LOGAN SQUARE — A Logan Square resident chased and restrained a man who broke into his home earlier this month, setting off an alarm that should have alerted police.
But cops never showed up because of a 911 dispatcher error, the family said. Now, the man and his wife are demanding accountability from the city and a greater police presence on their block.
The home invasion happened about 5 a.m. Oct. 7 on Mozart Street in Logan Square. The couple, who declined to be named for safety reasons, were sleeping when their security system alarm went off, waking up their three kids.
The woman called the security company while the man went downstairs to turn off the system, thinking it was a false alarm. But then the lights went out in the basement.
The man waited and someone ran up the basement stairs. Within seconds, the homeowner, a former wrestler, chased down and pinned the person, who looked to be a teenager and appeared disheveled.
“He was like, ‘I’m so sorry. I have no money. I’m only 18. Please don’t call the cops,'” the woman said.
The teen, who was wearing multiple pairs of pants, returned the woman’s wallet and ran off when the man let him go, the couple said.
Police should’ve been sent to the scene when the alarm went off, but the cops never came. That’s because there was a breakdown in communication in the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communication, the couple said.
A supervisor from that department investigated what happened and told the couple the teen also had tried to break into another home in their neighborhood, setting off a security alarm there, the husband and wife said. But instead of sending police to the couple’s house, where the intruder was, the 911 dispatcher only sent police to the first house, thinking it was the only one requiring police response, the couple said.
City spokeswoman Mary May said the Office of Emergency Management and Communications is investigating “all calls connected to the event,” but would not say if the agency is looking into a dispatcher error. A supervisor told the woman the investigation will take up to four weeks, she said.
The woman said she wants the office to take responsibility for the mistake, which could have been extremely dangerous.
“That’s all I’ve thought about, was seeing my husband get shot. … Luckily, [the intruder] had nothing,” she said. “Even the 911 dispatcher was like, ‘You could’ve been killed.’ I have to keep reminding myself that did not happen. But how easily that could’ve gone sideways is what churns my stomach.”
Her husband said his “biggest frustration” is the city’s handling of the incident. Since the home invasion, the couple has contacted their alderperson and police district to get more patrolmen and police cameras on their block — but everyone keeps passing the buck, he said.
“What needs to happen before we get more attention?” he said. “There’s all this talk, there’s all this blustering, and nothing ever happens.”
The family has lived in a single-family home in Logan Square since 2014. The couple said their block has seen a “steady stream” of crime over the years, including several shootings. In one, a bullet went flying into a neighbor’s dining room chair right after they got up, the couple said.
But the city’s handling of the home invasion is the couple’s breaking point.
“To tell me you’re going to follow up in four weeks is insane to me,” the woman said. “The stakes are too high.”
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.
Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast” here: