Thursday, April 02, 2009

"I'm Scared"
"You Should Be"

I'll bet this fellow will be very popular in prison.

Zachary Goldak, 19, of the 3200 block of North Broadway in Chicago, allegedly snatched a purse from an elderly woman on March 3, 2009, dislocating her shoulder in the struggle. Authorities said Goldak was having a bad day and wanted someone else to share his misery.

A witness who chased down the suspect and held him for police said he was glad he stopped "a pretty cowardly thing."

At about 5 p.m. on March 3, Goldak came up behind the 78-year-old victim on the sidewalk near his home and grabbed her purse, a Cook County Asst. State's Atty. Erin Antonietti said that. The two struggled and he pushed her to the ground, dislocating her shoulder.

As he fled, the witness yelled for someone to call the police and chased Goldak to the entrance of his apartment building, recovered the purse and held Goldak until police arrived, Antonietti said.

"When officers arrived, the defendant told them that he was having a bad day and [expletive] that woman, she could have a bad day, too," she said.

The witness who chased the suspect, criminal defense attorney Jake Howard, had just parked his car at a meter on Broadway, south of Melrose Street, when he saw the robbery unfold.

At first, he thought the two people just stumbled and fell together. But then he realized there was no ice on the sidewalk, he said.

"When he hopped up and picked up the bag I knew something was wrong," Howard said in a telephone interview Wednesday. "If someone grabs a bag and starts running, they're up to no good as far as I'm concerned."

Another man ran to the woman's side, so Howard quickly decided to try to apprehend the alleged suspect, he said.

Howard, who plays rugby in his spare time, said he knew he could catch the guy.

At first the suspect was just walking in a fast pace, Howard said. "I told him, you better run (expletive)."

The suspect took off to a nearby apartment building and began to fish for his keys, Howard said.

"It seems like a dumb idea to snatch a purse in front of your apartment," Howard said.

Howard said he couldn't allow the suspect to get inside or he would lose him, so he jumped in the doorway and closed the door on the suspect's left hand. The suspect didn't put up much resistance and only said, " 'Dude, let my hand out of the door,' " Howard said. "I said no."

Another person on the street called police while Howard held the man. Three other "big guys" came to Howard's aid to wait for the police so the suspect wouldn't try to get away, he said.

Howard had no idea at first that the victim was an elderly woman. This angered him, he said. But what angered him even more was the suspect's excuse for committing the crime, he said.

"It's a pretty cowardly thing to snatch someone's purse anyway," Howard said. "But to do it just to spread misery is even worse."

Even though Howard wasn't sure if the suspect had a weapon or friends lingering nearby, he said he would do it again.

"When criminals realize that people aren't going to take it, maybe they'll think twice," Howard said. "I'd do it again. I don't want that stuff going on in this neighborhood."

Goldak, who is listed at 6 feet tall, 125 pounds in his arrest report, appeared terrified as he stood in court awaiting his bond hearing. After court, a Cook County sheriff's deputy who saw him before the hearing said Goldak seemed to be having yet another bad day.

"'He looks at me and says, 'I'm scared,' " the deputy said. "I said, 'You ought to be.' "

"Good job, Stupid"

Island Lake is a small community near my home.  I'm glad to see one of my local elected officials are passionate about serving the community!

Island Lake Trustee Rich Garling was arrested on Feb. 10, 2009, at the suburb's Village Hall after he apparently was offended by a rude comment directed his way during a meeting and allegedly punched a resident.

The meeting was held to discuss challenges to the nominating petitions of candidates in the April 7 municipal elections.

Resident Gina Meeks, whose husband, David, is running for a trustee seat, reported that Garling struck her on the back "as hard as he could" after he overheard her comment as he walked past her, Police Chief Anthony Sciarrone said.

"He passed me and I said, 'Good job, stupid.'
 He took his hand and hit me on my back as hard as he could," Sciarrone said, quoting from a police report.  Meeks told police that Garling struck her so hard she stumbled forward in front of several witnesses, Sciarrone said.

Garling posted $100 bail at
Island Lake's police station after his arrest on the misdemeanor charge.

Garling, who serves as chairman of the Village Board's Police and Public Safety Committee, ran unsuccessfully last fall for the Illinois House.
 He has two years remaining on his four-year term on the board.

Village trustees typically sit on the local electoral boards that make decisions when challenges are filed to the nominating petitions of would-be candidates.