Category Archives: Tim McNicholas

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.

Flooding In Suburban Berwyn Has Senior Citizen Worried About More Water Damage

CHICAGO (CBS) — An 84-year-old woman in west suburban Berwyn said she is fed up with flooding in her alley.

And a local alderman said she’s not the only one with the problem. CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas reports, she’s been dealing with it for years.

Pictures taken earlier this year tell a story of pooled water. And on colder days, thick sheets of ice around Joyce Lewis’ garage at 38th and Maple.

“And then it melts, and it freezes. And it melts and freezes,” Lewis said.

After the water dries up, she said the water damage to her garage remains.

“It’s rotting out my garage on both sides,” Lewis said, adding that she knows April showers won’t help.

“I have a bad knee. My grandson lives with me and he’s a disabled vet,” Lewis said. “He has surgery on his knees. We have a hard time getting out. Even to just get to the garage.”

Alderman Scott Lennon said part of the problem is that older alleys like Joyce’s are higher in the middle and lower on the sides, which sends water toward Joyce’s garage. Lennon said he’s heard from a handful of other residents with similar complaints.

“Well it should be a higher priority, but I don’t know…we have a tight budget.”

The alderman said the city is focused on repaving streets. But he said thanks to a grant earned in 2017, the city put in 15 new alleys, which allow water to drain through a section in the middle.

“I would like a new alley but they say there’s not enough money for that,” Lewis said.

Joyce and Lennon said the city’s public works director took a look at the alley earlier this week. Lennon said he’s working with the city, looking into what can be done.

In the meantime, whenever it rains, Joyce said she needs boots to take out the garbage.

“I have to walk onto the grass and then over onto the gangway, and hold onto the fence or the other side of my garage to steady myself to get to the garage.”

The alderman added that if enough people support a petition on that block, a new alley could be possible, but taxpayers would likely have to foot the bill.

Tim’s story started with a tip from a viewer. If you know anything we should check out, send us an email at CBSChicagotips@cbs.com.

Recent Robberies In Beverly Concern Business Owner

CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s a one man burglary spree.

Several businesses within blocks of each other targeted.

CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas has the story from 100th and Western.

Chicago police said between March 10 to March 18, there were three business burglaries all between 99th and 104th and Western. In each case someone smashed the window of a business.

Craig Patel closes his Town Armanetti Beverage Mart by 11:00 p.m. But his March 15 security video showed an after-hours visitor throw an elbow at the window.

That doesn’t break it, so he picks something off the ground and then tosses it at the glass.

“It’s very frustrating, you know,” Patel said. “We work like 10 hours a day. By the time you get home, and you get a phone call from the alarm company,” Patel added.

He said the man reached through the broken glass, grabbed cigarettes and walked off down 100th. What’s worse, Patel said a burglar broke another window on March 10 and stole bottles of liquor.

Police said they are investigating a similar smash and grab near 103rd and Western around 6:30 a.m. March 18.

“It’s a beautiful neighborhood. There’s police officers that live in the neighborhood and everything. I think these guys are coming from somewhere else,” Patel said.

CPD said it believes the same guy is responsible for all three burglaries, adding that they are looking for a  man between 30 and 40 years old. He wears glasses and, as seen on a surveillance image, a New York Yankees hat. Investigators said, in at least one burglary, money was stolen.

“Three in that short time span is unusual,” said Susan Flood of the Beverly Area Planning Association said that despite the burglaries, the neighborhood is safe.

“Any crime in our community is unusual. We’re a very tight-knit community. We look out for each other,” Flood said.

Patel had a message for the robber:

“Hey man, get a job. Get a real job like we all do.”

City records showed business burglaries within a half mile radius of 103rd and Western are actually down in recent years. There were 35 in 2016, 26 in 2017 and last year there were 24.

New Zealand Mosque Shooting Victims Remembered At Morton Grove Vigil; ‘We Grieve Together’

Chicago (CBS) — The mosque massacres in New Zealand have spread fears in the Chicago area about more violence, but that didn’t stop hundreds of people of different faiths from attending a vigil in north suburban Morton Grove Saturday.

Organizers said they want to show strength and solidarity in the face of hatred.

“While this New Zealand tragedy may have occurred in another country thousands of miles away, unfortunately hate has no boundaries,” said Dilnaz Waraich of the Muslim Community Center.

People shuffling into the building saw armed security and Morton Grove police.

Kamran Hussain is the president of the Muslim Community Center.

“When something like this happens, you fear there might be some type of copycat,” Hussain said. “Just to ensure our congregants, we wanted to make sure that we have a little bit extra security.”

Waraich and Hussain both said they still feel safe at mosques, despite alleged hate crimes in the Chicago area.

DuPage County prosecutors charged Steven McCuiston with a hate crime earlier this month, after investigators said he told a Lyft driver, “just because you’re a Muslim, I’m going to kill you and snap your neck.”

The Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said last year, a Muslim man found Islamophobic graffiti outside his parents’ Homer Glen home.

“Together we’re so much stronger,” Waraich said. “It’s so important that we collectively have a voice. We grieve together. We are joyous together.”

Vigils are scheduled for Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at Daley Plaza and 2 p.m. at the Turkish Cultural Center in Mount Prospect.

South Chicago Chamber Of Commerce Accused Of Fraud And Banned From Doing Business With The City

Chicago (CBS) — The South Chicago Chamber of Commerce says on its Facebook page, it works to strengthen businesses in the neighborhood. But, the Chicago Inspector General says the chamber struggled to keep up and control its own finances.

A lifetime ban from doing business with the city went into effect last month, but the inspector general says the problems started years ago.

Bernard Shannon is proud to run a business on South Commercial Avenue. What he’s not proud of is the chamber of commerce after learning of its standing with the city.

“I didn’t expect this. It’s like you threw me a curveball here,” Shannon said.

The chamber was once on good terms with the city. For 2015, the chamber partnered with the city to manage a special service area, where people pay higher property taxes to fund business-friendly programs like beautification and promotional events.

CBS 2 obtained an inspector general report that states chamber executive director Dan Lira somehow got access to special service area checks and forged the signature of a special service area commissioner appointed by the city.

Inspector General Joe Ferguson says Lira then deposited three checks, totalling more than $5,700, into a bank account Lira controlled, with the help of a friend who worked at a bank.

“It should be frustrating for the public and especially the taxpayers that this sort of stuff can go on, especially in relation to obscure government programs that they’re not even aware of,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson says others learned of the alleged forgery, and Lira then paid the money back using chamber of commerce funds.

The address the chamber lists online was caged and its door locked Friday.

Lira said over the phone last week the allegations are false and the chamber would like to work with the city. He would not comment when asked via text message Friday if the chamber is still functioning.

Another organization now manages the local special service area.

Ferguson says the state’s attorney’s office has to decide whether Lira will face criminal charges. He says Lira’s friend who worked at the bank is facing criminal charges.

Ferguson also says the lifetime ban did not go into effect until last month because his office had to work with the state’s attorney’s office to investigate, and the city had to give the chamber and Lira time to respond to the allegation.

The state’s attorney’s office has not responded to CBS 2’s calls as of Friday evening.

Lira declined requests for an interview.

Suspected Rockford Shooter Hospitalized, Expected In Court Next Week

CHICAGO (CBS) — The man who shot and killed a McHenry County deputy is still in the hospital but is expected in court next week, police say.

During the investigation the FBI and Rockford police taped off more than half the parking lot, and officers walked in and out of the hotel, which is open today.

RELATED: First Court Appearance Postponed For Man Charged With Killing Deputy At Rockford Hotel

But the hotel is not the only local business affected by the crime.

“We had one employee heard a loud bang,” said Daid Ott.

Ott’s Rock Valley Garden Center turned into an FBI crime scene Friday after he said a bullet struck the side of the store Thursday morning.

“You lose business, but at the same time, we’re more worried about the officer’s life that was lost,” he said. “You can’t repair that.”

Ott’s store is right next to the hotel where a task force showed up looking for Floyd Brown, wanted for burglary and a parole violation. Court documents state that task force officers tried to open a locked room door and announced that police were on scene.

Floyd Brown, 39, was identified as the gunman who shot a sheriff’s deputy serving an arrest warrant at a Rockford hotel on March 7, 2019. (Source: Illinois Department of Corrections)

Deputy Jacob Keltner was in the parking lot.

Investigators said a man started yelling inside the room, a woman said she wanted to get out, and then bullets started flying through the wall and door at task force officers.

Documents state Brown hopped out a third story window and shot Keltner in the head before taking off in his Mercury Grand Marquis.

Rockford’s police chief said he can’t say how Brown got the weapon.

“No, that will be a part of the investigative follow up being done by the agencies.”

Documents also state Brown fired at police with a long rifle during a chase.

Police arrested Brown Thursday evening after a standoff in Lincoln.

Ott said he doesn’t just run a business at the garden center. It’s his family’s home. But his family isn’t all that’s on his mind.

“This is out of the norm,” he said. “Our prayers go to the family of the slain officer.”

CBS 2 has also learned through court records that a woman requested a protection order against Brown last year, but it was not granted due to insufficient evidence.

Police say the woman in the hotel room with Brown was his girlfriend.

Officers have not given any update on her condition or where or who she is.

Coworkers Remember McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Jacob Keltner

CHICAGO (CBS) — A McHenry County Sheriff’s deputy has died after he was shot while helping a federal task force serve an arrest warrant at a Rockford hotel Thursday morning. The gunman led police on a chase that ended with him crashing in central Illinois near Lincoln, where he was finally arrested after a standoff with police.

Deputy Jacob Keltner was 35 years old. He had a wife and two children.

He worked with the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office for 12 and a half years.

The wounded deputy was taken to Mercy Health Javon Bea Hospital in critical condition, where he later died.

 

Officers were driving in and out of the hospital, about three miles from the hotel.

Departments from across the state are showing their support on social media, including Chicago police.

“He’s a very hard working, loving, caring deputy, been with the sheriff’s office for 13 years,” said Det. Sandra Rogers. “There are no adequate words to express what a great person he is. Every day we wake up, and those of us with children and spouses, we give them a kiss goodbye, and we don’t know if we’ll ever see them again. And this is something we do because we love our community. We support our community. It’s not a job. It’s a calling.”

“Jake was a great guy,” McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim said. “Dedicated. Hardworking. He volunteered for the position he served in. He comes from a long line of service. He’s a dedicated guy and dedicated family man. He’s truly going to be missed.”

Employees at the sheriff’s office also say they appreciate all of the encouragement and support coming in from the community.

A procession for Keltner will take place at 8 p.m. Thursday night from MercyHealth’s Javon Bea Hospital – Riverside. The procession will travel wwest on Riverside Boulevard from the hospital, south on Perryville Rd. before heading west on East State St. to the Winnebago County Coroner’s Office.