* From an Illinois State Rifle Association member alert…
The ISRA is warning its members to think twice about selecting Chicago as a vacation destination this summer. This warning was issued in response to a recent dramatic upswing in violent crime in the windy city. Most notably is a spate of so-called “flash mob” attacks where as many as two dozen young men ambush and savagely beat their victims before robbing them of their valuables. One recent flash mob victim was a 68 year-old man.
The bulk of the flash mob attacks have taken place on Chicago’s near north side and Gold Coast areas to include North Avenue Beach and the Magnificent Mile. The attack locations are within the general vicinity of tourist attractions including Navy Pier, Lincoln Park Zoo, and Millennium Park.
Thus far, the Chicago Police Department has had little luck controlling these flash mobs with only 4 participants having been apprehended. This ability to confound the police stems from the very nature of flash mobbing. Participants either get a text message on their smart phone or receive a “tweet” on a social networking site telling them where to show up and how to behave – with the specified behavior usually involving larceny or assault. Flash mob participants arrive at the site at a particular time and, after committing the specified crimes, scatter before police can arrive. The sheer number of flash mob participants overpowers the victims – rendering them helpless against the mob.
As most of our readers know, the most effective defense a victim could muster against a flash mob would be for the victim to draw a concealed firearm. As most of our readers also know, Illinois is one of only two states in the nation that deny citizens the right to carry defensive firearms.
The e-mail concludes with a fundraising pitch.
* Trouble is, the victims say they had no time to react to the attacks…
Suddenly surrounded by more than a dozen teens who snatched their possessions, the victims said they had no time to react.
“It was boom, like a swarm of insects,” said Krzysztof Wilkowski, a 34-year-old insurance agent from the northwest suburbs who was attacked by about 20 young men as he sat on his scooter in the 300 block of East Chicago.
“It just happened too quick. I didn’t even have time to be scared.”
Also, despite ISRA’s claims, this wasn’t a “flash mob” in the traditional sense. The coppers say this was a gang of roving teens, not coordinated via social media, etc.
* Also, the thugs did not have guns, so shooting them might not be allowed even with concealed carry…
And he “definitely” considers himself lucky in one respect — none of his attackers was armed with anything deadlier than a baseball.
“How about if they had some weapons?” he said.
◆Derodte Wright, 18, of the 3500 block of South State Street, a student at Perspectives Charter School, accused of attacking nursing student Ryan Dacumos and robbing him on the Lake Michigan bikepath near Chicago Ave. around 8.30 p.m. Described in court by his attorney as a good student with prospects of a college baseball scholarship, Wright was ordered held on bail of $200,000 by Cook County Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil.
◆Trovulus Pickett, 17, a Youth Connections Leadership Academy student who lives in the 8400 block of South Dorchester. Also charged with the robbery of Dacumos, Pickett allegedly teamed up with other youths to attack a 68-year-old Seattle physician Jack Singer in the 300 block of East Chicago Avenue minutes earlier, stealing his iPad and phone, and is also accused of robbing a Japanese doctor of his iPod in the 700 block of North Lake Shore Drive a few minutes later. Pickett’s bail was set at $300,000.
◆Dvonte Sykes, 17, of the 7500 block of South Normal, a student at Carver Vocational Career Academy, accused of robbing a Thai man who was taking photographs in the 700 block of North Lake Shore Drive and with taking part in a “mob action” in which northwest suburban insurance agent Krzysztof Wilkowski fought off robbers who tried to take his scooter in the 300 block of East Chicago. Sykes’ bail was set at $250,000.
Two other teens were charged as minors.