After a recent pair of sexual assault attempts, as well as a series of strong arm robberies and purse snatches, 14th district area police officers at Thursday evening’s Beat 1431 Community Alternative Police Strategy (CAPS) meeting in Logan Square emphasized citizens’ awareness of their surroundings, as a means of both preventing and reporting crime.
“A lot of people walk around with their headphones on, and they’re not aware of their surroundings and they don’t know what’s going on,” 14th District CAPS organizer Liz Rios said. “That’s not a good thing.”
She added, “You might not be a victim, but someone might become a victim.”
Rios made her statements in light of two separate sexual assault attempts by one individual. Both attempts allegedly occurred on Wednesday, July 11, at 1:30 a.m., and 1:55 a.m., according to a community alert distributed at the Beat 1431 CAPS meeting, held at Haas Park Fieldhouse.
According to the alert, the first attempted assault happened when a 29-year-old female victim was returning home in the 1700 block of North Humboldt Boulevard. The alert said the offender then approached woman, displayed a knife and demanded the victim’s money.
After allegedly forcing her into the entryway of her building, the offender, described in the community alert as a male African-American in his mid-20s with dreadlocks, a medium complexion, and a tear drop tattoo below his right eye, attempted to sexually assault her. The offender fled the scene once the woman called for help.
At 1:55 a.m., in the 1900 block of North Drake Avenue, the same male offender attempted to sexually assault a woman in her kitchen. Once the woman shouted for help, the offender reportedly fled the location.
In addition to those attempted assaults, Rios related to the CAPS meeting attendees another recent sexual assault that took place near the Kedzie Blue Line El Station.
Rios said residents should, as preventative measures, be aware of their surroundings, travel with other individuals or in a group, and said to call 911 if they see something suspicious.
“Follow your instincts,” Rios said. “If you feel something wrong or strange is happening, call 911. It’s easier to be safe.”
Following Rios’s remarks, the CAPS meetings segued into discussions of air conditioning theft, which officers recommended citizens be on the lookout for due to the hot weather, how communities should handle graffiti, and general burglary awareness.
From there, police officers disclosed the number and types of arrests taking place from June 4th to July 18th of this year. There were 12 arrests for thefts $500 and under; 8 arrests apiece for simple battery and theft over $500; 6 arrests for picket-pocketing and criminal damage to vehicle; 5 arrests each for theft from building and motor vehicle theft automobile; 4 arrests for domestic battery simple; and 3 arrests apiece for forcible entry burglary and criminal damage to property.
The next Beat 1431 CAPS meeting will take place at the Haas Park Fieldhouse on Sept. 20, 2012, at 7 p.m.
-By Jon Graef