Man beaten, mugged in Boystown Monday

Tue. August 4, 2009 12:00 AM by News Staff

intersection of halsted and buckingham in boystown. (file)

photo credit // jay shaff

Boystown community urged to attend upcoming CAPS meeting Wednesday

Chicago, IL - The sixth violent mugging on Chicago's North Side happened early Monday morning in Boystown.

According to Chicago Police, a 24-year-old man was beaten and robbed by four men who stole his cell phone while he was walking around 4:50 a.m. Monday near Halsted and Buckingham in Lakeview. The assailants didn't take any money.

The manager of a Halsted Street bar confirmed to that one of his employees was severely assaulted early Monday morning in the area of Halsted and Buckingham. The unidentified employee suffered severe head injuries, which required stitches and hospitalization.

The man was reportedly walking in the area when he heard a car pull up when the four men attacked him from behind. The offenders reportedly punched him in the face and body.

Police are searching for the group described as young black men between the ages of 20 and 30 -- one whom had light skin and was possibly Hispanic. One of the attackers was wearing black clothing according to police.

Because this attack happened in a primarily gay neighborhood there is concern sexual orientation played a role in the motive for the attack. Police are not commenting on the ongoing investigation or motive.

This incident is the sixth similar violent attack on the North Side with the other incidents happening in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Although there appears to be similarity with the other violent muggings over the last several days, police have drawn no firm conclusions.

In each case the victims were young men walking alone. Police urge people to take precautions and not to walk alone in the dark. Police continue to investigate the attacks.

Boystown Safety

Concern for safety in the Boystown area is evident following Monday's attack.

Area residents and business owners tell they are concerned about the youth that hang out along Halsted St. Though unrelated to the attack, the concern remains that sidewalks and street corners are often crowded in the late evening and early morning hour with youth lacking direction and purpose. Complaints about the youth have increased over the last few years and a town hall meeting was called at the Center on Halsted in 2007 to address the problem.

Roscoe's owner Jim Ludwig told "there has to be a more deliberate approach to providing productive activities in a positive way." He added that 23rd District CPD "needs support from downtown" and he'd like to see Chicago Human Rights Commission Chairman Dana Starks become involved. He would also like to see a meeting with Chicago Police Dept. Superintendent Jody Weis to address safety issues in Boystown.

Cocktail Manager Dave Sikora agreed that the late night youth "need to have an organized activity". Sikora is concerned about the lack of police presence in the Boystown area. He encouraged attendance at the CAPS meeting.

CAPS Meeting on Tuesday

A regularly scheduled meeting of the Community Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) will be held Wednesday evening at Nookies Tree, 3334 N. Halsted, is slated for 7:00PM. All concerned citizens and business owners are encouraged to attend. Photojournalist Jay Shaff contributed to this report.