sheriff's office.

Streeter first came to the jail in August 2009 after being charged with prostitution in Burbank, the release said. She was assigned to the women’s general population while awaiting trial, and in March 2010, was charged with assaulting a correctional officer.

She was convicted of that charge and sentenced to spend 364 days in the ail. But in June, she was again charged with aggravated battery to another officer, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in prison, the release said.

On Aug. 22, a first-year correctional officer went to Streeter’s cell to let her out for recreation. When the officer opened the cell door, Streeter stepped out and punched the female officer in the face, the release said.

Because of her record of violence against officers, all of Streeter’s movements are videotaped, and other officers were quickly able to detain Streeter and arrest her again.

Just 10 days later, she was transported to the Dwight Correctional Center to begin her three-year sentence. She will be transported back to Cook County Jail for hearings on the latest charge.

from the Sun-Times


Rock hits cop car in rock-throwing probe

A state trooper sent to catch whoever was throwing rocks at cars from an Edens Expy. overpass had his squad car windshield cracked by a rock-thrower, authorities said.

The rocks were being heaved from the railroad overpass near Peterson Avenue about 12:15 a.m. Friday. A driver in a passing car called police, initially fearing his car had been hit by a gunshot.

No one was hurt by the rocks. But when troopers reached the scene, the windshield of a squad car was cracked when it was hit by a rock, state Trooper Ivan Bukaczyk said.

Police arrested an 18-year-old man at the scene, and charged him with trespassing on railroad property. The teen -- Kevin D. Houlihan -- was also charged with underage drinking, state Trooper Clare Pfotenhauer said.

At least two others were seen fleeing the scene but were not in custody, authorities said.

from the Sun-Times


Man brought gun to foreclosure hearing

A Chicago man was charged Monday with unlawful use of a weapon, accused of trying to bring a loaded handgun to a court hearing where he was set to be evicted from his home, authorities said today.

According to the Cook County Sheriff's office, the home of Thomas Pridgeon, 48, in the 7300 block of South Laflin Street had already been in foreclosure when he arrived Monday morning at Daley Center.

When he got to the security checkpoint, Pridgeon put his briefcase on a belt passing through an X-ray machine as he passed through the metal detector. The courthouse deputy monitoring the X-ray machine spotted the outline of a gun in the case, the sheriff's office said in a statement.

Pridgeon told police he forgot to remove the .45-caliber handgun, which had one round in the chamber and seven more in the clip. He was immediately arrested.

According to the sheriff's statement, the purpose of Monday's hearing was to approve the sale of the Laflin property to a lender in North Carolina, which purchased it at a tax sale. Pridgeon would have had 30 days to vacate the property and turn the home over to the new owners.

from the Sun-Times



RETAIL THEFT Joshua Long, 22, of Chicago, was charged with retail theft July 25 after stealing two iPods from Target, 4120 W. 95th St., Oak Lawn, where he worked, police said.
from the Southtown Star


Police suggest car explosion at Lockport bank was intentional

One person is in custody after apparently driving a vehicle up to the PNC Bank on Ninth Street in southwest suburban Lockport Friday evening and intentionally triggering an explosion, officials said.

Fire crews were initially called to the bank at the intersection of East 9th Street and Read Street about 8:30 p.m. to reports of a car on fire, Lockport Fire Department Batallion Chief John Kure said.

Some type of device in the car exploded, causing minor damage to the bank by blowing out the building’s doors and windows, Kure said. The explosion seemed to be intentional, he said.

The Cook County Bomb Squad and the Joliet Fire Department's hazardous materials team were called also to the incident.

Officials on the scene said the driver of the vehicle was caught a short distance from the blast and he told authorities there was another bomb in the car.

The person in custody, thought to be the car’s driver, refused medical treatment and was taken into police custody, Kure said.

The Lockport Police Department, Cook County Bomb Squad and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are investigating the incident, Kure said.

Roads were blocked off in the bank area Friday night and the investigation was continuing.

from the Herald-News


Jail guard helped prisoners escape

A former correctional officer at Cook County Jail was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison Thursday for helping six inmates escape in 2006.

Darin Gater, 41, was convicted of six counts of official misconduct in May after a bench trial before Circuit Judge James Obbish.

Gater turned over his uniform and keys to inmates and handcuffed himself in a cell to make it appear he had been overpowered, according to prosecutors. An inmate wore Gater's uniform and tricked another guard into opening a door.

