CHICAGO (CBS) — A man was charged with aggravated assault Tuesday in an attack on Ald. James Cappleman (46th) after the alderman confronted a group of men who had been drinking in public in Uptown.
Tony Landers, 58, was charged with one misdemeanor count of aggravated assault on public property.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Heavy Rain, Possible Flood Watch
Chicago Police said Cappleman suffered minor injuries after being struck with a blunt object at Leland and Racine avenues around 7:15 p.m. Saturday, and refused medical attention.
In a statement, Cappleman said he received a text from a constituent that there were numerous drunken people at that Uptown corner. The alderman reported the corner has had issues with public drunkenness for the past couple of years, but it started getting “much worse” a few months ago.
Cappleman reported he had called 911 for public drinking at Leland and Racine earlier in the day, and his husband had removed some small garbage cans that people had been sitting on as they drank “constantly.”
Cappleman reported when he arrived on Saturday evening, he saw one man at 1150 W. Leland Ave. and told him drinking at the corner had to stop, “because it wasn’t fair to the community, especially to the young parents with kids who feel unsafe.” The alderman said he also picked up a small table that had been set up at the corner for the past couple of days for drinkers to rest their beers upon.READ MORE: Ed's Tech Notes: Walgreens New Drone Delivery, Amazon New Pay Option, Facebook Rumored Rebrand
Upon turning the corner, Cappleman reported he saw several “highly intoxicated” people lying on the sidewalk along Racine Avenue. One of those men told Cappleman the table the alderman had just picked up was his table, and Cappleman told the man no, it was not, and the table was going to be thrown away.
At that point, the man grabbed the table from Cappleman, the alderman reported. Cappleman said he told the man to let go many times, but the man fought him over the table and it ended up breaking.
Cappleman’s husband called police and the man now identified as Landers was arrested. The alderman reported the man had 47 prior arrests.
Cappleman reported that he had previously tried to help Landers with his addiction, housing, and employment many times, but the man has consistently refused.
Cappleman wrote that the man who got into the fight with him had pervious arrests for offenses such as aggravated assaults with a deadly weapon, heroin possession, and battery. The alderman blamed the man and two others who were with him Saturday night for a “disproportionate” number of issues in the neighborhood over the past five years.MORE NEWS: Man Shot In Leg In West Rogers Park
Landers is due for a court hearing on Oct. 20.