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redeyechicago.com

Acting police boss: 'We're going to find every one of them'

By Jeremy Gorner and Jason Meisner

Tribune reporters

2:47 PM CDT, June 6, 2011

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Acting police Superintendent Garry McCarthy told reporters this afternoon at City Hall that, while he's satisfied with how the police handled the mob action incidents downtown over the weekend, he'll not be completely satisfied until he's got every offender in custody.

"The strategy to prevent that from occurring again is not to be satisfied when 10 kids commit an infraction and arrest three of them. The answer is were going to go after all 10 of them," McCarthy said. "We're going to find every one of them, and we're going to prosecute and arrest every single one of them."

McCarthy also said that he didn't know all the facts of weekend mob action incidents, but said in excess of 20 arrests were made. Three of the five charged in the incidents were in bond court today.

McCarthy stressed the importance of awareness, telling reporters, "You don't want to walk in dark areas by yourself after having a fight at a bar with a friend and you're going home. We still have to pay attention to common sense things to do. ... That's the nature of the world today."

He said the officers' reaction to the incidents was "swift" and he doesn't believe the mob action incidents will be something police will need to worry about in the long run. He also believes officers have been deployed to that area adequately.

He compared the officers' quick handling of those incidents to the way his officers in Newark handled an outbreak in carjackings.

"I believe every crime can be prevented. But guess what? When crimes aren't prevented then we have to turn them around very, very quickly and prevent the next incident from occurring. And that's what we've been able to do," McCarthy said.

Three of the individuals who have been arrested in the weekend incidents were in bond court this afternoon: Dvonte Sykes, 17, of the 7500 block of South Normal Avenue, charged with two felony counts of robbery and one count of mob action violence to person and property; Trovolus Pickett, 17, of the 8400 block of South Dorchester Avenue, charged with three felony counts of robbery; and Derodte Wright, 18, of the 3500 block of South State Street, charged with one count of felony robbery.

Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil set bond at $250,000 for Sykes, $300,000 for Pickett, and $200,000 for Wright when the three appeared in court this afternoon. None of the defendants has any adult arrests in his background, according to Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto.

The four attacks all took place within 10 minutes of each other, Scaduto said.

The first occurred at 8:24 p.m. at 340 E. Chicago Ave., Scaduto said. A 68-year-old physician who was visiting Chicago for a medical conference was sitting on the park bench when he was attacked by a mob of teens, including Pickett. They shoved the man down, and wrestled his iPad and cell phone away from him and ran, Scaduto said.

Less than five minutes later, a victim walking along the lakefront at 751 N. Lake Shore Dr. was attacked by Pickett and others, who punched him and stole his iPod Touch, Scaduto said.

At 8:30 p.m., a man was riding his bicycle at 801 N. Michigan Ave. when a mob approached and surrounded him. Pickett grabbed his headphones while Wright demanded his wallet, Scaduto said. The victim was pummeled to the ground and robbed of cash and his phone, which were later recovered, she said.

The final robbery occurred at 8:34 p.m. at 701 N. Lake Shore Dr., Scaduto said. The victim was walking alone taking photographs with a digital camera when a gang of youths including Sykes and one of the defendants charged as a juvenile attacked and stole the camera.

Two 16-year-old boys also were charged in juvenile delinquency petitions, one charged with a felony count of robbery and one count of mob action violence to person and property, police said. The other boy was charged with one count of misdemeanor theft, control of stolen property of less than $300 and mob action. The youths were not named because they are juveniles.

jgorner@tribune.com, jmeisner@tribune.com