All six escapees were recaptured in a little more than 24 hours. Prosecutors said Gater hoped the scheme would embarrass then-Sheriff Michael Sheahan and his chief of staff, Tom Dart, who was running against a candidate favored by Gater and is now the sheriff.

from the Trib


Anti-cop graffiti found in South Loop

An alderman was notified after graffiti that reportedly said "we kill police" was found on a building in the South Loop Monday, police said.

Someone apparently complained and Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) was notified when the graffiti was found Monday on the building at 1234 S. Michigan Ave., according to a Central District police lieutenant.

The writing, which reportedly said “we kill police’’ looked faded, and the word ‘police’ was barely visible, according to the lieutenant.

The writing was going to be removed, according to the lieutenant who said the writings did not appear to be recent.

The alderman was not immediately available early Tuesday.

from the Sun-Times


Vandals target patio flowers at Chicago restaurants

Chicago's outdoor-cafe ordinance mandates that 50% of the fencing around a patio be furnished with live plants. But some shop owners are having a hard time keeping the greenery safe from vandals this year.

Al Rose arrived at his coffee shop, Kopi A Traveler's Café in Andersonville, one morning in June to discover plants yanked out and thrown against a wall, leaving dirt and flower parts strewn on the sidewalk.

Vandalism isn't a surprise — experience has taught him to use inexpensive flowers — "but it's rarely been this early in the year, and they've not been this violently destroyed before," he says.

The patio at Letizia's Natural Bakery, along with a handful of other businesses on Division Street in Wicker Park, was hit in June. Fabio Sorano, whose mother, Letizia, opened the bakery 12 years ago, once used thorny plants to discourage tampering but switched to petunias when the vandalism stopped several years ago.

"This year, somebody's doing it, and I don't know why," Mr. Sorano says.

The Chicago Police Department does not separate indoor and outdoor reports of criminal damage to property, so it's difficult to count reports. But Randi Kowal has taken steps to protect the greenery outside Little Threads, her children's clothing store in Roscoe Village. In past years, thieves made off with smaller planters; now she uses heavy, four-foot-tall ones.

Still, passersby stub out cigarettes or deposit beer bottles in the planters.

"I don't know whether it's juveniles or drunks rolling out of restaurants at the late hours, but it's unacceptable," says Mary Markarian, executive director of the Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce. "Them and the graffiti guys — please, get a job."
from Chicago Business


Man briefly steals squad car

A Cook County sheriff's squad car was briefly stolen by a man who led police on an unusual chase after a traffic stop Friday evening near the Stickney-Chicago border.

The incident began about 5 p.m. near 47th and Knox in an unincorporated area between Chicago and Stickney, according to the Cook County sheriff's office.

A Cook County sheriff's officer was attempting to pull over the driver, but the man continued to drive for two more blocks, finally pulling over at 47th and Kenneth, authorities said. A Chicago Police officer arrived on the scene for backup.

But after stopping, the motorist put his vehicle in reverse and struck the sheriff's police squad, authorities said. He then got out and ran, followed by both officers on foot.

The offender circled around and came back to the original scene and jumped into the empty sheriff's police squad. He then drove east on 47th Street, authorities said.

The police officer got back into his vehicle and pursued the suspect down an alley.

The offender then stopped the sheriff's squad car, got out and again ran off. After a short foot chase, this time the Chicago officer was able to apprehend the man and take him into custody, officials said.

from the Sun-Times

Public defender chokes prosecutor

An apparent argument between two attorneys Thursday led to Assistant Cook County public defender Henry Hams, 47, appearing before a Cook County judge Friday morning. He was charged with felony aggravated battery in a public place and felony resisting arrest for allegedly shoving an assistant state's attorney before putting him in a "choking headlock" near Jimmy's snack shop on the ground floor of the courthouse. The scuffle allegedly took place after a courtroom debate earlier Thursday morning between the two attorneys.

After Friday's brief hearing, Judge Maria Kuriakos-Ciesil ordered Hams released on his own recognizance.

Hams allegedly said he choked the victim -- who was briefly hospitalized -- because he was "sick" of being "mocked" by the prosecutor, a source told the Sun-Times.

from the Sun-Times

Sweet 16 party turns riot

A bar and grill has been shut down after seven teens were arrested when a Sweet 16 birthday party turned into a free-for-all Thursday.

