In this nice building containing 900 apartments there was a grocery store, drug store, dry cleaners, a three screen movie theater, ice skating rink, bowling alley and health club. Of course don’t let me forget the marina below that could at one time store 900 boats.
I was one of several cops that lived in the building. As cop we had perks such as the ability to park and retrieve our own cars. The parking garage needed all the help they could get keeping local thugs from stealing cars or vehicle contents. Of course our encounters with criminals were, for the most part kept under wraps as not to disturb the residents.
I liked to walk to Pizzeria Uno or the Billy Goat to bring back some of what I consider the more important food groups. Occasionally I’d encounter prolific African-American criminals out on the prowl looking for victims at night. I had tombstone courage back then and usually a large gun or even two to deal with anything dangerous.
I also handled security at an off-duty gig at the old Continental Trailways Bus Terminal at 20 E. Randolph. Sometimes it was a chore to be able to avoid trouble while walking to this job because of the local thugs. Yes, I made numerous arrests near Marina City over the years.
Crime in the building was somehow considered rare to Marina City residents. I guess two known murders, a dozen home invasions in a decade qualifies as rare.
Of course there was that one-man crime wave during this period by one of the brave knights hired by the building to keep it safe. Al Washington was an armed and uniformed guard licensed and working for The Andy Frain Security Company.
Somehow Washington got ahold of the master keys to the apartments. This was during the transition period when the building was being converted to condominiums. Washington simply entered apartments and took whatever he could carry. Cash, guns jewelry, cameras simply vanished. We could only imagine what the highly identifiable and recognizable Washington would have done to anyone who discovered him in the act.
During that period there were more than a few people that were thought to have committed suicide after they fell, jumped or were pushed off their balconies. It was always the same, their bodies created a monumental mess and police would find their apartment doors locked.
It was manager Morris Swibel, not the cops that cracked this case by grilling the nervous and sweating Washington in his office. Swibel suggested that the security guard wipe the sweat off his face. Washington pulled out a handkerchief from his pocket and the master keys popped right out on Swibel’s desk! I can’t prove Washington murdered anyone but I can’t help but think about that suicide scenario. Of course Washington had the keys, motive, means and opportunity.
If you wonder why I write about this now, it is to educate the residents of Marina City and similar yuppie apartment dwellers of the very real dangers that they often don’t appreciate. These are the same people that wear seat belts while driving cars and helmets when on bicycles. But they’re never prepared for the very real possibility rape, robbery, or murder.
My neighbors in the 1970’s were no different than today’s residents. They thought that the cops and building security workers were quick and efficient. The truth is that that’s a myth for sure. There’s never a cop when you need one. Jim Reardon was both a cop and armed when he was murdered in the walkway by the old Marina City coffee shop.
Folks, despite what you have been brainwashed to believe. It is you, not the police or security workers responsible for the safety of you and your families. Most city dwellers are simply brain dead when it comes to planning how to survive.
A whistle, cell-phone or a can a pepper spray is truly worthless in the face of a determined attacker. You are going to take a trip to the hospital or morgue if you are not prepared to take meaningful steps to protect yourself. You need training and a handgun as much or more than seatbelts and helmets.
Don’t worry about Chicago’s unconstitutional gun laws. They are no longer enforceable anyway. Training is important as well is a sufficient size gun. Use the gun if you must then flee for your own safety after you use it because your attacker/s may have more accomplices nearby.
Do not call police or answer questions if they contact you after a shooting. Ask for a lawyer. You have no duty to report your use of deadly force or answer questions. Any lawyer will tell you that cooperating with police after a shooting s a terrible idea.
Go home, settle down and be glad you survived.
It’s time that you reevaluate your own worth as a person. You are important to your families, employers and friends. You have an absolute duty, not just a right to protect yourself. Don’t let Chicago’s pathetic politicians deprive you of your right to exist.
If you wound or kill an attacker, it was him not you that sealed his fate. You also will be doing others a favor by incapacitating a dangerous felon perhaps forever.