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Robbery crew that targets Hispanics believed responsible for brutal mugging

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

Englewood police believe a brutal $50 mugging in Mackay Park may be the work of a robbery crew that targets Hispanic male laborers.

This time, a lone, 34-year-old Hispanic male resident who was walking through the south end of the park, near the concession stand, was surrounded by a group of black males in their late teens to early 20’s around 6 p.m. Friday, Detective Capt. Tim Torell told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

“These thugs then proceeded to punch him, knock him to the ground and stomp him while removing $50 in cash from his pockets,” Torell said. “He took a bad beating.”

An ambulance was called for the victim who refused medical treatment.

“The reporting officer, Timothy Barrett, did his best to try to get the male to go to the hospital,” the captain said, “but he just wanted to get out of there.”

“This robbery occurred in broad daylight in front of a whole park full of people. Somebody had to know at least one of these guys. We’re hoping someone steps up and does the right thing.”

In one of the previous incidents, a 27-year-old resident said he was walking home from his job at a local restaurant late last month when what apparently were  members of the same crew “jumped and assaulted him” in the Depot Square Park playground just before 4 a.m.

“He fought them off before they could take any valuables, but he sustained significant injuries and was transported to Englewood Hospital for treatment,” Torell said.

Days later, a 47-year-old resident told police he’d just been robbed on James Street after leaving the Colpan Bakery just off West Palisade Avenue.

The victim said six men, all dressed in black, surrounded him.

Two of them, who he said both looked to be under 14, “broke off from the group and demanded money” while the other four — apparently in their 20s — served as lookouts.

One of the older bandits apparently had a handgun in his waistband, said the man, who told police they fled on foot after he handed over a small amount of cash.

City investigators, including members of the Juvenile Bureau, are searching for the robbers in connection with these and three or four other downtown muggings.

“In all of these incidents, they are being described as young black males and the victims are all Hispanic male laborers,” Torell said.

“We have seen this in the past,” he added. “Sometimes it’s gang initiations, sometimes it’s crimes of opportunity and sometimes, unfortunately, it’s motivated by bias intimidation.

“These groups are often extremely brutal in their attacks and purposely target Hispanic residents they perceive as laborers who are illegal aliens that they think won’t report the robberies to the police for fear of deportation.”

Englewood police are urging anyone who’s been a victim in such a robbery or assault to come forward — with the promise from Torell that “we won’t check their immigration status.”

“Knowing when, where and how these attacks occur help us tremendously in our investigations,” he said.

What’s more, mugging victims “often incur medical expenses they can’t pay,” Torell said. “There are services we can direct them to for help with that also.”

Englewood PD: (201) 568-4875

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