Deputy Police Chief Mike Trafton said the "melee" began around 9 p.m. at Bar Blu, inside Union Station downtown.

"The business had rented out part of the inside for a 16th birthday party, but allowed minors access into the bar area without any adult supervision," Trafton said.

The youngsters apparently got out of hand and a nearby police officer was flagged down.

"There were 50 to 60 people, mostly juveniles, tearing up the bar, wrecking chairs and tables, brawling inside and out into the street," Trafton said.

Police began dispersing the crowd, but needed about 15 minutes to get the situation under control.

During the commotion, a 16-year-old boy "headbutted" an officer in the face, reports said. That boy was arrested and booked into the River Valley Juvenile Detention Center on charges of aggravated battery to a police officer and mob action.

from Herald News

Road workers strike spreads

Road construction laborers went on strike Wednesday morning followed at midnight by heavy equipment operators.

Among the reconstruction projects put on hold are the Eisenhower Expressway, Lower Wacker Drive and the Congress bridge.

The strike over wage issues by some members of the Laborers' District Council of Chicago caused relatively minor disruptions to the $95 million Eisenhower resurfacing project, Marisa Kollias, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Transportation, said Wednesday.

But she said the situation would quickly worsen if other unions joined the strike, which they now have.

Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, whose members operate heavy machinery, went on strike at midnight after an authorization vote earlier in the evening. The walkout involves about 8,500 union members working under several agreements in nine northeastern Illinois counties.

Other unions that could follow include carpenters, cement masons and technical engineers.

"We are in OK shape right now on the Eisenhower and we will be OK if the strike lasts a couple of days,'' Kollias said Wednesday. "But if this goes on for a couple of weeks or a month, the project will be seriously delayed.''

from the Trib

Bored youth proletarian vanguard

Shots from a pellet gun put two holes into a window at Buffalo Wild Wings in Tinley Park, 7301 183rd St., on June 23.

Five vehicles were keyed between June 26 and 28 at Orland Toyota in Tinley Park, 8505 159th St.
from Southtown Star

BP vacuum leaks quarters

The owner of an air vacuum machine outside the BP gas station, 11040 S. Pulaski Road in Oak Lawn, said someone stole $475 in quarters from the machine between April 7 and June 7.
from Southtown Star


Man throws beer bottle through occupied cop car

A man was charged with throwing a beer bottle at a police squad car causing the front window shield to break Sunday night on the Northwest Side, police said.

Andrzej Domian, 19, of the 3900 block of North Nottingham Avenue, was charged with felony criminal damage to government property and misdemeanor aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon. He was also cited with underage drinking, according to police.

Domian was booked into Cook County Jail Tuesday after being ordered held on $20,000 bond, according to an online inmate report listed on the Cook County Sheriff’s Web site. Domian is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing April 26 at an unidentified courthouse.

A uniformed officer was sitting inside a squad car on the 7100 block of West Irving Park Road about 11:20 p.m. when Domian allegedly made eye contact with her and threw a 40 ounce beer bottle at the police car, causing the front windshield to shatter, according to a police report.
from the Sun-Times


Streamwood cop charged in motorist’s beating

As Ronald Bell crouched on his hands and knees on his driveway, the Streamwood police officer started whaling away with his metal baton, striking Bell on his back.

Bell tried to block the blows with his right arm, but Officer James Mandarino then hit him on the head and arm — 15 times in all — until Bell collapsed to the pavement, clasping his head in his hands in a desperate attempt to shield himself from further abuse.

Bell was charged with resisting a police officer and reckless driving, both misdemeanors, and was issued a handful of traffic tickets, including driving under the influence.

But less than a day later, the attention of law enforcement shifted to Mandarino. A digital camera mounted on his squad car recorded every second of what Cook County prosecutors said was an unprovoked beating. The early-morning assault played out amid the headlights of the police cruiser as its windshield wipers swept back and forth in the rain.

from the Trib


Teens throw bottle through Blagojevich window

Two teenage boys were arrested and charged Wednesday after they threw a bottle through a window of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's home, police said.

Two 16-year-old boys threw a bottle through the window of Blagojevich’s home in the 2900 block of West Sunnyside Avenue about 4:30 p.m., police said.

Blagojevich was home at the time with his wife Patti and two daughters, said Glenn Selig, a Blagojevich publicist.

from the Sun-Times


Hinsdale bank teller takes cash on way out door

A supervising cashier who gave herself a $23,760 parting gift when she was about to be fired from the Hinsdale branch of Bank of America in April 2009 faces up to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to theft Tuesday.

