Category Archives: Chicago Police

Death Of Off-Duty CPD Officer Part Of Rise In Violence and Crime In River North

Chicago (CBS) — Flashing lights are no stranger to one of the wealthiest parts of Chicago. The River North area, known for its nightlife and restaurants, is in a police district that’s experienced more than a 60 percent increase in crime in the past four years.

Homicides are rare, but the overnight killing of an off-duty Chicago police officer happened within a seven-minute walk of another River North murder.

Only two weeks ago, Thurman Bailey died while working security outside the now-shuttered Sound Bar.

Police announced the arrest of Armond Williams Friday. They say Williams fired his gun during a fight with the bouncer.

Saturday is the one-year anniversary of Miguel Beedle’s murder. He was outside a River North club when police say Gino Bassett saw Beedle counting cash, followed him to an alley and tried to rob him. Bassett is accused of stabbing the father of three in the neck, killing him.

Robbery also appears to be the motive of a River North mystery woman.

Police believe she targeted partygoers by posing as an Uber and Lyft driver, then robbing riders at least nine different times last summer.

CBS 2 asked police — what’s up with crime in River North?

“Anywhere you go, if you mix alcohol and people with illegal guns, there’s a possibility something could occur,” CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson said.

But, the superintendent was mostly talking about thefts and disturbances. As for the double digit increase of overall crime in the neighborhood?

“We’ll certainly dig into it and see if there is a particular pattern down there,” Johnson said.

Within a half-mile radius of the latest River North tragedy, police data shows 20 serious incidents in a span of only two weeks.

Chicago police say in addition to its patrols in the area, River North is also well-covered by surveillance cameras run by both the city and private businesses.

At Least 12 Detectives Working To Find Out Who Killed CPD Officer John Rivera

Chicago (CBS) — The city of Chicago lost an officer, and Julian Martinez lost one of his best friends. He says he met John Rivera in the first grade. They grew up together on the Far South Side in Hegewisch.

“He was the last person in the world to deserve this,” Martinez said. “All I keep asking myself is, ‘Why? Why him?’ He would never do anything. He was the perfect person.”

RELATED John Rivera, 23, Off-Duty CPD Officer Fatally Shot In River North: What We Know

Chicago police say Rivera and his friends had left a bar in River North Saturday morning and were sitting in a car around 3:30 a.m. Investigators say two men approached the car near Clark and Huron and started shooting.

“This appears to be a unprovoked attack against a group of individuals who went out to unwind on a Friday night,” Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said.

Sources say two groups were fighting in River North. One group of people went looking for another group, and they stumbled upon Rivera and his friends. According to sources, the shooter may have thought Rivera was someone else.

Hegewisch barber Neko Castillo says Rivera was a friend who wouldn’t hurt a fly.

“One of those situations where some people ask, ‘oh, do you think he could have been having altercations with anybody?’ From my point of view from knowing him, I don’t think so,” Castillo said.

Police say Rivera had just wrapped up a shift around 10 p.m. Friday.

Martinez says he’s also friends with another off-duty officer who was in the car and was not shot. He says he was planning on going out with the group, but his girlfriend felt sick.

“I probably would have been in that car with them and God knows where I would be right now, whether dead, shot, still alive or traumatized,” Martinez said.

Martinez says he’s also friends with another person in the car who was shot. He says that person is up and talking but still at the hospital.

Police say they are questioning one person, who is not a suspect. They’re also reviewing security video.

MISSING: Chaunti Bryla, 43, From Avalon Park

Chicago (CBS) — A family is pleading for help finding a missing woman from the Avalon Park neighborhood.

Chaunti Bryla, 43, has been missing for more than a week.

(Credit: CPD)

She was last seen at her home near 85th and Bennett on March 14. Family members say they suspect foul play in Bryla’s disappearance, in part, because her bank account has been emptied.

Also, they insist she would never abandon her 11-year-old son.

