Wheeling man charged in River North beating, robbery caught on video

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, September 2, 2021
Suburban man charged in River North beating caught on video
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A man is charged in an attack on and robbery of two men in River North last weekend which was caught on video.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A man has been charged in an attack on two men in Chicago's River North neighborhood last weekend as bystanders looked on and took videos.

Brandon Jefferson of Wheeling is charged with robbery, aggravated battery and having a stolen vehicle in the attack. Police are still looking for other suspects.

Jeferson is due in court Thursday.

Video from the city's POD security camera, first obtained by CWB, shows the scene in the 400-block of State Street around 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

It starts with shoving and what appears to be some kind of street argument, and quickly develops into a pile-on beating. There is no rush by bystanders or anyone else to stop the attack.

"The first one started beating him up, when he's done two started beating him up, and then four people beating him up," said William Salgado, witness who works nearby. "The poor guy, he couldn't even stand up."

Once the men are down, the unflinching crowd rob their pockets, even dragging them men and stripping them of their shoes.

The spike in crime in the neighborhood has led 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly to write a strongly worded letter to Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

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"I am writing this to express my extreme frustration and concerns with the lack of overnight police resources downtown, and the dramatic spike in violent crime in our tourism and hospitality district at night," the letter read in part.

"We're losing business, tourists, they're afraid to come to eat right here, go to the bar, go here, walk," Salgado said. "If they don't, we're going to lose everything right here."

The Cook County Sheriff's Office will now have a more visible presence in the area, helping Chicago police.

"If we see something we can help out in, we will," said Chief Leo Schmitz. "We are there to deter. Hopefully we're deterring crime while we're there."

Please note: The video at the top of this story is from a previous report