Wednesday, July 13, 2011

One For The Record Books

An 52 year-old homeless Uptown man was arrested yesterday in the 1000 block of W. Lawrence for the 106th time for robbing a 71 year-old man of $60. According to this CBS Chicago story and Chicago Tribune story,

Police said Michael Woods, 52, began following the man around at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, and robbed the man of the $60 he was holding in his hand in the 1000 block of West Lawrence Avenue.

The victim was not hurt.

An accomplice was with Woods, but that person ran away, police said. Woods stayed behind long enough for two men who witnessed the robbery to catch and detain him.

During the fight, Woods allegedly hit one of the men, but they overpowered him and held him until police arrived, according to Lincoln District police Sgt. Patrick Barker.

Woods, who lives at a shelter on Wilson Avenue, was arrested around Lawrence and Kenmore avenues, according to Barker.

He was charged with a felony count of robbery of a victim who is handicapped or over 60 years old, battery, and resisting a police officer, according to police News Affairs.

With the plethora of social services available in Uptown, it is a shameful that a person has to resort to robbing an elderly and handicapped neighbor. We hope that Mr. Woods gets the helps he needs to prevent a 107th trip to jail.

UU Note: CBS Chicago is reporting this as Woods' 102nd arrest, and the Chicago Tribune indicates it is his 106th. Which ever is the correct number, it is still 100 too many.


  1. I don't think the victim was handicapped... It clearly says handicapped OR over 60. Not that it makes it ok.

  2. Good work to the guys that got involved to get this slob off our streets. I hope there will be others that act and not look the other way when they see a crime going down. I know I would, mace and all. I wonder how many other criminals the shelter holds and feeds that come out to rob and then to return to seek shelter and food.

  3. I am not sure there is a social service that would be helpful if your intention is to commit felony burglary when you don't have enough money. Sure the guy could ask for help and do the work to address whatever issues he has. But instead it appears he feels he can just do what he wants and does not care if he is arrested. 106 times, how many more times did he commit a crime and not get caught. Quite a few I bet. Not much can be done to help a person thinking like that.

  4. Staggering, is there a prize for the 100th arrest?

    What is to be done with habitual criminals?
    I wonder what the rate is after a certain arrest where someone will just keep getting arrested until their demise?

    Seems that people who cant prove themselves to be able to live among normal citizens without doing violence should be put somewhere else.

  5. According to the Tribune, he was found guilty in 18 of the 106 times he's been arrested. That's less than one in five times. In the other 88(!!) instances, I assume he either pled guilty, pled no contest, or the state's attorney declined to follow through with the charges. In any case, you clearly have a habitual offender. Between the judges and Anita Alvarez's office, why is he able to get back on the street so easily? Why are they forcing the police (and citizens) to constantly have to keep dealing with this guy?

  6. this is what someone witnessed outside of the lawrence house. that place cannot get ownership changed fast enough.

  7. What about Anna of Green Gables? I thought she was arrested 300 times?

  8. Who is Anna of Green Gables? Is that a real person?

  9. What often happens is that someone signs a complaint or presses charges and then fail to go to court. If you don't show up, there's not much a judge can do.

  10. If you want everyone put away to do real time for their offenses, get ready to pay higher taxes to build and staff more prisons. I'm not saying I like it either, but it's realistic.

  11. If you have three misdemeanor convictions for prostitution , you can then be charged witha felony and be given a year in prison. Not sure why this doesn't apply to other midemeanors, if it did people like this could be off the street for a longer period of time. The whole misdemeanor arrest thing in Chicago is a joke, pay a visit to one of the misdemeanor courts and watch almost every case be thrown out.

  12. Stay Classy Uptown! Way to judge a person without ever meeting him!

  13. Vic's Pic's -- are you serious?? Uptown Arts -- do a search on UU for Anna Green.

  14. @Littleton:

    These posts really stuck with me.

  15. Vic's Pics said...
    Stay Classy Uptown! Way to judge a person without ever meeting him!

    July 13, 2011 5:51 PM

    Yup. Judged. Never met the fool and hope I never do. Either way, taxpayers are paying for him to live (SSI, Link Card, prison, etc) so let him rot in prison. Money well spent.

  16. Vic's Pics--go take your medication. No one NEEDS to judge Woods, since his long record speaks for itself. We don't need to know him any better, since we know his record well enough to know that we don't want and don't need him in our neighborhood...and no other neighborhood should be saddled with him either. Either lock him up in prison or lock him up in a treatment program that can handle him without putting other people at further risk.

  17. @Ray...
    Paying higher taxes to deal with these offenders is not realistic at all. It's just not the right approach. Just imagine how much tax money has already been wasted on this mans 100+ arrests. Our system is very broken but throwing more money at the problem is not the solution. The philosophy of the united states has become to constantly treat the symptom and ignore the core ailment. This is true in almost all aspects of America. We need to begin to address the problems at their root. This is difficult for people to understand and accept because the progress is seen in the long term and people want short term fixes because that way the problem is out of sight out of mind.

    We need to stop producing people that end up like this man with over 100 arrests. We have way too many young people without direction, discipline and values. It's a big problem to fix but if we don't the future will only be worse.

    As far as a short term fix to deal with some of these criminals maybe we should send them to the badlands of south dakota. It's where bad guys used to hide. So let's let them hide!

  18. well, i have met this guy when he panhandled extremely aggressively and i had to call 911 from where he trapped me in a locked store doorway...and he's a jerk. he's why i carry pepper spray now.

