Thursday, September 5, 2013

Urine Trouble

Many residents are familiar with a man who is homeless and frequents the area around Wilson and Broadway.  He uses a wheelchair because his legs are partially amputated, and sleeps in the alcove of the empty storefront at 4645 North Broadway, no matter the season or outside temperature.

Many people have approached him to offer help, and his situation has been brought up repeatedly at CAPS.  What we hear over and over again is that he refuses help from social services and from Ald. Cappleman's office.  A barrier was put up to stop him from trespassing on the store property, but he learned to circumvent it and has been "sleeping rough" in that location for at least a year.

So when readers started reporting a large police presence around 10pm Wednesday night around Leland and Broadway, and we started getting reports that the man was lying on the sidewalk surrounded by police officers, there was much concern that he had become the victim of foul play.  A reader posted the above photo on UU's Facebook page and said that "CPD communications indicated the man in the wheelchair may have thrown feces and urine on officers or pepper sprayed them.  I was there as it happened.... "

Ald. Cappleman later posted:  "A special thanks tonight to to fine 19th District Police officers who dealt with a homeless man who had been living inside a doorway of a storefront on the 4600 block of N. Broadway for the past 3 years. My office has been trying for years to get this man some help, especially after the store owner expressed fear after being threatened by him. Crudely made weapons were found on him and he was reportedly throwing bottles of feces and urine at the police. Next step is to get this man some real help, for his sake and for the sake of the community as well."

Obviously there are some severe mental health issues in play here. We hear that the man was taken to Illinois Masonic as a prisoner, and will be treated for physical issues and will undergo psychiatric evaluation. We imagine there will be some charges filed as well, as police officers don't take kindly to projectiles filled with human waste being thrown.  We hope the officers are unharmed, and that the man will finally receive the care and housing he has needed for years.

Update:  The Tribune has a short article on the incident.

Update:  According to DNAinfo, his name is Derrick Ray, and he threw a caustic substance that may have been bleach at the officers, and pepper-sprayed them as well.  He's up on felony charges as well as misdemeanor trespassing charges.  Police were treated at the hospital for their injuries.


  1. This is so sad. I believe this might be Derek. He's always smiled and greeted me when I walked past him on Wilson by the Currency Exchange. I truly hope he will get real help and not just be shuffled around.

  2. You should be ashamed of that pun.

    It stinks!


    I think I just had my sense of humor excise and became Jason R.

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  4. Man, those officers must have been pissed off!

  5. Well done officers!! I'm glad this guy is finally off the streets & no officers were injured in the process.