YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Englewood police are hunting down a robbery crew that targets Hispanic male laborers and most recently claimed two victims yesterday — sending one of them to the hospital.
A 27-year-old resident said he was walking home from his job at a local restaraunt when the gang of four “jumped and assaulted him” in the Depot Square Park playground just before 4 a.m., Detective Capt. Tim Torell told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
“He fought them off before they could take any valuables, but he sustained significant injuries and was transported to Englewood Hospital for treatment,” the captain said.
Then last night, around 8:20, 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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