Sunday, November 22, 2009

Beating At The World Gym

Early Thursday morning, there was apparently a violent altercation at World Gym on Montrose between two construction workers, alleged to be from the Wilson Yard worksite, and a 67-year-old man, leaving the older man seriously injured. Read all about it at the Tribune and Sun-Times; and of course at Lake Effect News.


  1. Funny how one incident can color one’s impression of a place. A while back I was shopping at the Jewel next door to the gym with daughter. We had checked out and were making our way out the door, which isn’t always that easy give the ice machine and other point of purchase displays. I had to pick up and swing the back end of the cart around to make the turn. In the 3-5 seconds it took me to do that, this guy behind me went off. I mean WENT OFF. The guy lost control. Screaming, calling me names, using expletives---all in front of my young daughter and causing every other customer to freeze in their tracks.

    It’s not fair to judge a whole place because of one guy, I know, but this fellow was a gym employee and a guy who, from all outward appearances, was raging. Ever since that incident, I’ve always wondered what kind of gym juice they’re serving up over there. Could explain why two young construction workers would haul off on a 67-year old man.

  2. I go to World gym everyday of the week and lots of weekends and have never had any problem at all there. I don't beleive this incident has anything to do with the gym itself.

  3. i agree with Ken. I am there 4-5 times a week and never have had any problems. The fact that these two workers lost their minds has nothing to do with the gym.

  4. I do like the juxtaposition of the Wilson Yard sign and this story.

    It amuses me.

    If these two guys do in fact work at Wilson Yard as Ironworkers I recommend a long walk off a short beam.

    It's really just a question of how many stories off the ground.

    Think of it as walking the plank.

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  6. Well I was there when this took place. It took place at 5:20am two weeks ago tomorrow. It had nothing to do with the gym, I have been going there for years. You just never know how close the person next to you is to "going off." These guys are in very serious trouble, far more than they had any idea of until Friday when they got to spend the night in county jail before even getting the chance to bond out on Saturday.

  7. I also work out at World Gym 3-4 times a week and have never experienced even a inkling of shadiness. I'd hope a representative from the gym could explain what really happened because this does not make any sense to me at all.

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  9. When I was little, my dad would always tell me to represent yourself well when you would go into someone else's neighborhood, to stay out of trouble.

    It absolutely has something to do with Wilson Yard. It's a hotbed for controversy, and at least the suits could tell the construction company to be extra careful.

  10. Joey, you're tilting at straw men.

    First, you say that John Haley is "off the hook" for drowning Du Doan. I disagree: He hasn't even been sentenced yet. (Sentencing was originally scheduled for November 19th, but was delayed.) No one but the judge knows the severity of the sentence, so saying Haley is "off the hook" is premature, at best. Will he spend the rest of his life in prison for the crime? No, and I'm disappointed he won't, but he's still on the hook for a serious crime. It'll be interesting to see what happens at sentencing, but nothing indicates, so far, that he'll walk.

    Second, you say there's "another side to the story." Read the original blurb. It says there was an altercation between two construction workers and another man. There was. What "other side of the story" is there? No altercation occurred?

    Then, in response to people saying they've never seen anything like this at the gym, you argue that it has nothing to do with the gym. Msybe I'm missing some nuance, but I don't see anyone saying it does.

    As far as it concerning Wilson Yard, well, it *is* the project that draws them to Uptown from Cicero and Indiana. And the juxtaposition of a sign saying "no one gets hurt" over the story about two of the workers hurting a man very badly is pretty ironic.

    Having said that, is Wilson Yard responsible for the behavior of the workers? Depends. As soon as construction started, Walsh and Holsten showed nothing but contempt for the residents of Uptown, ignoring legal working hours and slamming doors in the faces of pedestrians asking questions.

    Seems to me that this is just another public relations nightmare, particularly with Holsten just having given an interview to Lorraine Swanson bragging about how very safe and well-managed the buildings will be. Bad way to start off, from a public relations standpoint. As all us PR majors remember, it's not the facts that resonate with the public, it's the perception. Make no mistake, this is a very black eye indeed, and the link with Wilson Yard won't make the project any friends, regardless of whether or not Holsten or Walsh have any culpability at all. (And I don't think they do, personally.)

  11. Glad to hear my experience was isolated and not indicative of something more problematic.

  12. While this is certainly an Uptown related story, I don't think it is particularly reflective of anything to do with Wilson Yard.

    There have certainly been hundreds of construction workers on that site and what these two allegedly did has little to do with where they worked.

    Considering the time of the morning and the location of the incident I'm guessing steroid abuse. Perhaps on the part of all three individuals involved.

    I had the impression the World Gym was more of a casual fitness type of place than a "steroid factory".

    Considering the two accused are from out of the neighborhood maybe this was just a convenient place to work out while being employed at Wilson Yard.

    It's tough out there for construction workers so these guys likely not only will be spending some cash on attorney's fees, but will find themselves out of work.

    As for some of the comments on other sites that the old guy started it, that doesn't cut it with me. Even if he was being a dangerous turd that is not justification for beating the hell outta him.

    Nope, if the outline of the story is as alleged then these two gentlemen should cut the best deal they can and hope for probation.

    If convicted and they go to prison they will have plenty of time to work out.

    Hopefully, they won't end up downstate at Pontiac. The food sucks.......or so I've been told.

  13. I figured I'd see this up on UU, but I was not expecting to see an attempt to link it to WY. Really, though, this has nothing to do with Wilson Yard. It's straining beyond credibility to try to say that it does. This fight about which various allegations (yet to be proven or disproven) are trickling out --well how is that a PR nightmare for WY, TSN? It's odd that you would think it bodes poorly for WY and not the gym--you know, where it actually occurred??

