Crime in Hyde Park rare and strange in 2013

By LINDSAY WELBERS
Staff Writer

New Commander
The Chicago Police Department 2nd District saw a changing of the guards this year.

The 2nd District’s new commander Terence Williams told neighborhood residents on in May at Ald. Will Burns’ (4th) ward meeting that he takes a zero tolerance approach to crime.

Williams said he takes a “broken windows” approach to policing.

The broken windows theory argues that a building with broken windows, if left unrepaired, will eventually have more windows broken by vandals and it may eventually become a place for squatters and breed more crime. If the windows are repaired early, the devolution into a crime-ridden place will never occur and crime is prevented preemptively.

“We want to be aggressive in fighting crime under my regime,” Williams said. “If anyone is going to commit a crime, lock them up.”

Jesse Jackson Jr.
Former Hyde Park Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. was sentenced in August to 30 months in prison, after pleading guilty to misusing over $750,000 in campaign funds.

His wife, former Alderman Sandi Jackson, was sentenced to 12 months for filing a false tax return. Judge Amy Berman Jackson, unrelated to the defendants, emphasized that Sandi Jackson was being sentenced to exactly 12 months, making her ineligible to have her term reduced for good behavior.

Sandi Jackson was sentenced to serve 12 months of supervised release while her husband was sentenced to three years, following their prison releases.

Jesse Jackson Jr. is eligible for time off for good behavior, which could reduce his sentence to as little as 25.5 months.

Per the Jacksons’ request, Jesse Jackson Jr. will serve his sentence first and Sandi Jackson will serve her sentence afterwards. They have two children ages 13 and 9.
He reported to the federal correctional center in Butner, N.C., on Nov. 1.

Murders
Hyde Park saw two murders in 2013.

Henry Atkins, 39, was killed in April.

Police News Affairs said the shooting occurred at 12:15 a.m. on Tuesday, April 30 in the hallway of a building on the 5200 block of Harper Avenue. The resident of the apartment opened the door to find a man who then fired several shots. One shot hit Atkins in the chest and the resident in the hand. Atkins was unresponsive on the scene.

The resident was taken to Stroger Hospital, treated and released.

On May 25, at 1:48 a.m. 29-year-old Gregory Dixon was shot and killed. Chicago Police News Affairs said Dixon buzzed the assailant into the building where he lived on the 1400 block of East 52nd Street. The door to the apartment had been left open, News Affairs said. The assailant shot Dixon multiple times including the head, back, chest and abdomen. CPD is investigating the incident.

News Affairs said that Dixon had known gang affiliations and said the incident was potentially gang-related.

Shooting
A Hyde Park man was charged with a felony after he was injured in a physical confrontation on the 5400 block of South Cornell Avenue last month.

Roy Malava, 55, of the 5300 block of South Cornell Avenue was charged with one felony count of Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon. Police arrived on the scene around 9 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 27, to find Malava on the ground after he was shot by an acquaintance. A weapon was discovered on his person and he was placed under arrest.

He was transported to Northwestern Hospital where he was treated.

Koziminski former principal
A former vice principal at Kozminski Community was arrested in May after Chicago Police Department discovered a cache of assault weapons and drugs in his home.

Jeremy Lydon, 43, was charged with one count of Unlawful Use of a Deadly Weapon with a Silencer, one count of Unlawful Use of a Weapon, one count of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, one count of Possession of Cannabis and 12 counts of No Firearm Registration Certificate, police News Affairs said.

Dave Miranda, of Chicago Public Schools’ communication department, said Lydon was hired to work at Koziminski, 936 E. 54th St., in 1995. He became assistant principal but left the school in December 2011.

Officers were called to the 2100 block of South Halsted Street at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11, after they received a call of a man threatening a woman with a gun, CPD said in a press release.

When officers searched the home they found a cache of weapons including a MAC-10 with a silencer, a shotgun, six handguns, an assault rifle, two AK-47 assault rifles, numerous magazines and 90 grams of cannabis.

Robberies
Robberies, whether by force on the street, from cars or from homes, were an issue in Hyde Park in 2013.

Car break-ins in Hyde Park in September were up almost three times over the same time period last year, Chicago Police said.

Officer Jose Estrada, spokesman for Chicago Police News Affairs, said in 2012 Hyde Park had 13 reported car break ins from September 1 through September 27. The same time period in 2013 had 37 reported cars that had been broken into.

Estrada said there was no evidence that the thieves used high-tech equipment to intercept a keyless entry system’s code, but some Hyde Parkers question if that was accurate.

Yael Hoffman, who lives at 50th Street and Dorchester Avenue, said her car was broken into at least six times. Each time the windows on her 2007 Honda Civic were not broken but the glove compartment had clearly been rifled through.

She said she can’t believe she would leave it unlocked with that kind of frequency.

“They don’t find much in the glove box. They leave the CDs, they’re kids’ CDs anyway, and they leave a mess. It’s clear someone has been in your car,” Hoffman said.

The University of Chicago Police Department arrested two men in separate incidents relating to the string of vehicle break-ins.

One man was arrested on the 5400 block of Ridgewood Court and another arrested on the 4900 block of Greenwood Avenue on Oct. 2. Both events occurred just before midnight.

Both the University of Chicago Police Department and Chicago Police Department issued warnings regularly about break-ins occurring at people’s homes while they were away or strong arm robberies on the streets.

l.welbers@hpherald.com