Friday Fight Night in Homewood

Reports of alleged "gang activity" near the intersection of Jonathan and Center last Friday night have residents concerned. Read on for details from police.

Two juvenile males received municipal violation citations and were released to the custody of their mothers last Friday, May 25, after they ignored police warnings for them to return to their homes following a reported fight near Jonathan Lane and Center Avenue around 8 p.m.

According to the report, police received several calls about a large fight involving weapons and arrived to find 10 males standing in the road.

Some Patch readers also commented in email and on the Homewood-Flossmoor Patch Facebook page. Here's what some had to say:

  • "hey Folks - there seems to be very significant gang activity happening right now on Center and Jonathon"
  • " I drove right through what seemed to be about eight older teenage boys in some kind of altercation, at 190th and Center, partially on Churchill School's lawn."

Police told the youths, whom they described as uncooperative, to return to their homes, but two of the boys walked past their residences and chased other boys on Jonathan Lane. Police also completed juvenile contact reports on each of the cited youths.

Police report information is provided by the Homewood Police Department and other law enforcement agencies. Charges are not evidence of guilt. They are a record of police actions on a given day, and persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court. If you or a family member are charged or cited and the case is subsequently adjudicated, we encourage you to notify the editor. We will verify and report the outcome.

mom of 2 May 31, 2012 at 09:02 PM
The whole world has changed in the last 10 years, not just homewood. And your sons father should have reported what ever happened, when you let things happen in your community without reporting them, you hold some sort of responsibility to the decline.
mom of 2 May 31, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Don't let this article scare you off, I am a long time Homewood resident, I have 2 school aged kids (8h & 9th grade) I have seen nothing of this sort, nor have I heard the kids talking about any gang activity in the schools.
Homewood Neighbor May 31, 2012 at 09:05 PM
It's beause of people like you Resident 4 who move because "the area has changed" that problems are starting. If eveyone just holds their ground and stays put, there won't be the influx that everyone is so worried about. Perhaps your son's father should have sped off straight to the police department if he was so startled and not allow incidents such as being "rocked" (whatever that is) to be swept under the rug. Why not file a report? Why not stand up for your town? Be part of the solution not the pollution.
Resident 4 May 31, 2012 at 09:08 PM
@Mom of 2. I am obviously moving out in 2 weeks and I really do not care to stir the pot! Every community has problem but it has changed, to where I do not care to live here any longer! I am not responsible for what someone else's kids do and not reporting it does not make me a bad person! I do not need to explain anything to you. My vehicle got broken into twice! I almost got robbed at an undisclosed location w/ my 2 yr old! And my bike w/ my baby seat in back got stolen at Cherry creek! I don't think I need to go on!!! Have a nice day!! =)
mom of 2 May 31, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Oh I am sorry resident 4, it wasn't obvious to me you were moving in 2 weeks.... I am sorry you are leaving with such a bad tast in your mouth and your correct, you don't have to explain anything to me. However keep in mind (in your new town) a community is only as good as its residents. Not repoting crimes (allowing someone to get away with them) sends the message to the criminal "Hey, its ok to do that stuff in Homewood, we are not going to do anything about it" . I have lived in Homewood for 15 years and Flossmoor for the 6 years prior, my car was once broken into.... that is all and could have happened anywhere.
Anita May 31, 2012 at 09:41 PM
I agree. There need to be consequences for actions or no positiive change will occur.
Anita May 31, 2012 at 09:47 PM
I love Homewood too. People are still proud of this community. There will always be some problems in every community. But in Homewood we are still brought together by our pride in our schools, parks, and families. THAT is why we do tell each other and speak with our police. We want to keep this good thing going!
Ryan Fitzpatrick (Editor) May 31, 2012 at 10:00 PM
When a bunch of humans get together, crime inevitably happens—no matter where you are. Homewood is an amazing place to live with incredible things to offer, especially to young families. In my opinion, this isolated incident is not representative of the village I interact with and report on every day.
Hwd Resident May 31, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Juvenal-The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Act is the federal law that guides police departments in how they deal with juvenile offenders. It was first passed in 1974 but last updated and reauthorized in 2011. If you Goolge the act you will get quite a few resources that may answer some of your questions as to why juveniles are not held in custody in the same manner adults are.
Former Resident June 01, 2012 at 12:42 AM
I agree Homewood Momma. I was a resident of Homewood for 22 years. My children went through the grade school and high school system. Over the course of that time, I have watched the integrity of Homewood deteriorate. I had a beautiful home which is now worth nothing. I had property stolen right out of my yard, as well as my neighbors. There were several occassions of police canvassing my neighborhood looking for suspects who had been on a theiving spree. I chose to leave Homeood for my safety. My friends are leaving also. The only ones that remain are the ones who can not sell their homes. It is a sad fact. I attended Homewood Days last year...and will never return again.