    This is not a WY story, no matter how you want to try to spin it. You're grasping at straws with that one.

  14. UW:

    Let's not forget the fact that the TIF and WY were touted as a jobs program for local Uptown residents. There was to be training for the trades, and hiring after the people were trained.

    It would also be kind of lame that your tax dollars might go to people who don't live anywhere near the ward, and went to people who could be criminals.

    Please note my hedging - I'm saying if they worked there and if they committed a crime.

    If they are just a couple of thugs who went nuts on a guy, and the other angle is proven to be incorrect, then the point is completely moot.

    But you know what would be great? If these 2 had political connections and got WY jobs due to who they know or give money to.

    Now THAT would be a rockin' story.

  15. Uptown Writer: "This is not a WY story, no matter how you want to try to spin it."

    Sun-Times: "The man said the two worked across the street at a construction site at North Broadway and West Montrose Avenue. The two identified themselves to police as ironworkers."

    I guess it's possible that two guys, one from Lowell, Indiana and one from Cicero, just happen to meet in Uptown to work out at 5 a.m., but my suspicion is that they work at Wilson Yard and met on the project. Gee, they said as much to the police. So, no, it has NOTHING to do with Wilson Yard. Except they work there and it was in the paper that they do.

    As I said, I don't think it's Holsten's responsibility and, unless the guys had previous arrests or records, it's not Walsh's either.

    What I did say is that this is now connected in public perception as something to do with Wilson Yard, and that's not good PR, particularly for a project that needs all the good karma it can get.

    Scoff all you want, UW -- we know that's why you post here, to be disapproving and superior -- but dem's da facts.

  16. "Even if he was being a dangerous turd that is not justification for beating the hell outta him."

    -Old man was openly anti-gay, and would start arguments with the gay members of the gym ofte.

    -Old man PURPOSELY knocked the weight they were using on the bench press, which caused one of the fellows to drop the weight on himself. depending on the amount of weight on the bar, that could be attempted murder.

  17. World Gym people. Not Gold's Gym

  18. Pedro,

    even if what you say is true, and that is a big freaking "IF", it doesn't justify what happened.

    It's just as likely the old guy bumped into a piece of equipment and words were exchanged. Maybe he suggested one or both ironworkers were gay and they went off. Ultimately, the courts will have to decide what happened.

    Sometimes the simplest explanation is the best. Ironworkers, gym rats, lotsa flexing of muscles in mirrors and grunting......I could see some overreaction to a bump leading to a beating. Assuming the two arrested guys took some time away from staring in the mirror at their muscles.

    It seems to me that parts of the "gym rat" and ironworker communities are reflexively defending two of their own.

    Their actions were reprehensible so their defenders try to find reasons to defend them.

    Now one of the stories here mentioned one of the arrested being grabbed by the CPD Fugitive Apprehension Unit.

    Does that suggest he was in hiding?

    In any case if they are found guilty and get jail sentences they will have plenty of time to work out, oil up, and stare in mirrors.

  19. irish pirate, the old man was the steroid user. get your facts straight. he got what he deserved.

  20. Well, without getting into who did what and why, I can tell you that after about seven or eight years of hitting the weights at the gym, there are guys in there who lift a bit of iron and suddenly think they're hard-asses who are working out in the prison yard. They yell, slam weights, etc. and at the most they're lifting 50 pound dumbbells or 145 on the barbells. There's a lot of body language, etc., as well, so I wouldn't be surprise if these two were lifting weights, testosterone starts flowing and they see a SIXTY-SEVEN year old man who committed some perceived affront and try to test out their bodybuilding progress on him.

    Like I said, I wasn't there but I know the scenario.

  21. TSN, no one will use this incident to somehow cast a shadow on WY unless some people make a point to harp on the fact that they were construction workers who worked at WY. It's not scoffing to suggest that maybe you're looking for (WY) scandal where there is none.

    And you know one way you could start breathing some good "karma" into WY: how about not taking every opportunity (no matter how tangential) to suggest something negative about the place? Frankly, no one would even know that WY is anything other than some new construction in Uptown if you and some of your fellow UU posters did not take every opportunity imaginable to take pot-shots at it. But that's another topic, I suppose.

  22. Ah, yes, here's the tsk, tsk and reprimand.

    I'll start taking you seriously when you post something positive about UU, which you obviously read religiously, instead of taking supercilious potshots at every opportunity.

    And, hon, you're a "fellow poster." I find it funny that you scold me and your fellow posters for joylessness and negativity when all you do is post negativity in the direction of the community here. UW, you are Uptown Update just as much as I am. Cheers!

  23. TSN, I'm not looking for your approval nor do I care whether or not you "take me seriously," just like you don't have to care about my opinion. I don't agree with your spin on the story.

    I do read UU daily and have given them a lot of credit for certainly providing a lot of community news. It's for just that reason that more and more people look to UU for a view into Uptown (or even as a way to do a little politicking), and if I feel like you, or a particular UU posting, or some other commenter, etc., gives what is in my opinion an unfair spin on something touching on my community, I'll speak up, so long as my comments are approved.

    Trying to quash a little dissent with name-calling and tsk-tsking is just a way to silence those who don't tow the line.

  24. "Trying to quash a little dissent with name-calling and tsk-tsking is just a way to silence those who don't tow the line."

    Yes, and you're good at it. God forbid someone mention Uplift -- you're on it like the cavalry, tsk-tsking away that we're not all putting Uplift students and staff on our shoulders and throwing them a ticker tape parade.

    Glass houses, hon.

    I'm having a great Thanksgiving, hope you do too. Over and out.