After being told she was about to be terminated because of personnel issues, Latoya White, 33, of the 4000 block of Blanchan Avenue in Brookfield, took the money from a teller drawer, Assistant DuPage County State's Attorney William Wu told Judge George Bakalis on Tuesday.

White then wrote a cash-out ticket to try to conceal her theft, Wu said.

The theft was uncovered by routine bank accounting.

Wu said none of the missing funds has been returned.

The bank is at 118 W. 1st St.

Bakalis set May 25 for sentencing.
from the Tribune


Politician’s SUV broken into in South Loop

A man was charged with felony burglary after allegedly breaking into a sport-utility vehicle local registered to a local politician Sunday afternoon on the Near South Side.
from the Sun-Times


Elk Grove thieves nab trailer of vodka

Thieves got away with a trailer and the vodka it contained -- worth a combined $75,000 -- from a northwest suburban trucking yard earlier this month.

The theft occurred sometime between the late evening on March 18 and early morning on March 19 at Coast Connection Trucking, on the 2600 block of Greenleaf in Elk Grove Village, according to Elk Grove Police Sgt. Mike Gaspari.

The thieves took the trailer and 30 pallets of Vitali vodka inside from the lot at the trucking company, Gaspari said.

The trailer was not attached to a tractor when it was in the lot. "We surmise that the offenders had their own tractor which they attached to the trailer," Gaspari said.

from the Sun-Times

Man who threw egg at judge stays in jail

Naperville resident Agim Demiri could remain in jail this Easter for egging the wall behind a DuPage County Circuit Court judge's dais.

Demiri, 40, was jailed March 24 for hurling a raw egg at domestic relations Judge Timothy J. McJoynt. And while his seven-day contempt of court sentence ended Wednesday, Demiri was sent back to his cell in DuPage County Jail for ignoring McJoynt's order that he make good on overdue child support payments....

Demiri's aim was poor when he allegedly threw the egg at McJoynt. The missile missed the judge but splattered on a state of Illinois emblem on the wall behind his chair.
from the Sun-Times

Prosecutors: $1,000 bribe for making false driver's license

The manager of a West Side driver's license facility accepted a $1,000 bribe to produce a fictitious driver’s license for a driver whose license had been suspended, prosecutors charged Thursday.
from the Sun-Times

Arrest made for graffiti written in acid

Eddie D. Garcia told officers he began his graffiti career with a spray-paint can.
But he apparently wanted to leave a more permanent mark.

So Garcia etched his tag, "SOAR," on windows across the Southwest Side -- using acid, according to Chicago Police.

Garcia, 23, was arrested earlier this week and charged with felony damage to property.

"Some artists move from paint to sculpture," said Cmdr. John Kupczyk of the Chicago Lawn District. "But he said he started out in paint and moved to acid."

Garcia, a full-time student at Richard J. Daley College, was caught in an early morning stakeout in the 3700 block of West 63rd with a sponge-tipped marker filled with hydrofluoric acid and a cell phone containing photos of his handiwork, Kupczyk said.

Police searched his home in the 5800 block of South Rockwell and found spray-paint cans, a bottle of acid and sketch books of his graffiti, according to court records.

Garcia gave a statement implicating himself in the crimes, authorities say.

from the Sun-Times


Police bust underground club

The manager of an illegal West Side club has been arrested and charged after police shut down the establishment late Saturday, police said.

Markley Jenkins, 33, of the 2700 block of West Polk Street, was charged late Saturday with reckless conduct, contributing to the delinquency of minor, possession of drug paraphernalia, no business license, license required-public place of amusement, no occupancy signs, and no city tax emblem, all misdemeanors, according to a police News Affairs release

from the Sun-Times


Demolition of homes near O'Hare begins

The demolition of about 600 empty homes and businesses in west suburban Bensenville -- to make way for the O'Hare Airport expansion -- starts today.

The demolition, which follows years of litigation, is expected to continue through the summer, said Eve Rodriguez, Chicago Department of Aviation spokeswoman.

