Sunday, September 20, 2009

Malden Mayhem

We have received several emails from residents who live near Leland & Malden with reports of shots fired last night; here is one account:

"Last night, at about 10:30pm on the 4600 block of Malden between Wilson & Leland, I witnessed 2 black males walking south on the east side of Malden. They started crossing back and forth between cars from the east to the west sides of the street. One of the black males appeared to be holding something next his waistline. He was wearing dark baggy jeans, a dark jean-like jacket with rhinestone patterns on his back, a white t-shirt and his hair up in a bun. I can’t remember what the other guy looked like. Both were yelling “F--- you n-----” and I’ll kill you n-----” and other expletives in the direction of Leland & Malden.

Suddenly, I heard a woman with a baby yell, “Hey, wait until I get the baby in the car.” Immediately after she got in the car, 2 other black males showed up walking south towards Wilson on Malden, one of whom looked like he was carrying a stick. Suddenly, he lifted up the “stick” and I saw that it was actually a rifle. He was wearing really long baggy shorts, or baggy jeans and a white t-shirt. As soon as I saw the weapon, I focused on that. Just as he was about to fire, the first two black males ran off in the direction of Wilson. I heard one shot.

I called the police immediately, who showed up about 10 minutes later. I have no idea what happened afterward. Does anyone else have any more information about this incident or if anyone was apprehended?

I have to say that I was really shaken up by this. I must have smoked 10 cigarettes in a row afterward. Is it really necessary for our neighbors to be subjected to this kind of terror?"


  1. I heard the shots and called 911. I live on a high first floor and am petrified one of these damn bullets is going to come through the window. It was actually four shots. Two, then a very brief pause, then two more. I was just about to go to sleep so my light was off. I grabbed the phone on my dresser and then hit the floor and called 911. I lifted the shade to see if I saw anything. I didn't. But I was waiting to see how long until I saw the police. It took a while. This is the third shooting outside my window in the last four weeks. Hitting the floor for cover in my own place is no way to live. This is ridiculous.

  2. Insanity.
    I arrived home from a business trip on Thursday via a taxi, only to find 7 police cars, and officers dragging a screaming man from the apartment building at Montrose and Malden.
    After buying here in 1991, the circus has only gotten worse.

    Helen? Are you there? Help!!

  3. things are getting out of control as now they are using a rifle. There needs to be a stop to this and these guys need to be locked away for a long time.

  4. "Is it really necessary for our neighbors to be subjected to this kind of terror?"

    Absolutely not! This sh*t must come to an end....

  5. "Helen? Are you there? Help!!"

    Well, you know her response: "Stuff happens." Seriously. That was her response to the mayhem on Leland and Sheridan.

    Then she claimed it was all orchestrated by her political enemies.

    Remember this in February 2011.

  6. The gun shots woke me up on Saturday night--it was very early. I also heard multiple shots--with a short pause after the first two. I never heard police sirens.

    As I was walking outside today, I noticed gang signs tagged on the apartment building on Malden and Leland. Anyone know if this is related?

    This is very scary--does anyone know how we can petition to get blue light camera on this corner?

  7. There is no reason why an overwhelming majority should be terrorized by a select few. Those are the makings of a dictatorship. The local municipal authorities created this situation with their obsolete urban planning, arrogant management and ineffective infrastructure. There are too many violent individuals in our community, and they need to be gradually removed until we reach a tolerable equilibrium. We must demand this loudly, and we can't wait for 2011. It is our fault that we're living this way, and we are just as responsible as the shooters when innocent individuals are killed or wounded for allowing such a politically expedient group to remain in power so long. We need to demand change immediately. The alternatives, more of the same violence, blood, and political arrogance, are not an option.

  8. Nothing will be ever done about these gangs. Look at the gang shootings that happen everyday in other parts of the city. Unless your blocks takes the right steps you will never live in a safe and healthy neighborhhod as the CPD can do only so much. Helen Shiller does nothing. I think you should give the Guardian Angels a chance to clean up your block. There is a chapter in Chicago and they will help end the gang problems on your streets where you live. It takes the people who live on your block to take the steps needed to end this unsafe condition because if you depend on the City of Chicago it will never get done...Just look at the South and West sides of this city. Only you and all your neighbors can find a solution to your gang problems that occure on your street.........

