St. Charles: Two Juveniles Charged In Torching Of Pheasant Run Resort

by T. C. Mayfield, The Chicago Times

August 2, 2022

ST. CHARLES, IL – Two male juveniles have been charged with starting a three-alarm fire at the former Pheasant Run resort on North Avenue.  Two additional male juveniles have been charged with trespassing at the resort.

According to St. Charles police, on May 21, 2022, at 4:40 pm St. Charles police and the St. Charles Fire Department responded to multiple reports of a fire at the former Pheasant Run resort located at 4051 E. Main Street.  On scene, authorities discovered large sections of the structure engulfed in flames.  As the fire grew out of control, hundreds of firefighters from more than twenty-five fire departments were marshaled to fight the blaze. 

An investigation into the fire by the St. Charles Police Department, the St. Charles Fire department, the State Fire Marshall; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives determined that four juveniles allegedly entered the former resort.  Once inside, two of the juveniles allegedly ignited papers on fire at two separate locations and then fled the scene without extinguishing the fire.

“For days, one hundred and seven firefighters from twenty-six fire departments put their lives in danger to control and ultimately extinguish a massive fire that heavily damaged the former Pheasant Run resort in St. Charles.  It is alleged that the actions of these juveniles progressed from misdemeanor trespassing and vandalism to much more serious and potentially deadly felony criminal charges.  Thankfully, no one sustained serious injury while battling the fire allegedly set in this case.  The investigation into what happened at Pheasant Run was extremely thorough and I commend the St. Charles Police and Fire Departments along with the State Fire Marshall and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for their painstaking and collaborative efforts which allowed us to file today’s charges.  I also thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Helen Kapas, Alyssa Rabulinski and Nick Catizone for their outstanding efforts the past two months on this case.”  DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in a statement.

The charged juveniles appeared at a detention hearing on July 27 with their parents where Judge Anthony Coco ordered that the two charged with starting the fire be detained, while the other two be placed in the custody of their parents on home detention. The detained juveniles have each been charged with one count of Arson, one count of Burglary, one count of Criminal Damage to Property, and three counts of Criminal Trespass to a Building. The two boys placed in the custody of their parents have each been charged with two counts of Criminal Trespass to a Building. The boys range in age from fourteen to seventeen years old.

Aurora: Man Murders Brother

by Ann Nguyen, The Chicago Times

July 30, 2022

AURORA, IL – A Warrenville man has been charged in the shooting death of his brother during a heated argument in Aurora.

According to police, on July 25, 2022, 19-year-old Gabriel Garcia and his 21-year-old brother David were arguing when Gabriel allegedly brandished a handgun and shot David.

David was hit in the chest and was later pronounced dead.

Gabriel has been charged with first-degree murder and his bail has been set at $3 million.

Gabriel next court appearance is set for August 12, 2022.

Cook County State’s Attorney: Assistant Prosecutor Resigns, Blames Foxx’s Mismanagement

by P. J. McNeal, The Chicago Times

July 30, 2022

CHICAGO – An assistant Cook County State’s Attorney abruptly resigns and accuses Foxx in an office wide resignation letter of pushing a political agenda rather than focusing on crime.

Jim Murphy III, Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney resigned after a successful 25 year career.  Murphy announced his retirement on July 29 and wrote in a letter:

“How many mass shootings do there have to be before something is done? This Administration is more concerned with political narratives and agendas than with victims and prosecuting violent crime. That is why I can’t stay any longer.”

“I wish I could stay. I would love to continue to fight for the victims of crime and to continue to stand with each of you, especially in the face of the overwhelming crime that is crippling our communities. However, I can no longer work for this Administration. I have zero confidence in their leadership. I am going to look elsewhere for opportunities to make a difference. In addition to saying goodbye to all of you, I wanted to explain some of my reasons for leaving.”

Murphy listed several reasons for his resignation ranging from insufficient staffing to concern over headlines at the expense of victims.

