Witness Chases Burglary Suspect Onto Ice At Belmont Harbor, Fights Him, Holds Him For Cops

A career criminal is facing new charges after a tenacious witness allegedly saw him break into an apartment yesterday morning and then refused to let the con get away.

Ortiz’s mugshots from yesterday (top) and prison.

Police say the witness chased 56-year-old parolee Jose A. Ortiz from 3740 N. Pine Grove, across Lake Shore Drive, over a fence, and onto the ice at Belmont Harbor while simultaneously relaying the action in a phone call to 911.

Along the way, Ortiz tried to escape by jumping on a CTA bus, but the driver kicked him off, the witness said.

Police found Ortiz and the witness grappling at the far north end of Belmont Harbor shortly before noon.

Prosecutors charged Ortiz with criminal damage to property. His bail is set at $2,000.

Ortiz has been sentenced to more than 100 years in prison since 1979, yet he manages to keep getting released.

State records show that Ortiz was paroled in January 2014 after serving a fraction of a 6-year burglary sentence. His previous convictions and sentences include:

  • 6 years for burglary in 2007
  • Another 6 years for burglary in 2007
  • Still another 6 years for burglary in 2007
  • And yet another 6 years for burglary in 2007
  • 6 years for theft in 2003
  • Another 6 years for for theft in 2003
  • Still another 6 years for theft in 2003
  • And yet another 6 years for in 2003
  • 6 years for narcotics in 2003
  • 9 years for burglary in 1996
  • 7 years for burglary in 1991
  • 7 years for burglary in 1988
  • 6 years for burglary in 1979
  • Another 6 years for burglary in 1979
  • 6 years for armed robbery in 1979

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About CWBChicago 4360 Articles
CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets.