CHICAGO (CBS) — Neighbors will be joining Near North (18th) District police later this week for a solidarity walk following a rash of crime in the southwesterly section of the Lincoln Park neighborhood.
Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) noted in an email update that there have been three separate incidents recently in the RANCH Triangle area – an acronym referencing the boundaries of Racine Avenue, Armitage Avenue, North Avenue, the Chicago River’s North Branch, and Halsted Street.
On Saturday just before noon, a woman was mugged and pepper-sprayed in the 1900 block of North Bissell Street, near Wisconsin Street.
The victim, a realtor, had just wrapped up a showing and was walking to her car when she was attacked.
Neighbor Jeff Hale talked with CBS 2’s Steven Graves. He said he was sitting in his front yard enjoying the unseasonably nice weather when he heard the woman scream.
The bloodcurdling screams alerted neighbors to spring into action. A crowd came out both to aid the woman and to chase down the assailant.
The suspected robber dropped the bag and took off some clothes after neighbors called 911. But police did catch him.
Vonsean Williams, 24, has been charged with armed robbery and unlawful use of a weapon.
Around 1 a.m. Monday, a 15-year-old boy was stabbed while walking with a friend in the 1600 block of North Bissell Street – just north of Clybourn and North avenues and Dayton Street. Two men ran out of a silver Dodge Charter and chased the boy before stabbing him in the chest, arm, and leg, police said.
The teen ran into the North/Clybourn Red Line station and was then taken to Lurie Children’s Hospital in critical condition. Police were questioning three people in that incident late Tuesday.
Ald. Smith also referenced a daytime mugging at Dayton and Willow streets, for which further details have not been released.
Smith and Near North District police Cmdr. Jill Stevens have been in communication as Chicago Police have formulated their response to the spike in crime. Stevens has ordered local beat cars to stick to their beats at all time, and unmarked tactical units will also be saturating the area as well as CTA stops.
Meanwhile, detectives are canvassing the neighborhood and retrieving surveillance video.
As a show of solidarity against crime, neighbors will be joining Near North District officers for a roll call with Cmdr. Stevens and a positive loitering event at the North/Clybourn Red Line subway stop at 5:30 p.m.
Neighbors are asked to bring their dogs and families as everyone walks for half an hour to 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, anyone with information that could help police solve these crimes is asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.