Former Resident June 01, 2012 at 12:48 AM
I tried to, but it was flagged inappropriate!
DM June 01, 2012 at 01:02 AM
I would love more information. It seems there are a lot of assumptions being made. What were the weapons the kids were carrying? How do we know this is gang activity? Then, if it is gang activity, what can we do to remedy the problem? Anyone have any ideas on how to get involved and make a change for the better of the community?
Ladydemo June 01, 2012 at 03:15 AM
I am by no means any expert on gangs but, I do have some knowledge learned through authorities etc. I am a long time resident, I tend to take my community seriously, pay attention and do my research. The colors seen at least within the northwest side of Homewood and into Hazel Crest are typically red, black variations w/white stripping or darker colors depicting the same. Pants tend to be sports pants with elastic ankles. One pant leg is always raised and it appears to be particuliar in how high the pant is raised, about mid calve. Snap-back (baseball) type hats are always at an angle and there seems to be common demonitators with socks. My first impression was that they were H-F colors until I noticed the rest of the outfit and the number of times seen. I see this most often during school hours or right after. These people are either drop outs, ditching or the youngest adults I've ever seen. I understand that kids hang out and loiter, I was one of those at Washington Mall!! What I'm seeing now is not your typical teen loitering around. I do not know the names of any gangs specifically, I am told that many kids seen and going to school in this neighborhood are associated with or a gang member, I would suspect that some are simply a "gang wanna-be" for reputation purposes. This would be considered hearsay and is not considered concrete.
Jetta June 01, 2012 at 03:24 AM
"The area has changed a lot..." code for too many non-white faces. We are better off without you, resident 4. Why did you bother posting this negative comment if you are leaving in 2 weeks? I love Homewood and encourage any young family to move here.
HFResident00 June 01, 2012 at 04:00 AM
Wouldn't pay attention to it too much. Most of these kids are just posers trying to make themselves feel tough and conform to what they see on TV and hear from their sources of media. Sending them to jail isn't going to do anything but make them feel like they've got some street credit or something. I know kids like this. They talk a lot but when its time to play hardball they get scared and usually do something stupid like this. Want these kids to learn a lesson I say make them do some hard labor with a tough drill instructor yelling at them the whole time. These kids need discipline. I go in and out of Chicago everyday and I've been through some tough neighborhoods at night on my own and believe me I know a gang when I see one and I've never seen a real gang in Homewood. They're a bunch of phonies who commit petty crimes and they won't go any further than that. It was just a fight and like all fights people want to watch because they think its "cool". Wouldn't worry about this.
Ladydemo June 01, 2012 at 04:16 AM
Firefighter wife, don't be discouraged by this article alone. I also have lived within Homewood for several decades. What you see mostly here is concerned citizens passing both info and opinion in general. All communities have issues, do good research and homework within the village your interested in and make your own true to heart desicion. For us, Homewood is a good home, we have to kids in the district, is it perfect...no but, it is better than most. Is there an issue with gangs, we believe so, that's why we speak out. I also believe that the athorities take this issue quite seriously. Although, I do believe that on a typical basis, crime travels to the best of neighborhoods, typically in stolen vehicles!! It's a matter of pick your community and take your stand in what you believe in. Consider Homewood, this village has been a good home for many years to us, we plan to stay and we plan to make a positive difference as good community residents. Maybe it's you and your family that will help Homewood make a postive change forwards. There are many people here that care a great deal.
Hwd Resident June 01, 2012 at 01:25 PM
As I read this board I feel like I am reading about Harvey. IF crime, gangs, and youth violence are such a big issue that people are moving out then why did that not come up in the questions to Mayor Hofeld? I LOVE that people are asking if we can raise chickens in Homewood because to me that indicates that people feel safe. I think that 95% of the people of Homewood are good, educated, professional, hard working people and it is the 5% that we are talking about now but they exsist in other communities to. Does anyone else read the Patches from other communities in the south and southwest suburbs? I do and it seems the same things are occuring in their communities as well. I love Homewood, the schools, the park districts and ALL of the people. I am very happy here and have not once in the past 9 years since I moved here have considered leaving. Maybe it is time to get a statement from the police chief to address this fight and some of the other efforts he and his department are making to help manage whatever crime problems we do have.
