Prosecutors say a Chicago Public Schools security guard looked on while a parolee beat and robbed a 16-year-old boy outside an Edgewater school on Tuesday morning. Other school employees eventually intervened in the attack, according to a source, but prosecutors said the people who detained the attacker let him go as police arrived. He was only found after he allegedly threatened someone else in the neighborhood.
David Roosevelt, 36, is charged with robbery and aggravated battery in a public place in connection with the attack outside George B. Swift Specialty School, 5900 North Winthrop. He was paroled in June after serving half of a six-year sentence that he received for another robbery, according to state records.
Officials said the teenager was walking to school around 7:45 a.m. when Roosevelt, a stranger to the boy, asked him for money. The boy ran away and asked two joggers for help. They, in turn, told him to keep running.
The boy ran to Swift and sought help from a school security guard as Roosevelt arrived on a bicycle, prosecutors said. The security officer intervened in the altercation between Roosevelt and the teen but backed away after Roosevelt “swiped” her arm, according to prosecutors.
As the guard looked on, Roosevelt allegedly hit the boy in the head, knocking his glasses off and causing him to fall to the ground. During Roosevelt’s bail hearing, an assistant state’s attorney said that Roosevelt knelt on top of the boy and continued to punch him until someone “eventually” intervened.
The prosecutor said that the people who intervened in the attack let Roosevelt go as Chicago police officers arrived. Police found him 20 minutes later after another incident.
Prosecutors said portions of the attack were captured on video, and the school security guard who watched the robbery unfold corroborated the boy’s version of events.
The boy suffered swelling to an eye, facial lacerations, scratches on his neck, and has soreness in his head and chest, according to prosecutors.
Reached for comment about the prosector’s claims that a school guard backed away and watched as a boy was attacked by an adult, a CPS spokesperson said in a statement, “Chicago Public Schools strives to provide every student with a safe and welcoming learning environment. We are cooperating with the Chicago Police Department in their investigation.”
In addition to the robbery conviction for which he is on parole, Roosevelt was also convicted of aggravated battery in 2020, violating an order of protection in 2014, and carjacking in 2006. He has a pending misdemeanor battery case, too.
Roosevelt has four children, all under the age of 12, according to Assistant Public Defender Patrick Shine.
Judge Charles Beach ordered Roosevelt to pay $25,000 toward bail to get out of jail on the new charges. If Roosevelt makes the payment, he must go on electronic monitoring, Beach said.
A source familiar with the situation said there are no allegations of misconduct or neglect by CPS employees involved in Tuesday’s incident.
Update: Shortly after 5 p.m. on October 7, a Chicago Public Schools spokesperson said in an email to CWBChicago that “the security guard did in fact intervene and was stuck [sic] in the head and then, as she was re-grouping, another staffer intervened. Both of these individuals were trying to keep the child safe.”
The prosecutor who presented the case in court said the school security guard was “swiped” on the arm and then “backed away but stayed and watched the incident and corroborates the minor’s account.”
The prosecutor then described the attack, saying Roosevelt struck the boy in the head, knocking off the child’s glasses. The boy fell to the ground and Roosevelt “kneeled on top of the victim and continued to strike him with a closed fist,” the prosecutor continued.
“Eventually,” the assistant state’s attorney said, “an individual intervened, separating the defendant and the complainant.”