Authorities: Violent Parolee Escaped Electronic Monitoring, Robbed Man In Boystown

Morgan Townsend (inset) was arrested at the Boystown 7-Eleven, police said. | Chicago Police Dept; Google

A violent, repeat robbery offender who’s on parole escaped from electronic monitoring to rob a man in Boystown last weekend, officials say.

The story of Morgan Townsend and his little brother Zikee would nauseate most people. But it’s business as usual here in Chicago.

Mob Attack

On an early Sunday morning in late June 2013, Morgan Townsend and another man viciously beat and stabbed a 25-year-old man who tried to reclaim a stolen cell phone from the duo near the Belmont Red Line station.

The man called police to report the theft and told dispatchers that he and his friend were holding the thieves for police. What the victims didn’t know is that the police district had no officers available and their emergency was placed in a stack with other 911 calls that were awaiting officers to become available.

While they were waiting for the cops who weren’t coming, up to 20 people surrounded the victims and watched as Townsend and his companion beat the two men in an alley next to the train tracks, prosecutors said. One of the victims was stabbed in the face with a broken bottle.

DNAInfo spoke with a witness to the mob scene:

“He was knocked out, completely,” said the 36-year-old witness. “He was on the ground, right by the alley. One guy hit him in the face, and another guy kicked him. It looked like he was going to die or something.”

Townsend was sentenced to 7 years in prison.

It was the second time he was convicted of robbery in Boystown. He received probation (which he completed unsatisfactorily) for another mugging in the 700 block of West Buckingham in November 2010. The next year, he went to Sheriff’s Bootcamp for being a felon in possession of a weapon.

He was paroled for the Belmont L station attack last winter.

On May 30, he was arrested and charged with stealing $200 cash and an iPhone from a woman in the Loop.

Despite the fact that he was on parole and has a history of violent robbery he was placed on electronic monitoring, court records show.

Last weekend, the 26-year-old South Sider escaped from electronic monitoring, traveled to Boystown, and robbed a 36-year-old man near the Sheridan Red Line station, according to authorities.

Later that morning, by sheer coincidence, the victim saw Townsend standing near a bunch of cops at the 7-Eleven parking lot on the corner of Roscoe and Halsted.

“That’s the guy who robbed me,” the victim told an officer, according to a police report. Townsend was taken into custody.

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“He was on electronic monitoring at the time of his arrest,” Cook County Sheriff spokesperson Sofia Ansari said. “He left his residence unauthorized. Our electronic monitoring unit was notified when he left, attempted to contact him, but was unsuccessful, and  later learned he had been arrested by the Chicago Police Department.”

“Any questions on why Townsend was originally placed on electronic monitoring should be addressed with the Chief Judge’s office,” Ansari said.

At the police station, cops searched Townsend and found four bags of cocaine, three bags of pot, and 10 bags of ecstasy in his underwear, prosecutors said. The robbery victim’s debit card was also recovered.

He’s charged with felony robbery and two felony narcotics counts. A judge ordered him held without bond.

Zikee Townsend | Chicago Police Dept

Also arrested in the 7-Eleven parking lot was a 22-year-old man who gave the name “Isaiah Joseph Blackwell.”

Fingerprints later revealed his actual identity to be Zikee Townsend, Morgan’s brother.

Zikee was found to be in possession of the robbery victim’s iPhone and driver’s license, police said.

At the police station, cops found 29 ecstasy pills worth $725 in his “groin area”—pills identical to the ones found in his brother’s underwear, prosecutors say.

He’s charged with theft of lost or mislaid property and possession of ecstasy. A judge ordered him held without bail, too.

This is the third time that Zikee Townsend has been accused of involvement in a robbery around Wrigleyville or Boystown since November 2015. But he has yet to be convicted of the charge.

If your blood isn’t boiling over yet, our 2016 report about Zikee and his other brother, Marcell, may do the trick:   Men Accused In Saturday Robbery Near Wrigley Field Were Accused Of Another Wrigleyville Robbery In November (March 2016)

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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. Our editorial email address is