The buildings are coming down to make way for a runway.
from the Sun-Times

Petty theft as social war

Someone stole a charity collection jar containing about $50 from Abel Distributing, 1529 Chicago Road, [Chicago Heights, IL] on Feb. 23 or 24.
from SouthTown Star


Chicago antifa crush "White Pride" march

It was a beautiful Sunday Spring afternoon where the Illinois National Socialist Front were supposed to march for “White Pride World Wide”. But for the few Nazis that dared show their face in the city of Chicago, there was nothing but a barrage of blows raining on their parade.

Southside ARA had been scouting in the downtown area early on, watching out for neo-Nazi skinheads and other white supremacists. Within minutes of their pathetic march of four boneheads waving white pride flags, clandestine anti-fascists took formation and confronted them, successfully delivering U-lock justice to the unsuspecting Nazi trash with trained precision. In broad daylight on Michigan Avenue, Nazis helplessly had flags ripped from their hands and were beaten down as pedestrians watched in awe. Later, a police car pulled up and arrested the bewildered and injured boneheads while the anti-fascists swiftly dissapeared into thin air. Showing up seconds later, the pro-diversity / anti-hate rally laid the final icing on the cake by surrounding the humiliated and obviously defeated boneheads and taunted them with chants, holding a rally directly in the path of their march.
from SSChicago ARA


Lowercase: Chicago squat blog

The Lowercase Collective now has a Wordpress blog, all the better to more easily disseminate information on their upcoming eviction and defense.



Taggers nail multimillion dollar Gold Coast home

Graffiti artists, for those inclined to call spray-painters something other than vandals, turned a 50-foot brick wall of a Gold Coast house into their canvas.

The taggers, who left at least three monikers, are believed to have scaled a fence at a construction site in the wee hours Monday, said the builder and neighbors. The street artists defaced the coach house in the 900 block of North Clark Street behind the protective cover of a tarp and then tore it off when they left to unveil their work.

Builders have been working on the multimillion-dollar, Architectural Digest-worthy site for two years. The original structure was built in the early 1900s as a ComEd substation. Two stories were added later to repurpose it as a home, along with the coach house that abuts the street.
from the Tribune


ARA call-out against Chicago White Pride World Wide rally

On March 21st, 2010 the Illinois National Socialist Front is planning to march in Chicago for what they call “White Pride World Wide.” South Side Anti-Racist Action is making plans to confront the march to let them know that they are not welcome in our city. ....

The INSF’s intention to march in Chicago shows that they are growing bolder and aren’t go away unless we take a stand.

South Side Chicago Anti-Racist Action is calling out for other groups inside and outside of Chicago to stand with us against fascism. Join us to confront the National Socialist Front’s march on March 21st!

Given some revious events and SSARA's targeting of several Chicago WP happenings, antifa momentum seems to be gaining power. The Chicago Branch of the Imaginary Party offers an analysis of these occurances and some possibilities for antifascism, however, they cryptically conclude that "anti-fascism may be doomed to run aground the same rocks as identity politics and single-issue struggles." Unfortunately, the CBIP doesn't follow this claim further.

Other endorsers of the call include the Four Star Anarchist Organization, a platformist group; News & Letters, a weird Marxist group; and the Gay Liberation Network, the largest and most activist gay rights organization in Chicago. We fondly remember the legacy of Chicago ARA, arguably one of the fiercest antfia crews among the Midwest ARA sections, themselves arguably the fiercest region during the 90s and early 2000s.

Whether this incarnation of Southside ARA can fulfill itself in the streets is yet to be seen; the company kept (within and without) is a strong symbol to others about what can be expected, whether they can be trusted, whether they can be strategic. Without the INSF having revealed its plans yet, a strategy of public head-to-head confrontation (with police in between) can only continue to seek supporters and then respond when the specific terrain is selected; the one location that can be assured is the political terrain.

The CBIP essay argues the strength of the Phoenix action lay in its framing of the discourse: "Anarchist/Fascist" rather than "Democracy/Fascism." It also recognizes the limitation of this discourse: the waging of private hositilities. Their suggestion is that the tactics of antifascism can be applied elsewhere, and this can generalize the struggle. Yet, we see this as an inversion -- to us, this is the logic of single-issue applied outward. Instead, generalization would mean the application of communizing tactics to the single-issue, such that it dissolves as a single-issue and cannot be resolved as such.

Can't stop chaos.

read Callout to Confront the INSF

Lowercase squat facing eviction

The Lowercase Collective has existed for over three years now. It has been a public squat for two years, and opened its doors to countless people, projects, and events. One would be hard pressed to find an anarchist who has travelled through Chicago without ever spending time in this space. When a place becomes so integral to the collective ethos of a community, as Lowercase has in Chicago, its destruction can be simply debilitating.

On December 18th, we received an eviction notice for our landlord, who is in all likelihood a fictitious entity. Shortly thereafter, we proved to the state that we ourselves have been responsible for paying the bills for the past years, making repairs, etc. Unfortunately, our attempts were only able to buy us a few more weeks, as the eviction notice for all occupants
came like a cold wind. Despite the machinations of the Federal National Mortgage Association, or any other partial owners, we have no intention of leaving this space without a fight.

Social tension has been percolating throughout our neighborhood for some time now. There is a general hatred of the police, all the more so with the existence of gangs on our street. Within a two-block radius, three other families have already been evicted in the past few months. A month ago, a black man just riding his bicycle was knocked off it by the police, beat up, and left without his bike in front of the watching eyes of the neighborhood. With all of this occurring in the context of our neighbors reproducing capital and themselves on the daily, this situation could prove explosive, as we look to push those tensions to the breaking point.

As the legal situation surrounding the house crystallizes, we will be announcing the time in which we want to invite our friends, in Chicago, the Midwest, and elsewhere, to join us for the most crucial aspect of solidarity: collective action on the day of eviction. We hope to create something truly wild around the very place we eat, sleep, fuck, dream, and share ourselves with each other. We hope for solidarity actions from friends who can’t make it here, but are more hopeful to see your faces.

Defending space in which we live, share, and combat capital is integral to revolutionary movements. Our past has connected us to so many different trajectories, and in the near future, perhaps together through our actions we can give ourselves the time and space to create so many more.

from Occupy CA

see also: Chicago Indymedia


Employee steals $20,000 in jeans

A former store employee is suspected of taking 47 pairs of jeans -- worth $450 each -- from an Aurora outlet store and selling them on eBay, police said.

Police started investigating whether the former worker took the $20,000 worth of jeans from Diesel outlet store at the Chicago Premium Outlets mall in Aurora after they got a tip about the jeans being sold on eBay, officials said.
from the Sun-Times


Bomb threat empties suburban WalMart

Officials are still investigating a bomb threat that led to evacuating about 200 people from Wal-Mart on Sunday morning in north suburban Antioch.

An unidentified male called the store at 475 E. Route 173 around 11 a.m. and threatened to blow up the 200,000-square-foot building, said Antioch police Cmdr. Jim Ruth.

Police and fire departments responded immediately and evacuated the building -- with 200 customers and store personnel inside -- in about 20 minutes.

Investigators conducted a search, were unable to find anything suspicious and allowed people to re-enter the building three hours later, Ruth said.

He said this was the first bomb threat made to this Wal-Mart since the store opened in October 2004.
from the Sun-Times


West Side woman kills abusive boyfriend

A 24-year-old West Side woman, charged with fatally stabbing her live-in boyfriend, was only defending herself when he became “enraged” and tried to attack her, the woman’s attorney said this afternoon.

Edrinna Bryant, who was ordered held in lieu of $350,000 bail today, even drove Levile Hardy to Mount Sinai Hospital after he was injured in their apartment in the 1600 block of South California late Friday, Bryant’s lawyer Mark Kusatzky said.

On their way to the hospital, Hardy placed a phone call to his mother and admitted to her he was the “aggressor,” Kusatzky added.

But Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Antara Nath said hospital personnel had initially noticed Bryant did not have any injuries when she first came to the emergency room. But, when she came back after moving her car, they noticed she had “obvious self-inflicted stab wounds to her hand,” Nath said.

Neighbors had heard the couple arguing inside their apartment building and then later saw Bryant outside, standing over Hardy, 30, with a large butcher knife in one hand and two knives in the other hand, Nath said.

Hardy was stabbed in the chest bicep, shoulder and hand.

Bryant, a receptionist at the Metropolitan Club, had been trying to leave the apartment, which made Hardy angry, Kusatzky said. The lawyer said Hardy came after Bryant with a knife when she ran inside the bathroom to escape.

from the Trib


Priest accused of abuse plunges from church balcony

A Shorewood Catholic priest who parishioners described as a "very holy man" apparently tried to kill himself by jumping from the balcony of a shuttered downtown Joliet church Wednesday as Kane county investigators began looking into allegations he molested a 13-year-old boy, authorities said.
from the Trib