Saturday, April 20, 2013

396 Arrests, 83 Aliases: "A Master At Working The System"

Some of Charmaine Boone/Shermain Miles's many mugshots

Shermain Miles (or Charmaine Boone, depending on the day) is a familiar sight to many in Uptown.  Too familiar, most would say.

She's been a one-woman crime wave.  Not only quality-of-life crimes, like public indecency and public intoxication (although there've been plenty of those).  She's also been convicted of attacking senior citizens; punching, slapping and pinching people she randomly encounters; pulling knives on pedestrians; and stopping traffic because she feels like it.  As we said in February"Ms. Miles's long rap sheet lists convictions for armed robbery, attempted robbery, criminal damage to state property, retail theft (twice), possession of controlled substances, possession of narcotics (twice), attempted robbery of a victim who was handicapped or elderly, and robbery."

The Sun-Times has an in-depth article about her today.  She's had a tortured life, and part of us feels sorry for her.  But a bigger part of us feels sorry for Uptown and the North Side, where so many people and businesses have suffered because of her inability to be part of society without causing problems.

As the article says:  "She fakes seizures that mean costly hospital visits. She gets judges to delay her cases. And then she returns to the streets to be arrested again and again — so many times that she ranks in the top 1 percent for all current CPD arrestees."

This woman, who prompted a community letter-writing campaign last February, has been a client of many social services, including Thresholds, which refused to talk to the Sun-Times about Ms. Miles or even about their programs in general. As the article says, she's a master at working the system.  A policeman says she's brilliant at "getting judges to delay cases so that her victims get frustrated, stop coming to court and then the case is dismissed."

Right now (sigh of relief) she's in jail. She may be there until 2014 if a Prisoner Review Board finds her guilty of breaking her parole.  After that?

If nothing changes, she'll come back to Uptown, as she has many times before.  She has family (two sisters and adult daughter) who can't handle her.  So Ms. Miles always makes her way back here.

The entire article is here.


  1. We play around too much with these people. The courts need to put her in an institution where she can get help for the rest of her life. I'm sorry but some people can't function in society. She will kill someone one day and only then will they take action.

  2. Well, it least it shows she can master a skill.

  3. This woman was near blackout drunk harassing me in the dollar store on Broadway near Jewel-Osco.
    Now to lock up the dozens of others just like her.

  4. She's a menace to herself and society.

    She reminds me of a slightly more lucid version of this former Uptown resident who started a fire that killed four young people back in 2007.

    She was found not guilty by reason of insanity, probably a just verdict, and will likely spend the rest of her life forcibly institutionalized.

    Ms Miles, or whatever she's calling herself today, needs to be locked up for her own good and the good of society.

  5. Almost 400 arrests? The judges have to have been on a first name basis with her. I wonder how many of those were I-bonds?

  6. There is a great need to re-open some of the mental institutions that have been closed. Or build group homes for these people.

  7. As far as "I-bonding" one should never consider lockup being "institutionalising". She needs help in form of psychiatric commitment.... Somebody's dropped the ball...its between the judges and the medical professionals......

  8. "Anyone want to bet that if she wasn't chasing [King James] Cappleman, she'd still be out slapping, punching, begging and whoring? You can do all that, but if you chase one of the "elite" members of society around, Anita will dig up something to pin on you. They sent her down on a parole violation. How many times have you ever seen a parolee violated for a misdemeanor charge? It's d*mn rare in Cook County."

    From Second City Cop blog. (Sorry, can't post direct link due to profanity in the link.)

  9. Of all the people the reporter could have interviewed for this story he somehow found "Mailbox Man", who drinks all day while leaning on the mailbox at Lawrence and Sheridan. Why am I not surprised that they know each other?

  10. ^exactly.

    And that leads to the bigger issue, which should be discussed: How do we fix a system that doesn't actually care for people mentally?

    I am disappointed that UU would post this article and not even frame it in such a way to open up discussion about mental health, especially being UPTOWN Update.

  11. Wait. They arrested Sweet Brown?! Aint nobody got time for that!

    But seriously, as one of the 396 complaint filers,I say this woman is cray. Should of been locked up yeeeeears ago.