Gun wielded at utility workers


The arrest of a man who reportedly threatened Peoples Gas workers and an incident in which a man allegedly sold stolen items outside the victim’s apartment were discussed at the Aug. 19 meeting of the 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District Advisory Committee.

Subcontractors for the utility company reported that a man threatened them with a gun because their work disturbed the man’s sleep during an incident at about 7:45 a.m. Wednesday, July 30, in the 4900 block of West School Street, according to police. The man told officers that he approached the workers with a metal pipe, not a gun, police said.

During a search of the man’s home, a loaded handgun was found in the broiler of the kitchen stove, and about 27 grams of suspected marijuana and packaging materials than can be used for narcotics were found in the home, police said.

The suspect, who was identified by police as Omar U. Lopez, age 23, of the School Street address, was charged with unlawful use of a weapon, aggravated assault, not having a firearm owners identification card and possession of cannabis, police said.

It also was reported at the meeting that a new tenant in an apartment building in the 5400 block of West Agatite Avenue returned home at about 11:45 a.m. Monday, July 7, to find belongings from her apartment being displayed as in a yard sale on the front lawn of the property. Officers found individuals who had purchased items that had been on the lawn, police said.

A description of the couple selling the goods was similar to acquaintances of a former tenant in the building, and a man was later arrested in connection with the incident, while a woman was released without being charged, police said. The suspect, who was identified by police as Steven K. Johnson, age 31, of the 5300 block of West Sunnyside Avenue, was charged with burglary, criminal trespass to property and criminal damage to property, police said.

The committee also honored Patricia Altman as Officer of the Month for a June 21 incident in which she assisted paramedics with the life-saving measures that were performed on a child who was not breathing. Altman, who is a registered nurse, boarded the ambulance and assisted in performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Also at the meeting, the district distributed fliers urging residents not to leave laptop computers, cell phones and other valuable items in view inside their vehicles and to be aware of recent scams in which elderly residents have been tricked into thinking that a relative has been arrested and that money for bail is needed.

"Seniors should be aware that the Chicago Police Department will not call you asking for or demanding bail money, and the Chicago Police Department will not come to your front door asking for or demanding bail money," flier states. "You cannot post bond money over the phone. This is a scam."