Man in ‘peacekeeper’ vest in Little Village charged with robbery, assault on man

A man in a neon “peacekeeper” vest beat and robbed a man in Little Village on Friday night, police said. violence prevention activist It spread across Chicago over Memorial Day weekend.

Cook County prosecutors said at a trial on Sunday that Oscar Montez, 31, pulled a man out of his car and punched and kicked him to the ground in the 2300th block of South Washteno Avenue. announced that he was part of the group.

Prosecutors said Montez stole the man’s cell phone and hit him in the head, while another stole the man’s wallet.

According to prosecutors, the man suffered fractures to his face and ribs, and partial blindness in his eyes.

Prosecutors said officers watching the attack on surveillance camera footage sent officers to tend to the large crowd nearby. Police allegedly saw Montez throwing his stolen mobile phone on the street as he left.

A police report said that when officers arrived, they saw Montez walking away and taking off a neon-colored vest that read “Peacekeepers.” In Sunday’s court, no one mentioned ties to peacekeeper vests or anti-violence groups.

It is unclear which anti-violence group Montes belonged to.

A spokesman for the anti-violence group Enrace, which has deployed peacekeepers in Little Village, said the group would issue a statement but would not do so by Sunday afternoon.

Mr. Montes was held without bail by Judge Mariam Ahmad on charges of aggravated assault, robbery and burglary.

Montez’s aides questioned how well police could identify him in the dark during the 11:15 p.m. attack, but the judge said Montez was familiar with the area. and remarked how bright the streets were under the police. Surveillance cameras at the location of the attack.

He was released from an Illinois prison last May on an aggravated release of a firearms conviction. Since 2012, prosecutors have indicted him on charges of attempted murder. But Montez agreed to a plea bargain of 12 years in prison for his release alone.

Over 500 people attended hired as a peacekeeper, trained to quell violence in Chicago as part of an $11 million state-funded anti-violence program. The peacekeepers belong to more than a dozen community violence prevention groups.

Gov. JB Pritzker signed a rethink of the Public Safety Act in 2021, authorizing the creation of the State Firearms Violence Prevention Agency to fund anti-violence strategies. Funding for the program is expected to grow to $30 million next year.

Most peacekeeper program participants are not paid full-time outreach workers. They are recruited in violent neighborhoods and receive a daily wage of $100. Some of the programs still have ties to the gangster world.

People involved in peacekeeping forces and anti-violence programs are sometimes targeted by violence. Between February and April this year, two peacekeepers were wounded, one by a gunshot and one by a stabbing, according to a study by the Neighborhood Collaborative Research and Science Center.

In early May, participants of the violence prevention group CRED mortally wounded While walking through the parking lot of the Roseland Outreach Center.

Contributors: Frank Main, Andy Grimm, Tom Schuba Man in ‘peacekeeper’ vest in Little Village charged with robbery, assault on man

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