Man robbed near Millennium Park while giving money to homeless person; 2 charged

CHICAGO — Two men face felony charges for allegedly trying to rob a man who stopped to give money to a homeless person near Millennium Park. One was convicted last year of robbing a man on the Red Line.

Prosecutors said the victim was giving money to a homeless person in the 100 block of North Michigan around 1 p.m. Sunday when Tracey Watson walked up and asked, “Where’s your bread?”

“Get your bread,” added Watson’s alleged accomplice, Demetrius Robinson.

Watson went through the victim’s pockets but only found a lighter, Assistant State’s Attorney Alexander Konetzki said during the men’s bond hearing Monday.

Tracey Watson (left) and Demetrius Robinson | Chicago Police Department

After Watson’s effort came up empty, Robinson patted the victim down, but he didn’t find anything either, according to Konetzki.

Robinson punched the victim in the face, cutting his lip, said Konetzki. Chicago police officers arrived moments later and arrested Robinson and Watson, who were still nearby.

Konetzki said a surveillance camera recorded the entire incident.

Both men are charged with attempted robbery and misdemeanor battery. Robinson is also charged with felony possession of a controlled substance because police said they found about a gram of suspected heroin on him.

Watson has three felony and seven misdemeanor convictions in his background, Konetzki said. His attorney said he’s a father of two but currently lives in a shelter and volunteers to help the homeless.

Robinson was convicted of robbing a CTA passenger and burglary last year. He is taking classes with the hope of completing his high school education, according to his attorney.

Judge William Fahy ordered Watson to pay a $2,500 bail deposit and Robinson to pay a $5,000 deposit to get out of jail. They must go on electronic monitoring if they post the money.

CWBChicago reported on the robbery and burglary cases that Robinson was convicted of last year.

In February 2021, prosecutors charged Robinson with burglary for allegedly burglarizing a Lakeview apartment building’s package room. Just five months later, while on bail for the burglary, prosecutors said Robinson and an accomplice robbed a man on the Red Line near Thorndale. They demanded the victim’s money while punching him in the face and body and took his phone, credit cards, and headphones.

Robinson pleaded guilty to the charges in exchange for concurrent three-year sentences from Judge Michael Hood last year. He received 361 days credit for time spent in custody before sentencing and a 50% reduction for good behavior.

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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 news@cwbchicago.com