Chicagoland: Brutal beating and robbery of an unarmed elderly man captured on video surveillance


CHICAGO, IL – An elderly man is recovering after being brutally beaten in the Uptown area of Chicago, Illinois the day after Christmas. The violent attack was captured on video surveillance.

A 69-year-old man was in the 490 block of Kenmore around 9 pm when he was viciously attacked by two unknown males on surveillance video.

The video shows one of the two suspects kicking the victim to the ground and then stomping on his head.

When the suspect stopped beating the elderly man, the suspect went through the victim’s pockets while removing anything he could find.

After the suspect finished going through the man’s pockets, he began beating him again before fleeing the area with the second suspect on foot.

The beating took place in a more well-to-do part Chicago at a time in which there would have been multiple people around as the area is lined with restaurants and different shops.

An Uptown resident, identified only as Will, spoke to ABC7 about the attack.

“The day after Christmas I am wondering why it’s like this and why anyone would think that’s ok to do to somebody.”

The Chicago Police Department reported the victim denied medical attention and noted that the suspects did make off with some of his property.

At this time, police have not released if this was some type of targeted attack on the victim or just a random robbery.

Democratic city leaders are on the hot seat to do something to curb the violence and homicides that are occurring there daily.

Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who has historically been on the more liberal progressive side of criminal justice reform, asked in December for judges to start mandating criminals arrested for violent and dangerous offenders spend time in jail as opposed to being placed on electronic monitoring.

In her request, Lightfoot wrote:

“I must continue to sound the alarm about the growing number of pre-trial offenders released back to the communities in Chicago on electronic monitoring.

The ballooning number of violent and dangerous people on EM is one of those drivers as they impact the communities to which they return in multiple, harmful ways.”

While Lightfoot’s request would seemingly make sense as the city is seeing a lot of repeat offenders who are out on electronic monitoring or no bond status go on to commit other violent crimes, the head judge in Cook County has denied the request.

The head judge noted that doing so would violate the law.

According to Cook County Chief Judge Tim Evans, not releasing most people who have allegedly committed violent crimes and/or weapons violations would be equivalent to saying those criminals were guilty until proven innocent. Evans released a statement with his refusal on January 4th:

“A judge cannot hold someone pretrial without a finding that the defendant poses a real and present threat to the physical safety of any person.

This must be found by clear and convincing evidence and the burden of proof is on the prosecution. The mayor’s proposal seems to require that defendants facing certain allegations to be considered guilty until proven innocent.”

Regardless of what Evans thinks, Lightfoot is not ordering people be held illegally, she is actually asking that those people who have:

“Lead charge [of] murder, attempted murder, aggravated gun possession, felons in possession, sex crimes, illegal gun possession, vehicular carjacking, kidnapping or attempted kidnapping or other crimes of violence.”

The above listed crimes are those in which is plaguing the city, not just from new offenders, but from those that have been released from custody with little to no bail or electronic monitoring conditions.

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Illinois man spent no time in prison for 6th felony gun conviction, now charged with 7th felony gun possession

CHICAGO, IL – Damien Stewart is building quite the resume. But it isn’t one you would find on LinkedIn.

He has racked up a total of 6 felony gun-related convictions since 2008.

And somehow, he was on the street to be charged with a potential 7th.

The prosecutor responsible for that fact? Risa Lanier. The same Risa Lanier that was the lead prosecutor in the original Jussie Smollett case. 

Her botched handling of that case led to an investigation into her boss, Kim Foxx. 

As noted by CWB Chicago, “unlike most people who bring embarrassment on their boss and fumble an assignment that launches deep scrutiny of one’s employer, Lanier was subsequently promoted to oversee all of the county’s prosecutions.”

Enter Stewart. 

Illinois man spent no time in prison for 6th felony gun conviction, now charged with 7th felony gun possession
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When he was appearing for his 6th conviction, Lanier directed the prosecutor on Stewart’s case to make an “appropriate offer” based on evidence, the law and conversations with the victims. 