  9. Heard the shots as well. The housing on Malden and Leland (northwest corner) has presented a number of problems since I moved in the area. I no longer walk by the intersection. This is the 5th-6th shooting on this corner since I moved just over a year ago.

  10. checking 911 records -they are public record- you will see that very few calls come in from the area during or after these shootings. We all have to pitch in.

    When is the next protest? Now that we have some press coverage, we need to gather in front of the beast's lair, I mean office, and show her our love. Let's do it before the cold sets in.

  11. Buenapk -- how do you check 911 calls? I'd like to do the same. Thanks

  12. I would be happy to do some positive loitering at the corner of W. Leland and N. Malden this coming Friday at 7pm for an hour. A bunch of us usually do positive loitering at W. Leland and N. Sheridan and it's calmed down over there. Anyone else interested?

  13. BP - I would respectfully disagree with your statement. How many phone calls should it take to warrant a police response to a shooter? I would hope just 1 call would be enough. (If they want corroboration then 2 is sufficient, but I don't think that should be necessary when a man with a rifle in the street is reported.)
    A low call volume does not surprise me given that is on a Saturday evening when many people not home.

    I do get your point that "We all have to pitch in." Quite true. (But as we have seen with the gang fights, those involved are not very keen on calling the police or filing complaints.)

    As an aside: How do you access 911 call records? I am registered with CLEARpath but don't see a link to it. The most recent data I can get is via EveryBlock which is only up to date through the 12th.

  14. James - I would support that idea and I am sure others loving nearby would as well. I ran into a group of residents at Leland and Malden this morning discussing actions those lines.

  15. to get 911 records you will need to make a FOIA request in writing to the Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

    Full details can be found in the FAQ on their website. You can find their web site by searching for OEMC on your preferred search engine.

  16. 911 calls. Talk to community policing, 23rd district

  17. Uptown Revivalist, Barry Fishing,

    You both make the key point here I think, citizen action. I don't know about you, but it gets taxing on my patience and piece of mind to constantly hear about this kind of behavior. People in my building are ready to take up torches and smoke THEM out. We're sick of it. This neighborhood would be great without the people that don't care about it or the other people that live here. Bringing in the Guardian Angels would be great, how do we do this? Hearing people throw around the idea of vigilante groups stops sounding funny after awhile and starts sounding appealing. NO ONE will get these people out of here, it's up to us.

  18. Positive loitering is a start, but we have TOO many subsidized dwellings at the corners of Leland & Malden. Surely, the overwhelming majority can unite around the fact that their is TOO much crime and violence that is the result of too much concentrated poverty. There are blocks and blocks of Chicago streets without a single subsidized site, while those three corners have converted our otherwise quiet street into a shooting gallery. One or more of these subsidized buildings must be removed and transferred to another location. Those buildings have produced the ward's most successful prostitutes and drug dealers. The rap sheets for those coordinates are very long. It's public information and absolutely remarkable that, despite all the empirical evidence, our Marie Antoinette's response to all of the violence basically says, "Let them kill each other and dodge the bullets." That is absolutely unacceptable. We have to take more drastic action, and demand that municipal heads roll, and special elections be called. We can't have them hiding at their Versailles the "Chicago way" from their "political enemies" and their citizens, while we hide behind couches to avoid getting shot. This has to be a forceful, insightful response from the ward's leading citizens, both in government, in the opposition, the media, the local religious organizations, business groups etc. One or more individuals has to LEAD, and we cannot allow political expediency to distract us. Enough is enough. Drastic action MUST be taken and it must be taken immediately before someone loses the opportunity to see his retirement because of a $5 bag of crack. Please let's organize!

  19. Agree about no need for vigilante groups. When we do positive loitering on Fridays, we make a point of greeting everyone and letting them know what we're doing.

    We get some people who are angry that we're doing this, and this may be due to a suspicion that we are out to make Uptown into a Lincoln Park. Once they witness us being courteous to everyone, they go on their way. Maybe in time, they will join us because we're all in this together to make Uptown safer for everyone.