Lisa June 01, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Mom of 2- Obviously you are hiding under a rock if you think there is nothing going on in our schools. Did you forget about the "initiation incident" at James Hart??? Needless to say I have driven down Jonathan and have run into this group of kids... and I would have to say it is overwhelming to see a group of 15 plus kids standing in the street and not want to move out of the way. You can call the police but then they ask what the problem is... they apparently do not know that Homewood has an ordinance about walking and standing in the streets. I do have to say that i agree with someone else on here that we should not back down but at the same time if you call the police and their response is "what would you like us to do?" then what is the point?
homewood gal June 01, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Near Izaac Walton - it's just mayor Hoffeld hunting beavers.
Michael J Peo June 02, 2012 at 01:10 AM
26 years here and I have a 14 year old boy ........Thinking of moving and my home is in perfect condition..........Any ideas on were to go thats somewhat affordable..........thanks I DO NOT BLAME YOU
Michael macdonald June 02, 2012 at 03:50 PM
I have a suggestion for the residents of the Churchill School neighborhood. Organize a neighborhood meeting. Get everyone involved. Have a representative from the Police Department attend. Invite the Mayor. I'm sure Mr. Hofeld would attend. Sit down with your neighbors and get to know them. In a respectfully and polite manner express your concerns and most importantly offer positive ideas and solutions on how to improve your neighborhood. You control the destiny of your neighborhood. "United we stand divided we fall" Also this summer organize a neighborhood picnic, have a barbeque, have games for the kids, and most importantly get to know your neighbors. Homewoods a great town!!!!. Lets keep it that way
Teri K Baldwin June 02, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Stand your ground! All the good families are NOT moving out! Several of us are staying. Don't let the few ruin it for the rest of us!
Teri K Baldwin June 02, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Homewood is still a GREAT place to live! We raised our sons here and we couldn't have found a better place to do so. There is ghood and bad everywhere! we have great police officers, firefighters, etc. We all need to work at making Homewood the place we want it to be. If you hear or see something, report it. If you experience some sort of criminal activity - report it!
Renee June 03, 2012 at 03:26 AM
There is a community meeting planned for Monday, June 11th at 7PM at the Village Hall. Please plan to attend. Hear the facts of what really happened. Get information on how we can stand together to preserve our neighborhood and ensure safety for our children.
Teri K Baldwin June 03, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Thank you Renee!
babyboomer June 04, 2012 at 03:37 PM
While a lot of these kids might be "posers", a lot of them are wearing the gang apparel, those over sized sports team caps with the hologram for teams that we do not have here, some of them might be mistaken for real gang members and get shot. I have also seen the graffiti. We live too close to Chicago Heights, Glenwood nd Harvey not to have some gang activity here in Homewood.
Sensible June 06, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Ok, you people jumping on the "Homewood is going bad" bandwagon, KNOCK IT OFF. I actually live in Homewood, I know for a fact that, rather than getting worse, Homewood has been getting better in the last few years. The recession, for whatever reason, has strengthened the village - if anything, people in Homewood appreciate what they have more now than they did before, and they're protective of their village. Homewood isn't a town that turns a blind eye to bad behavior - quite the opposite. As for gang activity - you'd be hard pressed to find a tag in Homewood. Now don't all you people who happen to know where a tag is go and start barking about it - maybe you could go clean it off instead. People hearing gunshots? You need to relax. Firecrackers. Seriously. I agree with the comments ABOUT (not by) "Resident 4". Black People DOES NOT EQUAL Gangs, or Crime. I'm white, and I've consistently been struck by how well different races get along in Homewood, and I'm proud whenever I see on the news how different it is in other places in the country. Nobody's going to get shot for wearing a hoodie in Homewood, and that's fantastic. We've got upper class blacks, upper class whites, middle class blacks, and middle class whites, and we've got hooligan blacks, and hooligan whites. So maybe we can knock off the scaremongering, and the paranoia, and the "I told you so" racism. Look at this town - it's great. Admit and fix real problems. But no more "Homewood is changing" garbage.
Abe June 08, 2012 at 05:44 AM
How about the drug addicts that walk up and down my street? Do you have an excuse for that too?
SouthSide June 08, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Report it to the police. They must be walking up and down your street because someone is dealing on your street (or near your street). If the police are informed they might just patrol that area with an eye out for drug dealing.
Sensible June 08, 2012 at 02:38 PM
I don't have an excuse. I have questions - how do you know they're drug addicts? Age? Skin color? Clothes? Do they just walk up and down the street, like mall walkers? Some of these comments are just so strange - half of them sound real, half of them sound completely fictional, or just paranoid. The picture you paint with your suspicious lack of detail is of zombie weirdos wandering around with needles in their arms - but that can't be right, can it? Because I don't know any street in Homewood that looks like that. What street is it? What do the drug addicts do?


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