Jeremy Gorner and Andy Grimm, Chicago Tribune, June 6, 2011
One man was smoking a cigar Saturday night on a bench in the Streeterville neighborhood when his evening was interrupted by a group of young men who robbed and beat him. Another man was parking his motor scooter outside Northwestern University’s downtown campus when the same group apparently made him their next victim, police said.
Police believe the group of about 15 to 20 youths in their mid- to late teens also was responsible for two more attacks moments later along the lakefront.
At least seven people thought to be part of the group were arrested Saturday in connection with the robberies and mob action, a crime that has become a problem in Streeterville, the Gold Coast and the Magnificent Mile, authorities said.
Dvonte Sykes, 17, of the 7500 block of South Normal Avenue was charged with two felony counts of robbery and one count of mob action violence to person and property.
Two other youths, Trovolus Pickett, 17 and Derodte Wright, 18, were charged in connection with a robbery on the 300 block of East Chicago Avenue, police said.
The latest incidents in Chicago apparently started about 8:20 p.m. Saturday, when a 68-year-old man from Washington state was sitting on a bench smoking a cigar in the 300 block of East Chicago Avenue as the young men approached, authorities said. The group beat him, robbed him of an iPad and BlackBerry and fled the scene, authorities said.
What authorities believe was the same group also approached a 34-year-old man as he parked his motor scooter outside a building on Northwestern’s downtown campus along East Chicago Avenue, just west of Lake Shore Drive. One of the males in that group threw a baseball at the victim’s face and knocked him to the ground, and several others allegedly punched and hit him multiple times.