  20. I don't have any direct experience with the Guardian Angels, but I've heard many positive things about their involvement in communities with violance. The Guardian Angels is a non-profit, international, volunteer organization of unarmed citizen crime patrollers. The Guardian Angels organization was founded February 13, 1979 in New York City by Curtis Sliwa and has chapters in 13 countries (in 140 cities) around the world.

    The Guardian Angels have a Chicago chapter. Here is the contact information from the website:

    Chicago, IL - United States
    Chapter Leader: Miguel Fuentes
    Mobile Phone: 312.217.7245
    Email Address:

  21. There was what looked like a major incident last Thursday evening around 8:15 near Sheridan and Lakeside. Sheridan was closed off by police from Lawrence to Wilson. There were fire trucks and ambulances in the middle of the street. I heard from a friend that it was gangs again, but heard no confirmation. Anyone know anything about it?

  22. I say we bring in the Guardian Angels. Something must be done here. This story is especially chilling to me... I first moved here last December and, while I knew there was a problem in this neighborhood, I never imagined it would include men walking down the street with rifles! A neighborhood that I was starting to cautiously love is turning downright scary to me. I wish I could get out of my lease and move elsewhere.

  23. RE: JLVALUEPLAYER said...
    "The housing on Malden and Leland (northwest corner) has presented a number of problems..."

    I assume you actually mean SOUTHwest and SOUTHeast corners. The northwest corner is condos and the northeast corner are market rate apartments (although the building right next door to it on the northeast side is called The Miriam Apartments at 4707 N. Malden ...and that is an SRO and has been a major problem building until neighbors were able to get their management to install state-of-the-art videocameras early last month).

    Missy...the gang tags on the apartment building are just a few days old and are likely meant as a threat to the residents there who have been calling 911 on them. Please help us call 311 to get them removed...the address is 1264 W. Leland. Thanks!

  24. If you know the problem buildings I suggest you put pressure on the owners to clean up their act, ie: get better screening processes, evict the troubled tenants, etc.

    Surely, selling drugs and prostituting are breaking their rules. And if they don't help willingly maybe some lawyers will persuade them?

  25. We also witnessed the crazyness Saturday night. The original description posted on the main page is exactly what we saw. I was on the phone with a 911 operator just as the shooting began and I thought the police had a great response time. There were immediatly multiple unmarked cars on Malden just north of Wilson. I couldn't see if they detained anyone but they were there for a few minutes. The coppers then headed to Lealand and stayed there for a while. Again, not sure if they made any busts.

  26. tjm: You are correct I meant southwest/east corners of Malden and Leland. They have security cameras on the southwest corner leland side entrances of that building. I wonder if those are functional and/or have captured anything.

  27. There you go Brian. Read what Joel wrote and give them a call to find out. The Angels are a positive crime fighting group and those I have talked to that used the Guardian Angels where more then happy with their help. Also if you ever drove through Bridgeport, my old neighborhood, you could also see safe and healthy streets with no gangs or drug dealers. Its whats called, residents working together to make their area safe and sound.....

  28. Ideally, this stuff wouldn't be happening. But since it is, we need to get this crap on video. I would LOVE the video of the man walking freely with a rifle down an otherwise quiet street in Uptown for all to see, including some right in the neighborhood who seem to have let their guard down.

    I am all for a blue light camera. I think James' suggestion of positive loitering is also a good one in addition.

  29. I'd still prefer to immerse individual welfare residents into non-welfare areas rather than create the kinds of mini-Cabrini Greens that an area like Sheridan Park has become due to a very high concentration of subsidized housing. Some of these units need to be relocated out of Uptown, not rehabilitated by the Guardian Angels. The point is to get rid of the need for a group like the Guardian Angels. If I know the corners of Leland & Malden well, you have 2 privately owned, but subsidized units on the southeast and northeast corners. You have a subsidized building on the northwest corner. Next to it is a Section 8 building that always looks like its somewhere in Chechnya. Behind the building on the northeast corner, there is another subsidized building on Magnolia, with yet another one just north of it. There is a Section 8 building on Lawrence & Magnolia. One block further east on Leland and you have the Darlington Hotel. Across the street is yet another SRO. Not enough? Stroll another block or two south to Magnolia or Clinton. How about the Sunnyside Gang Mall? Focus folks. THE GHETTO CULTURE HAS OVERRUN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD. It's obvious that many of you have forgotten what it's like not to have to walk in fear at night, what it's like not to be bullied by some illiterate, armed, and drugged half-wits, and parking without worrying that your car will be vandalized just because. The ghetto culture's influence on our daily lives needs to be substantially reduced before more individuals are hurt or killed. This needs to be done now and we, the taxpayers, have to make a choice. Either we allow the ghetto culture to reign or we reduce its presence. There is no middle ground. The notion of controlled gentrification is a red herring. There is plenty of real estate out there for welfare residents. Not all of it has to be in Uptown, and not so much of it has to be in Sheridan Park.