  19. Well I won't say anything 'negative' about this, as J. Littleton chastised me regarding comments on the BB Gun Shootout at the Leland/Malden OK Corral.

    Jeffrey, I'm looking to you to put a positive spin on this please.

  20. It's obvious Anita Alvarez's office cannot keep society safe from lifetime criminals like this. @Gwen, I was involved in the Cook County criminal justice system twice once as victim and once as a parent and understand it a bit. You go the first time, the case gets continued, the second time if there are multiple offenders they ask for seperate trials, you go again a jury trial is requested. Scumbag bottom feeder attorneys pull these tactics, knowing full well most people just cannot keep taking time off from work for anything except the most serious of crimes. Also believe me the CC S.A'S don't like charging felonies and if they do they are all too happy to plead them down. Ex. my son was jumped two years ago an off-duty CPD saved him (thank you), one of the thugs had brass knuckles, the mere possesion in Illinois is a felony. Was told wont charge as felony, "it wont get approved." Misdemeanor battery, with court diversion. Why even bother? Alvarez and others who refuse to push for the law abiding citizens need to go.

  21. That's why we have so many drifters from other areas of the city. SOCIAL SERVICE. I still say these agencies should be for uptown residents only. @ vic pic? Judge this guy???? Any one who would even think of robbing someone yet alone a senior citizen should be put away for a long time. What if that was your mother or father? How would you feel? Look, this creep is only 52 y/o why isn't he going to work instead of looking for someone to take from? I don't want to hear a sad story either.102 times arrest record? Throw his ugly a¥£ in jail an throw away the dam key. He's a waste of life.

  22. @ Stark M

    I didn't think I was chastising ya so much as I was objecting to use of the word "satanic" in describing the young offenders.

    That and what at times can be a leap to judgement on a building, why someone in this thread even brought up the Lawrence House. LH had nothing more to do with this then DIB sushi restaurant did, that is not the same as me saying LH doesn't have issues....does that make sense its kinda long.

    I know your just using the language colorfully, I actually like this reference:

    "BB Gun Shootout at the Leland/Malden OK Corral" that is funny, but satanic not so much.

    As far as putting a positive spin on this........ that is one tough assignment Starky M. I am just glad the disabled victim didn't get hurt, it was likely a traumatic experience getting ganged up like that by two people, and $60 is an important amount of money to some folks. Best I can do.

  23. Via Second City Cop

    Those Darn Police

    Why is this guy walking around?

    "A 52-year-old man with 106 arrests on his record was arrested again Tuesday afternoon, accused of robbing a disabled person in Uptown, Chicago police said."

    "Michael Woods, of the 900 block of West Wilson Avenue, has been charged with strong-arm robbery of a handicapped victim over 60, battery and resisting arrest, said Chicago Police [...]."

    "The incident happened about 3:15 p.m. Tuesday in the 1000 block of West Lawrence Avenue, [...]. Woods and an accomplice allegedly approached and tried to steal $60 the victim, a 71-year-old man, had in his hand."

    --- Oh wait. It's the police who have been doing their job. It's the judges and State's Attorney's Office who haven't been keeping up their part. Under any sort of of "Three Strikes" law, this guy would have struck out about seven-and-a-half innings ago. Why is he still haunting the streets?

  24. Well this guy isnt hanging around the Drake Hotel,

    LH attracts this sort of person,
    birds of a feather flock together, very likely he knows people at LH and uses the same services or whatever as they do.

    If LH was an upscale hotel, many of these social problems would be pushed elsewhere, which really is cynical but likely a realistic solution.

    Dib restaurant's prescence compared to LH is like bilbo baggins standing in front of the eye of sauron and its whole evil army, i.e. not much of an influence in comparison....

  25. Anon---I'm well aware of the frustrations involved with pressing charges and going to court and continuances. It's not an easy process but the alternative is to sit back and do nothing. Hence, a person with over a hundred arrests and few convictions.

    I've been a victim more than once have shared your frustration with lesser charges. Once the ASA's explained why they were seeking a lesser charge than what I was expecting, it made sense.
    They know what will probably stick and what won't.

    It seems to be a popular sport to blame Anita Alvarez for all of societies ills but this guy has been in the system long before Alvarez's time. Just sayin..

  26. The big picture reasons why something like 100+ arrrests can happen goes way beyond Uptown. As far as our community is concerned, the priority should be closing (not pie in the sky make them better places nonsense) the countless mismanaged and poorly run shelters, SROs, etc.

    It's really that simple, Uptown has been forced to shoulder the brunt of burden from the city's, state's and national govt's blunders for far too long.

  27. Folks. This can all be laid at the feet of Helen and her minions, JPUSA, Marc Kaplan, etc etc that make excuses and not results... We cleaned Helen out, now it is time for the good Alderman to start moving towards the licensing , as promised, of shelters, etc etc. That way people who are there are getting the help they need and people that are criminals are moved out... all of this, of course, is my humble opinion =)

  28. Amen to Uptown Superhero.....well said!

  29. Unfortunately this got national attention. Saw it on the news blotter on the street in New York City "Northside Chicago man gets arrested for the 106th time." Then come to find out he is a friendly neighbor down the street from me. Once a crackhead always a crackhead. Keep smoking Michael.

  30. 102 or 106 arrests are not 100 too many.... they are 102 or 106 too many.