Teens charged in Streeterville mob attacks

June 6, 2011 (CHICAGO)

Police say they have arrested more than 20 people in connection with the mob attacks, including an attack near Northwestern University's downtown campus. The attacks happened in Streeterville, a usually quiet area of the Near North Side which is near the Magnificent Mile.

One of the attack victims, Krzysztof Wilkowski spoke with ABC7 on Monday.

Wilkowski, 34, is a little battered and bruised, but maintains a positive attitude despite being jumped by a mob of 15 to 20 teenagers Saturday night. He says he had just parked his scooter in the 300-block of East Chicago Avenue in Streeterville when he was hit in the face with a baseball by the teens who then beat and tried to rob him.

"I was just like, I gotta defend myself. They want something from me. I'm not gonna give it away," Wilkowski said. "They didn't attack me at the same time. It was more like Bruce Lee-style, one at a time, two at a time."

Wilkowski fought back fiercely and held on to his cell phone. In addition to the reported attack on Wilkowski, three other mob attacks on different people occurred within minutes Saturday evening. No one was seriously injured. The men allegedly involved in the attacks got away with items like iPods and cell phones.

Of the five teens charged in the attacks, two are juveniles. The other three are Derodte Wright, 18; Dvonte Sykes, 17; and Trovulous Pickett, 17. These three teens were in court Monday where they were each ordered to be held on bonds of $200,000 or more.

On Monday, acting Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said more teens have been arrested, and that he is working to snuff out mobs attacks. "We're going to go after all of them. We're going to find every one of them, and prosecute and arrest every one of them," McCarthy said.

Streeterville is in the 42nd Ward, and Alderman Brendan Reilly says it's important to keep the area, a destination for shopping and tourism, safe. "Chicago is world-renowned for being a safe place to visit and have fun," Reilly said. "If we don't keep the downtown and lakefront safe during the summer months, I'm concerned this could have a negative impact on city."

Streeterville residents react to mob attacks
The recent attacks have those in the Streeterville community on edge.

"I'm wearing a whistle on a chain when I walk now," resident Fern Edson told ABC7 Chicago. She added that she only wears her new whistle at night but is considering hanging it around her neck more often.

"I live at Water Tower, but I have seen them in the park across gathered there, 15 and 20. They're like in gangs," Edson said.

When asked if he thought Chicago-area residents and visitors would be afraid to go downtown or to Near North Side Beaches, area resident Richard Trenkmann said, "You bet they would. As soon as they see your report, they're gonna be terrified."

Residents of the upscale community say they have seen a larger police presence since Sunday. Still, 85-year-old Raisa Dvorkina says she does not think it's enough.

"I think we need more police, if it's possible," she said.

College student talks about being attacked by a mob on the Red Line downtown
An 18-year-old college student, who did not want us to use her name, is hoping police find the group of teenagers that attacked her on the Red Line last Friday night. The incident took place near Lake Street downtown.

"On my face I'm bruised right here, my head swollen, they stomped my feet," the college student said, adding that she fought back as the attackers stole her purse.

Additionally on Monday, University of Illinois at Chicago sent out a crime alert to its students and staff telling them about a student whose iPod was stolen on a CTA bus as he was attacked by a mob of young males.

As the tourist season begins, McCarthy says his plan is to knock this action out quickly. McCarthy said again Monday that closing North Avenue Beach on Memorial Day had nothing to do with gangs or mobs.

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