Her family adds, there has been no activity on Bryla’s Facebook account since March 14.

Bryla is described as 5 feet 2 inches, weighing 200 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Area South SVU at 312-747-8274.

MISSING: Sara Dawson, 16, From South Loop

Chicago (CBS) — Sara Dawson, 16, has been reported missing from the South Loop, Chicago police said.

(Credit: CPD)

She was last seen Thursday wearing a white polo shirt, torn stone-washed jeans and black gym shoes with white soles. She may be carrying a black backpack with the word “PINK” in white letters.

She is 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighs 140 pounds and has dark brown hair and brown eyes. She has a scar on her right cheek and may be walking with a slight limp.

She sometimes goes by the nicknames “Alex”, “Lex D” and “Say Say”.

She is known to frequent the areas near Roosevelt and Wabash, 35th and State and Garfield Boulevard near the Red Line stop.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Area Central SVU Detectives at 312-747-8380.

John Rivera, 23, Off-Duty CPD Officer Fatally Shot In River North: What We Know

Chicago (CBS) — John P. Rivera, 23, has been identified as the off-duty Chicago police officer who was fatally shot in River North Saturday morning, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

RELATED John Rivera, 23, Identified As Off-Duty CPD Officer Fatally Shot In River North; CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson ‘Disgusted’ By Fatal Shooting Of Off-Duty Officer John Rivera

Rivera lived in the Hegewisch neighborhood on the Far South Side of Chicago and had been a police officer for less than two years.

One of his neighbors, John Sanchez, is a former CPD sergeant and said Rivera would ask him for advice about being a police officer.

“He was a good boy, I mean a really, really nice boy,” Sanchez said. “He ran all the time, worked out all the time with neighbor kids his own age. They’d all work out to try to be ready to be police.”

Sanchez said Rivera wanted to be a police officer since he was 16 years old and dreamed of doing tactical work.

Rivera was a 2013 graduate of Brother Rice High School. The school’s president Mark Donahue and principal Bob Alberts released a statement, saying:

“The whole Brother Rice community is mourning the loss of Officer Rivera. On behalf of Brother Rice, we express our deepest condolences to his family. John is remembered as a nice, polite, and soft spoken young man. He was always willing to help others and truly lived out our motto of ‘Acting Manfully in Christ Jesus’. God bless John and his family.”

Several people in Rivera’s neighborhood knew him as John Petty. He changed his last name to Rivera to match his mother’s.

Friends say Rivera was very kind. Neko Castillo, a longtime friend, said, “He showed me how to care about people no matter what and just how to live the best life.”

Castillo was also Rivera’s barber and shared a photo of Rivera after a recent haircut.

(Credit: Neko Castillo)

Julian Martinez also shared a recent photo of Rivera and him and one from their First Communion.

(Credit: Julian Martinez)

(Credit: Julian Martinez)

Martinez said another friend was also hit in the shooting Saturday morning but is doing well.

“He’s doing good. He was shot four times but is completely up and talking. He’s very lucky,” Martinez said.

Police confirm Rivera and three other individuals were sitting in a parked car when two men approached their vehicle near Clark and Huron Street.

One man showed a handgun and started shooting. The offenders fled the scene.

Rivera was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital just before 4 a.m.

First Deputy Supt. Anthony Riccio said Rivera was working 3rd watch in the 6th District and had completed a shift around 9 or 10 p.m.

Riccio said Rivera had been with the department for just under two years. Officials said one person of interest is being questioned.

Police said there were many surveillance cameras in the area where the shooting took place. Detectives are looking through footage to see if they can get video of the shooter, who remains on the run.

Family Of Man Shot And Killed By Chicago Police Awarded $5 Million

Chicago (CBS) — The city of Chicago will pay millions to the family of a man shot and killed by Chicago police.