“So, I was not telling anyone to, you know, to give away the candy store or make any sweetheart deals, we want to ensure that the work that we’re doing that we’re continuing to do it with integrity, despite the circumstances that we’re under, but we do empower our [assistants] to look at their cases and to use their discretion,” Lanier said.

Here are the charges Stewart was facing: 

Class X armed habitual criminal, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon with previous convictions, ten counts of aggravated battery of police, aggravated assault of a peace officer by using a firearm, and DUI.

The charge of aggravated assault with a firearm carries a mandatory sentence of 6-30 years when ruled a class X felony. Stewart was looking at a serious stint in prison, potentially the rest of his life. 

Keep in mind, he was a 5-time convict for similar crimes. His other sentences included two years each for his first two convictions, three for his third, six for his fourth and five for his fifth.

His first five convictions netted him 18 years behind bars.

It is apparent that he didn’t serve the majority of that time, given that his convictions occurred in 2008 (2), 2009 (1), 2010 (1), and 2015 (1).  

His 6th conviction occurred in 2019, 4 years after his conviction that landed him in prison for 5 years. 

With all of that background included for context, we now proceed ahead in this story.

The prosecutor on his case offered him a deal. Cook County agreed to drop ALL of the charges against him except one, if he would agree to plead guilty to that one charge. That charge was felon in possession of a firearm with a previous conviction. 

But wait, Lanier said she wasn’t authorizing sweetheart deals.

Buckle up, it gets better.

The prosecutor reduced that remaining charge to a class 4 aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. Class 4 is the lowest level felony in the state of Illinois. What was potentially going to be a long-term prison sentence was reduced down to 3 years.  

Let’s not forget that 11 of the 15 charges were for aggravated battery and aggravated assault with a firearm of peace officer. 

Wait, we aren’t finished adding the ridiculousness that is this case. 

On May 6, 2019, Judge James Linn presided over the case and sentenced Stewart to three years. Then he announced that those three years were offset by the time he spent on an electronic monitor and in jail prior to pleading guilty. 

On May 7th, Stewart was assigned and transported to the Stateville Correctional Center. According to records from the Illinois Department of Corrections and obtained by CWB, he was also released that same day. 

It should come as no shock that Stewart was in court again on New Year’s Eve 2021. This time, the charges stemmed from gun-related issues. We will wait while you pretend to be surprised. 

On December 31st, he was charged with Class X armed habitual criminal, possessing an extended ammunition magazine, leaving the scene, failure to report as a gun offender, and filing a false police report.

Here is what led to those charges. 

On or about the 29th of December, Stewart, who was still on parole for the 2019 conviction, was contacted as part of a traffic stop. 

Police say that as they approached the vehicle, they witnessed Stewart making movements toward the back seat. He was alone in the vehicle. He provided the officer his driver’s license.

When the officers on the scene saw a semi-automatic handgun with an extended round magazine, they asked him to step out of the vehicle. Stewart refused, and when an officer attempted to open the door, he sped away. 

He did, however, leave his license behind. Stewart crashed his car three blocks away. When police arrived, the vehicle was unoccupied, and the gun was gone. Police recovered his wallet and his cell phone. 

A few hours later, Stewart walked into the 5th Police District station to report his vehicle stolen.

Police say that he entered wearing the same clothes he had on during the traffic stop. He claimed that the vehicle was stolen along with his wallet, cell phone and ID. 

Officers went outside to speak with a woman whom Stewart identified as his wife. 

According to Assistance State’s Attorney John Gnilka, said that the woman told police that she had a gun in the car, but she held a concealed carry permit.

Officers searched the vehicle and found a gun with an extended capacity magazine that matched the description of the one spotted during the earlier traffic stop.  

While Judge Mary Marubio set Stewart’s bond at $250,000, he cannot be released even if he posts the 10% required. At least not until the state can review his parole status and determine next steps in regard to these new charges. 

And people wonder why gun-related offenses are the way they are in Chicago. Primarily, progressive politicians and activist prosecutors who do everything they can to limit the amount of time violent criminals spend in a jail cell. 

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