CHICAGO - Residents of Chicago's Uptown neighborhood should be on guard after reports of three separate muggings that occurred in just 15 minutes Wednesday night. Police have confirmed two of the three incidents.
A 40-year-old man was approached by a group of three teen boys just after 7:15 p.m. in the 700-block of West Bittersweet Place, police said.
They demanded he hand over his cash, beat him up and stole his wallet. The victim escaped to a nearby building and the suspects ran north on Clarendon, police said. The man refused medical attention at the scene.
Video from the camera inside the lobby of the apartment building shows the victim as he is about to return when he is suddenly surrounded by the four young men. The entire incident is over in seconds.
"As soon as I got to the front of the building they surrounded me, and then a few of them started hitting me," the victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, said.
At least 2 mugged in Uptown within 15 minutes
The victim was returning home from the store and was still carrying his groceries when he was attacked. Another security camera captured the suspects running away down the street moments later. The victim said it happened so quickly he never got a good look at his attackers.
"I did get punched a couple times, a couple of times in the face and I think once in the back of the head, and then sort of in my ribs, in my back, something like that, so I'm a little sore," he said.
He told police the suspects were black teens between 15 and 18 years old. One of the boys was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and white gym shoes. Another suspect was wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt and gray jeans. The last suspect was wearing blue hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.
About 15 minutes later, police said a 59-year-old man was walking south in the 4200-block of North Clarendon Avenue when he was approached, in an aggressive manner, by a group of four or five suspects who were taking up the entire sidewalk.
When the man tried to pass, they allegedly pushed him down, which caused him to fall onto a small, wrought-iron fence. He sustained a cut to his leg. The suspects went through his belongings, but didn't get away with anything, police said. They ran north on Clarendon.
The victim was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center for treatment, where his condition stabilized. He was not able to give police a description of the people who attacked him.
"It was like a rampage, they went one after another. But this one happened right across the street from our home so it is very disturbing," said Yves Malik, neighbor.
Neighborhood crime blog CWBChicago.com said a third man was also attacked and robbed by four suspects around 7:30 p.m. near West Buena Avenue and Clarendon, before they ran east toward Marine Drive.
The blog said surveillance video of one of the attacks involving four suspects showed a group that looked similar to the descriptions provided to police in the first incident, which involved three suspects. The video reportedly shows a fourth suspect was wearing a red backpack.
The violent attacks remain under investigation.
Last week three people were shot, one fatally, at a Starbucks in Uptown. The ward's alderman said he has asked Chicago police to increase patrols in order to respond to recent spikes in crime.