Chicago man 2nd to be charged in River North robbery, beating caught on video, CPD says

Chicago violence: Cook County Sheriff's Office previously pledged to help CPD in area

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, September 9, 2021
River North crime: 2nd suspect charged in State St. beating, robbery
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Video of the August incident shows shoving and what appears to be some kind of argument, and quickly develops into a beating, as bystanders look on.

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

Mekiel Hampton, 19, of Chicago was charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm and robbery.

He was arrested Tuesday in the 6300-block of South Loomis Boulevard after being identified as one of the suspects who battered and robbed a 40-year-old man just after 1:30 a.m. on Aug. 28 in the 400-block of North State Street, Chicago police said.

He's also charged with the aggravated battery of a 54-year-old man at 1:05 p.m. on Aug. 28 in the 600-block of North State.

Brandon Jefferson of Wheeling has also been charged in the late night beating and robbery, facing charges of robbery, aggravated battery and having a stolen vehicle.

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. Aug. 28.

It starts with shoving and what appears to be some kind of argument, and quickly develops into a beating, as bystanders look on.

"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, a witness who works nearby. "The poor guy, he couldn't even stand up."

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Once the men are down, the crowd robs their pockets, even dragging the 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.

The Cook County Sheriff's Office previously said it would 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."