Crime concerns take center stage at Mayfair group meeting
by BRIAN NADIG
Concerns about crime took center stage at the Sept. 10 virtual meeting of the Mayfair Civic Association following a recent homicide in the 4600 block of North Kasson Avenue.
The fatal shooting occurred at about 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28, when an 18-year-old male was shot multiple times in what police have described as a gang-related incident. As he was standing on a sidewalk, a man reportedly exited a dark-colored sport utility vehicle and fired about a dozen shots at him, striking the teen in the stomach and chest, according to police.
"We had a lot of calls from the community about (the shooting)," Alderman Samantha Nugent (39th) told the association. "I hope folks feel this is a very isolated incident." Nugent and the 17th (Albany Park) Police District held a Sept. 9 community meeting to address residents’ safety concerns.
Also at the association’s meeting, residents raised concerns about gunfire that they are hearing in the neighborhood.
"Especially at night we can hear shots, and we are not sure where they’re coming from," association president Ronald Duplack said. "It may be 10 blocks away … as sound carries."
One resident said that police told her that there have been reports of individuals shooting at signs along the expressway.
The number of reported shooting incidents in the 17th District this year is 41 compared to 20 last year during the same period.
It also was reported that Leo’s Liquors Mayfair, 4417 W. Lawrence Ave., was robbed at 12:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21. The employee reported that a man entered the store and asked about vodkas while he was counting approximately $7,000 in cash behind the register, according to police. The employee reported that the man ran behind the counter, pushed him to the ground and fled west on Lawrence Avenue with the money, police said. The man was described as Black, age 20 to 30, wearing a gray t-shirt, blue jeans, red gloves and a face mask.
Also in Mayfair, a couple reported being carjacked at gunpoint at 11:50 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17, in the parking lot of a Walgreens store, 4010 W. Lawrence Ave., according to police. A man reported that when he returned to his vehicle a man pointed a gun and demanded his keys and wallet and his wife reported that another man approached her and took several designer bags and purses valued at $3,800, wallets containing credit cards and IDs, two cell phones, about $400 in gift cards and approximately $3,900 in cash, police said. The man reported that the man with the gun entered a white Volkswagen Jetta and the other man entered their vehicle and drove away, according to police.
The man with the gun was described as Black, age 27 to 29, 6-5 and 180 pounds with long hair. The other man was described as Black, age 25 to 30, 5-8 and 190 pounds.
It also was reported at the meeting that there have been problems with shared scooters being parked in places that obstruct walkways and bus stops.
Nugent’s chief of staff Erika Wozniak said that scooter companies are required to have the scooters moved within 2 hours and that complaints can be reported to 311 or the alderman’s office at 773-736-5594.
The association also discussed a recent proposal approved by the City Council which changes a 75-year conservation easement at North Park Village, 5801 N. Pulaski Road, by putting it in perpetuity. "We don’t have to worry about a … shopping mall coming to that land," said Nugent, the ordinance’s main sponsor.
In the 1970s there was community uproar over the city’s plan to allow a commercial development on the 160-ace parcel. The village includes a nature center and senior housing.
Also at the meeting, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (D-5) said that the federal government needs to do more to help small businesses given that the pandemic is not going away anytime soon.
"The banks and businesses are already starting to talk to me (regarding the) loan forgiveness period," he said. "We need to expand it and make the forms more simpler. … There’s a lot more that needs to happen."
Quigley said that he hopes the House and Senate can come to an agreement on a coronavirus relief package by the end of September, adding that the House proposal includes $25 billion for the postal service.
Quigley said that the Senate has been offering a $1 trillion relief bill and the House a $3 billion. "We’ll meet you in the middle," he said.
Quigley also said that the importance of each family filling out the U.S. Census couldn’t be overstated.
"There is a very real chance (Illinois) could lose a seat in Congress … if drastically undercounted, it could be two," Quigley said.