Juvenile gang members arrested for guns in 16th (Jefferson Park) District


A reported gang disturbance at the Smyser School Primary Center, 6200 W. Patterson Ave., has led to one of the eight recent gun-related arrests in the 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District.

“We have apprehended three juvenile gang members with guns at various locations,” district commander Roger Bay said at the Oct. 20 meeting of the 16th District Advisory Committee. “They have not been holding any territory, and they have been arrested near their homes, and their parents are very frustrated.”

The juveniles are members of the same gang, whose leader was arrested last summer for reportedly shooting a former gang member. Law enforcement officials have reported that the gang’s leader was paying new recruits cash bonuses and supplying them with guns, using the $25 million verdict that he had won several years ago for being wrongfully convicted of murder.

One of the juvenile suspects was caught in a yard in the 6100 block of West Patterson Avenue on Monday, Sept. 21, after a Smyser security guard reported that eight gang members went into the yard, according to police.

Officers reported that they smelled marijuana coming from the yard and that one of the individuals tried to flee but that he was taken into custody after a brief struggle with officers, police said. Officers also reported that the suspect possessed a revolver with six live rounds of ammunition and had an additional 56 rounds in his pocket, police said.

Two other member of the gang were arrested on Saturday, Sept. 26, in connection with a disturbance when they reportedly displayed a handgun and a baseball bat while flashing gang signs and shouting in front of a house in the 3600 block of North Lamon Avenue, police said. The suspects, one juvenile and one adult, were later arrested at their home, and officers recovered the gun and bat, police said.

Another member of the gang was arrested Sunday, Sept. 13, for reportedly possessing a handgun during an incident near Cicero Avenue and Grace Street along the border of the 16th and 17th (Albany Park) police districts. 17th District officers reported that the suspect was wearing a hooded sweatshirt with gang markings in an area where a gang-related murder recently had occurred, police said.

The eight gun-related arrests in the 16th District occurred between Sept. 21 and Oct. 18, compared to one during the same period last year. “The good news is that officers are making good arrests. The bad news is the guns,” Bay said.

Overall the total number of reported serious crimes, including robberies, burglaries and aggravated batteries, in the district this year is 1,394, down 6 percent from the 1,490 incidents reported through the same period in 2014. In addition, this year’s total is down 17 percent from 2013 and 28 percent from 2012.

Also at the meeting, the committee gave its Officer of the Month Award to Mike Gremo and Stacey Collins for their apprehension of two suspects in a robbery which occurred on Wednesday, Aug. 12, in the 5300 block of West Windsor Avenue.