An alderman visiting a known "problem corner" in Chicago this past weekend was assaulted by a group of men that were intoxicated and high on illicit drugs.
Saturday night, Alderman James Cappleman of the 46th Ward "was the victim of a battery" in the 4700 block of North Racine in Chicago police's 9th District, police spokesman Tom Ahern said. A suspect was taken into custody and charges are pending.
The violence in Chicago this past weekend was recorded from just before 6 p.m. on Friday through mid-night Sunday, Chicago police recorded 46 shootings that involved 56 victims. Nine murders were recorded during the time frame.
Saturday morning alone there were 5 fatal shootings. Among them were two men, 34-year-old Charles Jackson Jr and an unidentified 29-year-old who were shot and killed in a drive-by incident in Lawndale on the West Side. Police said they are looking for a red vehicle that opened fire around 12:15 a.m. in the 1900 block of South Saint Louis Avenue.
A 3-year-old little boy was shot in the back Saturday in the 9300 block of South Escanaba Avenue on the South Side. The boy was hospitalized and in good condition.
An officer was involved in a shooting Sunday morning as Chicago police responded to a "domestic disturbance" in the 6500 block of South Harvard. Officers answering the call encountered a male who was armed with a knife, as the incident escalated an officer fired his weapon, striking the 28-year-old man who later died. The responding officer was placed on routine administrative duty while the incident is being investigated.
Cappleman was visiting the corner of Racine and Leland avenues where young families have complained to him about an unruly group that has been gathering there for weeks drinking and doing drugs.
"In the past two weeks, it’s just gotten out of control again. And the problem is when you can get them to leave one corner they just go to the next corner," Cappleman said. "I talked to this guy and I said, ‘This can’t keep going on. Residents are rightly upset about this.’ They are out there just drinking nonstop and drugging and that kind of stuff. It’s caused a lot of concern to the community."
Cappleman said he is growing frustrated with the problem of those abusing drugs and alcohol, as offenders who are arrested by police are often released back on the streets where they continue their behavior.
"We’re going to see what we can do to get this guy this help. But how do you help someone who is refusing help to address their addiction?" he said. "I know it’s not just arresting them because arrests don’t always matter. When you’re released from Cook County Jail, you go right back to the street.
He said that he periodically visits the area before reporting to police. He said this time as he rounded the corner he was attacked by three men, when he was placed in a headlock and struck repeatedly with a blunt object.
Cappleman said that he recognized the men from prior arrests in the neighborhood.
"We can’t arrest ourselves out of this," Cappleman said. "For most humans, for most living creatures, we respond to negative and positive reinforcement. It can’t be all negative, but it can’t be all positive. We have to find that right balance. And we know we’ve found the right balance when it produces the intended result. For this guy, we’ve not found that right balance."