“This Administration routinely claims that they have shifted their focus from prosecuting low level crimes so that they can focus their resources on fighting violent crime and drivers of violence. This is simply not true. If this Administration was truly concerned with effectively fighting violent crime, then they would fully staff those courtrooms and Units. Not create more useless policy positions on the Executive Staff at the expense of hiring more ASAs who can work in the trenches. Meanwhile, the rest of us are overworked, overstressed, and under-resourced. But at least we were allowed to wear jeans in July. Well, those of us not working in courtrooms. That move illustrates how tone-deaf this Administration is. They simply don’t care about the well-being of the ASAs on the front lines.”

Foxx’s office declined to comment on the letter.

Former Car Wash Manager Charged With Trafficking Horde Of Firearms 

By T. C. Mayfield, The Chicago Times

July 28, 2022

ORLAND HILLS, IL –  An Orland Hills man faces federal charges for allegedly trafficking a horde of “ghost guns,” machine guns, and rifles.

According to prosecutors, Arshad Zayed, 38, has been charged with willfully dealing firearms without a license and illegally possessing and transferring a machine gun.  Zayed sold nearly 36 firearms on seven occasions over the past two years.  Several of the firearms are classified as “ghost guns” because they had no identifiable numbers and were assembled from various firearm parts.  In addition, some of the firearms were machine guns.

Police said that many of the illegal transactions allegedly occurred in a car wash that was managed by Zayed in Matteson, Illinois. 

Zayed was arrested Wednesday morning and appeared in federal court the same day.  Zayed is scheduled to appear in court Friday for a detention hearing.

Evanston: Man Charged In Fatal Shooting Of Father Killed In Front Of Daughter 

By The Chicago Times Staff

July 28, 2022

EVANSTON, IL –  A man has been charged in the shooting death of a father who was playing Pokémon Go with his 6-year-old daughter in an Evanston Park in July.

Khiryan Monroe, 20,  was charged with first-degree murder in the July 14 killing.

According to Evanston police, Servando Hamros, 29, was found on the ground with gunshot wounds along the park’s canal around  9:05 pm on July 14 in the 2100 block of McCormick Boulevard.  Hamros was pronounced dead at the scene.

“The victim was walking in the park with his daughter,” said Evanston Police Commander Ryan Glew. “While walking in the park, the victim had what appeared to be a confrontation with at least one other subject. Shortly after this confrontation, an unknown offender, armed, shot the victim, killing him.”

According to the Cook County medical examiner, Hamros died of a gunshot wound to the head.  Hamros daughter was not harmed in the shooting.

Lightfoot Desperate To Keep Bears With Soldier Field Dome

By Frank Slawson, The Chicago Times

July 25, 2022

CHICAGO – In a desperate bid to keep the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveiled plans to construct a tax funded dome to cover the historic stadium.  According to Lightfoot, the price tag for the project could range between $900 million to $2.2 billion.

In September, the Chicago Bears announced they had reached an agreement to purchase the former site of Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights for $197 million.  Bears front office declined to comment on Lightfoot’s tax funded plan.

 “We are doing what we believe is making a compelling case for the Chicago Bears to stay in Chicago.  They want a tier one stadium environment to maximize revenues.  And we are going to keep making the case to the Bears, the NFL and the public that a revitalized Solider Field makes the most economic sense for that storied franchise.” Lightfoot said in a statement.

Landmark Development

Lightfoot’s plan would also increase seating at Soldier Field from 61,500 seats to 70,000.  The plan would also improve transportation to Soldier Field via public transportation.  Lightfoot also indicated that she would advance the plan with or without the Bears.

“Whether the Bears stay, and I hope they do, but even if they don’t, we’re going to generate a massive amount of revenue and financial impact for our city,” Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot also suggested that another NFL team lease Soldier Field, yet NFL regulations would give the Bears veto power over another team’s plan to move into Beardown territory.