  30. Positive loitering is a great idea and it should include everyone. This stuff must stop.

    Uptown Revivalist, your idea basically means telling residents to leave their neighborhood and its a wrong, appalling and frankly misguided idea. No residents (I dont count Shiller since she isnt a real resident) are telling successful affluent people in the neighborhood to leave and you shouldnt be telling poor people to be taken out of their homes just because the negative elements are causing havoc. No residents have the right to tell people except the barbarians who cause trouble to leave the neighborhood. Especially the ones who don't contribute to the problem.

    We all should be working together and your idea only gives Shiller more ammo to say the "evil condo owners" hate poor minority people and plus its wrong because not every poor minority person in those buildings are shooting at people. Dont try to turn this into class warfare because the last thing Uptown needs is this. Everyone has a stake in the neighborhood and we all should be working together. Poor and affluent. Fight the gangs and fight the enablers but to say poor people are not wanted in this neighborhood is a wrong stance.

  31. Never thought I would get to this point - but I'm buying a gun.

  32. RE: Uptown Revivalist said...
    "If I know the corners of Leland & Malden well, you have 2 privately owned, but subsidized units on the southeast and northeast corners. You have a subsidized building on the northwest corner. Next to it is a Section 8 building that always looks like its somewhere in Chechnya."

    Uptown Revivalist...just to be clear, see my previous post about the buildings at Malden and Leland(and which directional corner is which). Your posting is are speaking of the southeast and southwest corners.

    The northwest corner is condos. The northeast corner is market rate apts. The southeast and southwest corners (and the building next to the southwest corner) are subsidized housing...right next to the playlot.

  33. Uptown revivalist. There has definitely been an uptick in violence over the past two years. One slight clarification on your reference to the Sunnyside "gang mall" is needed. The gangs spend about 90% of their time next to Magnolia and Sunnyside, but do creep over for various deals. There is a path on Sunnyside from Magnolia to Malden and the gangs usually go south on Malden to the low income housing (they stash drugs there).

    A lot of junkies head down Malden from the Wilson area and meet the gangbangers in/near the low income (scattered site) housing in the middle of the block on Malden between Montrose and Sunnyside.

    If you were to sit on a bench in the Sunnyside Mall it would not take long to figure out their system. People need to stop and observe, instead of just muddling along and pretending not to see things. Be aware, but do not run and hide. If you run, they win.


    That's the key.

    People who cause trouble should not be allowed to have subsidized housing, PERIOD.

    Are you in a gang, have gang ties or family in a gang? If yes... No crib for you.

    Convictions for drugs, prostituting or gang activity?...NO CRIB FOR YOU!

    There are a lot of good people who deserve these apartments more than the pimps, pusher and prostitutes. It's time to make these owners clean house.

  35. "There are a lot of good people who deserve these apartments more than the pimps, pusher and prostitutes. It's time to make these owners clean house"

    Well said my friend. There are good families on waiting lists for 2-5 years yet they are pushed aside in favor of criminal elements who abuse the privilege of having a home.

  36. An Aug. 1, 1996 Trib article by Jacquelyn Heard entitled Bad-Tenants Law May Face Problems is rather interesting. It's an old article so there's no link to it anymore.

    It speaks of an ordinance approved by City Council that had the purpose of forcing landlords to begin eviction proceedings if the tenant was arrested for prostitution, gambling, gang or illegal drug activity inside and even outside their buildings.

    One alderman voted against it and here's a quote from the article about it: "This is only making bad matters worse. It will only bring about more antagonism," said Ald. Helen Shiller (46th), who cast the lone dissenting vote.

    So if you're wondering why we can't get landlords to do better screening and better management practices, look no further.