RELATED Man Dies After Being Shot By Police In South Austin

Pod camera video shows the scene, just moments before the shooting back in May 2014. Attorneys for the victim’s family say a Chicago police officer shot and killed 37-year-old Gary Smith in the city’s Austin neighborhood.

At the time, police said an officer had grabbed Smith, who then pulled a gun on him. But, witnesses testified in court that Smith was unarmed and actually had his hands raised in the air, when police shot him multiple times.

The jury awarded Smith’s family $5 million.

Smith’s daughter says she’s glad the jury saw the truth, but it doesn’t ease her pain.

“He was loving. He loved me and my brother. He loved family. He was big about family. He was an awesome person,” Dasha Davis said.

A spokesperson for the city’s law department says they are disappointed in the verdict.

MISSING: Natanael Ventura, 13, From Logan Square

Chicago (CBS) — Natanael Ventura, 13, has been reported missing from the Logan Square neighborhood, Chicago police said.

(Credit: CPD)

He is missing from the 1800 block of North Drake Avenue and was last seen Monday wearing a red sweater, white shirt, and blue jeans.

He is described as 5 feet 2 inches, weighing 120 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information if asked to contact Area North Detective SVU at 312-744-8266.

BREAKING: First Degree Murder Charges Filed Against Villa Park Man In Fatal Sound Bar Shooting

CHICAGO (CBS)–A Villa Park man has been arrested in the fatal shooting of a security guard at River North nightclub Sound Bar on March 8

Thurmond Bailey, 28, was killed while working security at the club on the 600 block of North Franklin in the early morning hours when shots broke out. Another man, 58, was wounded, police said.

(Chicago Police)

Armond Williams, 37, was arrested March 20, and has since been charged with two felony counts of first-degree murder.

Williams was part of a group of people who were denied access to the club, police said.

A fist fight broke out before Williams pulled out a gun and started firing at Williams, according to police.

Williams was identified from surveillance images from outside the club.

He was scheduled to appear in bond court Friday.

Woman Pulled To Ground, Choked On CTA Green Line

CHICAGO (CBS) — A traumatic assault on a Green Line train has a woman questioning CTA’s safety policies. She was grabbed, choked and pulled to the ground by a man she says train operators knew was putting passengers at risk.

The woman, who did not want to be identified, said the warning signs were everywhere, and this could have been prevented.

She said the man who assaulted her was causing a scene at the stop before the attack, pulling down his pants and telling the conductor he was suicidal and needed police.

“He pulled his pants down and was like, ‘I don’t have any weapons. I need help,’” she said.  “I was terrified.”

Days later it’s not easy for her to talk about.

“I didn’t know what could happen,” she said. “Somebody grabs you, and you know.”

She believes what happened on her Green Line ride, in the same car as the operator, never should have.

“I don’t know what the policies are, but I felt it could have been prevented,” she said.

“He did knock on the door for the operator to open, and they guy said, ‘I need help. Call 911. I’m having suicidal thoughts.’ The operator did tell him help would be on the other stop, just to hold on. But we were already stopped. We proceeded to go to Harlem,” the woman said.

She said moments later, that man grabbed her, put his arms around her neck, yanked her down to the ground and choked her with her jacket.

“I felt I couldn’t breathe,” she said.

Other passengers and police who got on the train were able to get him off of her and bring him into custody.

She said days later she hasn’t heard anything from the CTA.

Their media relations department did get back to CBS 2 and denied anything happened while the train was stopped. CTA released the following statement:

“The train was not stopped in a station when he first spoke with the operator. While approaching the Harlem station, the operator reported the alleged offender’s behavior to CTA’s control center, which immediately contacted Oak Park Police.”

Oak Park Police are investigating now, and with the man accused, 21-year-old Demetrius Haymon, is facing battery charges.

There is CTA surveillance video of the incident that media officials said they haven’t seen but believe will clarify possible policy issues here.

It wasn’t made available immediately, so CBS 2 made a special request for it.

Video or not, the woman who went through this feels more should be done in cases like this moving forward.