A Hazel Crest man is charged with committing two robberies in the Wrigleyville and Boystown neighborhoods on Sunday night. The crimes are part of a two-hour crime wave in the area that included at least four robberies, a carjacking, and a physical attack that left a man hospitalized in serious condition.
Jashawn Gonzales, 18, is charged with two counts of felony robbery.
Around 11:24 p.m., a 30-year-old man was walking in the 3200 block of North Halsted when someone pushed him to the ground from behind, according to statements from police and prosecutors.
The victim looked up and saw Gonzales and a 17-year-old boy standing over him, prosecutors said. The juvenile demanded the man’s phone and wallet. Prosecutors said Gonzales and the boy then stood the victim up and went through the man’s pockets, taking his phone, debit card, and other items.
When the victim tried to follow the robbers, Gonzales allegedly punched him in the face.
The juvenile was only charged with misdemeanor battery, according to a CPD spokesperson.
A short time later, three men surrounded a 54-year-old Uptown man who was waiting for a Red Line train at the Addison CTA station. The group demanded the man’s phone and went through his pockets to take his wallet and house keys, prosecutors said.
Officers stopped Gonzales and the juvenile near Belmont and Halsted around 12:20 a.m. Gonzales had the Red Line victim’s keys in his pocket, prosecutors said. He allegedly admitted to both robberies during an interview with police.
Gonzales has no juvenile or adult background, Assistant Public Defender Suzin Farber told bond court Judge Charles Beach. Farber said Gonzales lives with his foster parents in the suburbs and was about to start a job as a ramp worker at O’Hare, Farber said.
Beach set bail at $60,000 with electronic monitoring, which means Gonzales will have to post a $6,000 deposit to be released on house arrest.
Police continue investigating a string of other crimes along the Boystown bar strip from Sunday night.
A 43-year-old man suffered a head injury when an offender beat him with an object outside 7-Eleven, 3407 North Halsted, around 11:25 p.m. The victim was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in serious condition, a CPD spokesperson said. Security officers detained a suspect at the scene and police took him into custody, but the man was later released without being charged, according to CPD.
Within minutes of the attack, police responded to a string of strong-arm robberies along the famed LGBTQ bar strip.
At around 11:47 p.m., three robbers beat and robbed a 41-year-old man who was walking in the 3300 block of North Halsted, the police spokesperson said.
Another man was reportedly tackled, physically assaulted, and robbed in the 3400 block of North Halsted shortly after midnight. And yet another man reported to police that three men and two women physically assaulted him in what he thought was a robbery attempt near Belmont and Halsted around 11:40 p.m.
Finally, at about 1:10 a.m., an armed man carjacked a driver of his white Audi TT convertible in the 800 block of West Bradley. The hijacker was described as a Black male with a ponytail who was dressed in a white shirt, dark shorts, and a red baseball hat. According to officers on the scene, he was between 35 and 40 and weighed around 160 pounds.
Police are also looking into a strong-arm robbery aboard a northbound Red Line train near Fullerton, which occurred before the Boystown incidents.
Shortly before 10 p.m., three people jumped the man as their train moved through Lincoln Park. He exited at Fullerton, and the group continued north, according to an officer who reviewed CTA surveillance footage. According to the video, the suspects are a Black male wearing a white hoodie and jeans with a fanny pack across his chest; a Black female with pink hair who wore a white baseball cap, a white tank top, and leggings; and a Black male with a backpack who wore a black baseball hat, t-shirt, and dark jeans.
Police in the Lakeview-based Town Hall (19th) District handled 199 robberies this year through July 3, according to Chicago Police Department statistics. That’s up 73% from last year, 67% from 2020, 59% compared to 2019, and 25% versus 2018.
Town Hall officers patrol the area between Fullerton, Lawrence, Lake Michigan, and the Chicago River.