Still no arrests in mob assault on teenager near Lane Tech; Roscoe Village residents on edge
Chicago Police (CPD) have yet to make any arrests stemming from a mob assault, caught on video, on a 15-year-old male near Lane Tech High School in Roscoe Village during a Memorial Day weekend carnival.
A spokesperson for the CPD told Chicago City Wire only that the investigation into the assault was ongoing.
The teenager, identified only as Marvin by a GoFundMe campaign, was beaten unconscious and admitted to Lurie Children’s Hospital. A call to the hospital for an update on the teenager’s condition was not returned.
A CPD source said that the police were trying to match up the images in the video with photos of students in yearbooks from nearby schools, but that he wasn’t close enough to the investigation to know any further details
The attack has alarmed residents and businesses in Roscoe Village who were already on edge from a recent uptick in crime.
“We all aware of it around here,” Erika VanDam, owner of RoscoeBooks on West Roscoe Street, told Chicago City Wire. “I would say in the past year or so it’s gotten worse. Just a few months ago, a nail shop just down the block from me was robbed in the middle of the day.”
She added that in the past few years the village has seen a lot of younger people renovating houses and moving in.
“If it’s upsetting to us, it has to be very concerning to them,” she said.
A woman answering the phone at the nail shop, 2x10 Nails & Spa, said that employees and customers were robbed at gunpoint last December by two men. She declined to provide any additional details.
A news report of the robbery described the suspects as two black males between 16 and 18. CPD said that on January 2 a 17-year-old male juvenile was arrested “after he was identified as the offender who, while armed with a firearm, robbed a nail salon on the 2100 block of West Roscoe on Dec. 1, 2017. The juvenile was charged with one felony count of armed robbery.”
Jason Elster, a director of the Roscoe Village Neighbors, told Chicago City Wire that they have “seen an uptick in crime, and it’s concerning. As a result, the neighbors association has been working on a number of safety initiatives, including a networked surveillance system, which is rolling out this summer.”
In the assault on the teenager near Lane Tech, CWB Chicago, an online news site that covers crime in the North Side, reported that the mob attacked the victim in a grassy area near 2501 W. Addison St., adjacent to the carnival grounds. The victim had intervened when a group of 15 to 20 teenagers tried to steal his friend’s bike. CWB said that a “concerned parent” provided the video.
Having video footage of a crime doesn’t always provide quick identification of suspects as many people think it should, Eric Piza, a specialist in the spatial analysis of crime patterns who teaches at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, told Chicago City Wire.
“Video is only one facet in solving a crime,” Piza said. “And a lot of the times, the videos are grainy or jumpy and police can see only general features of the suspects.”
Besides comparing the video with yearbook photos, Piza said that the police would also try to identify witnesses to the crime.
“Chicago is a big city with a lot of murders,” he said. “Solving these crimes can take time.”