Man is charged with trying to rob woman near Boystown grocery store

Jacob Schmidt | CPD

Prosecutors charged a North Side man with trying to rob a woman in the heart of Boystown on Monday evening, less than a month after he was accused of battering a nearby synagogue’s security director with a banana peel.

Prosecutors said a woman was walking with some companions to Whole Foods, 3640 North Halsted, when Jacob Schmidt, 30, walked up to them and aggressively asked for money around 5:30 p.m.

The woman told Schmidt that she didn’t have any cash and the group continued walking north on Halsted Street toward the store.

Moments later, Schmidt allegedly came up on the woman from behind and put a hard object to her head that he said was a gun. He ordered her to go to an ATM to withdraw money, but the woman broke away, and she realized that the object he was holding to her head was really a cellular phone, prosecutors said.

The woman ran to Whole Foods, and a store security guard tried to detain Schmidt, but he got away, according to the allegations. Police arrested him around 6 p.m. at the Wilson CTA station in Uptown. Prosecutors said the victim and witnesses identified Schmidt as the person who tried to commit the robbery.

He is charged with attempted robbery and misdemeanor assault. Judge Charles Beach set bail at $10,000. Schmidt must pay 10% of that amount to go home on electronic monitoring.

Schmidt was on bail for a pending felony narcotics case at the time of Monday’s incident.

On December 1, Schmidt went to Anshe Emet Synagogue, 3751 North Broadway, and asked to speak with the rabbi, prosecutors said. The head of security told Schmidt to make an appointment and sent him on his way.

The next day, Schmidt returned to the synagogue without an appointment and shoved a banana peel into the security guard’s face and eyes, prosecutors said. Police arrested him at the scene and allegedly found about a gram of heroin in his possession during a custodial search.

Prosecutors charged him with misdemeanor battery and felony possession of a controlled substance. Judge Susana Ortiz released him on his own recognizance the next day.

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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