|Lake View Lutheran Church, home of The Crib youth shelter.
CWB does not have access to the suspect’s mugshot because he
was released on an I-Bond. (Image: DNAInfo)
Malaki Mercado, a 21-year-old client of The Crib youth shelter is charged with battery and resisting police after allegedly groping and forcibly kissing a Lake View woman as she walked on Addison Street near the shelter.
As the 23-year-old woman walked toward the Addison Red Line station on her way to work at 8:45AM September 8th, Mercado approached her from behind and “grabbed her vagina and buttocks through clothing,” court filings say.
When the shocked victim turned around, the report says, Mercado pulled her face to his and “forcefully” kissed her.
The victim screamed and ran into the nearby 19th district police station.
Officers walked out and approached Mercado, but he “spun around to run” and then resisted arrest, police say, causing one officer to fall and get dragged “a few feet” before a second officer gained control. Both officers reported receiving minor injuries.
Mercado, who arrived in Chicago from Utah last month, is free on a $1,500 I-Bond “due to the time constraints” of getting him in front of a judge while also providing treatment for an arm injury he received during the arrest, according to court filings.
The victim wrote a detailed, impassioned account of the incident online. CWB has sent her a message on Facebook seeking her permission to publish her story. Since we are not “friends” with her, our message is probably hiding in her “other” folder.
On September 9, the day after the woman was allegedly battered, CWB reported that a 19th district officer said workers at The Crib refused to assist with police efforts to arrest a suspected battery offender who was believed to be inside the shelter.
At a Triangle Neighbors Association community meeting the next night, a representative of The Night Ministry, which operates The Crib, said they would look into it and provide information at the group’s next meeting.
While they “look into it,” 19th district officers have a clear recollection of what happened. This past Tuesday, exactly one week after our report, police were again requested at The Crib:
8:27PM September 16
Dispatcher — 835 West Addison. Inside or in front of the Lake View [Lutheran] Church. [Female name] is harassing people inside the shelter. She’s wearing a ski hat and leggings.
Officer — Call them back and have them meet me in the parking lot… Last week they refused to assist the police and didn’t want us to come in. So, if that’s going to be the same thing, we will just handle it from the lot.
The unit arrived and reported “a crowd of 15, 20 people” in the lot, but nobody approached the police, so they left.
• On Thursday, a “youth” who was seen trying to crawl through a Wrigleyville apartment window went to The Crib’s parking lot to mingle after failing to get into the home. Police did not immediately file a report because they could not locate the apartment’s occupants.
• On September 9, CWB reported that a 23-year-old self-admitted Gangster Disciple with a number of theft-related convictions lists The Crib as his home address.
CWB’s position has always been that service agencies play an important role in our community. Well-managed agencies. Ones that are truly good neighbors. Ones that don’t say police are their “partners” during public meetings, but operate in a way that hamstrings the police. It’s time for The Crib to walk the talk.
“We see very little criminal activity in the programs that we fund.We want to be sure that they’re doing right by the clients and doing right by the community.” —John Pfeiffer, deputy commissioner of the city’s Department of Family and Support Services
“‘This is a NIMBY [Not In My Backyard] issue,’Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) said at a CAPS meeting earlier this year in reference to The Night Ministry’s youth homeless shelter, The Crib. ‘It’s an issue of perception of safety.'” — DNAInfo, June 2013