Holiday Crime Roundup: Stabbings, robberies and assaults in Evanston

Kris Anne Bonifacio

Man approaches, grabs 12-year-old girl on her way to school

A man approached a 12-year-old girl and grabbed her arm when she was walking to school Monday, according to a news release from the Evanston Police Department.

The incident occurred at the intersection of South Boulevard and Florence Avenue at approximately 7:50 a.m. When the man grabbed the girl’s arm, she asked him to let her go, but the man told her that she was coming with him. The girl told police she kicked the man in the leg, he let her go and she fled the scene. She reported the incident to school officials once she arrived at school.

Police have increased neighborhood patrols to look for a man matching the description given by the girl.

Fatal stabbing stems from argument between friends

Police arrested an Evanston man on Dec. 23 in connection with the fatal stabbing of another Evanston man two days earlier.

David Branch, of the 400 block of Custer Avenue, allegedly visited his friend Michael Anderson, of the 2100 block of Seward Street, on the night of Dec. 21, police said. The two apparently spent the night talking and drinking at Anderson’s house, until an argument came up about liquor, Evanston Police Cmdr. Tom Guenther said. The dispute then supposedly turned physical, and Anderson allegedly stabbed Branch four times in his right leg, cutting his femoral artery, according to the police.

Police were called to the scene, and they took Branch to the hospital, where he died from blood loss.

Anderson is charged with two counts of first degree murder and is being held on $2 million bail. His trial is set for next Tuesday.

Police arrest suspect in Evanston battery, armed robbery case

Police arrested a man Thursday in connection with an armed robbery that occurred Dec. 26, Guenther said.

An Evanston man was shoveling snow in the 1500 block of Church Street when two men approached him and asked him for his money. One of the men stabbed him below his jaw, and the other grabbed him and forced him into a cream-colored Chrysler PT Cruiser, Guenther said. Once they were inside the car, they stabbed him in his back and took between $500 to $600 and his Nextel cell phone before kicking him out of the car and driving away.

On Thursday, police stopped a vehicle matching the aforementioned description. Police noticed the odor of marijuana in the car, and found some after searching the vehicle. During a follow-up investigation, police found that the driver, Mark Clark of the 7100 block of N. Ridge Avenue in Chicago, matched the description of one of the two men involved in the armed robbery, Guenther said.

Clark is charged with counts of aggravated kidnapping, armed robbery and aggravated battery.

Two men rob pizza delivery man

A pizza delivery man was robbed while out on a delivery Dec. 24, police said.

The man parked his car in the 1800 block of Lake Street to deliver pizza to a house on the 1400 block of Darrow Avenue, Guenther said. When he came back, he found two men, who had hoodies wrapped around their faces, waiting by his car. They asked him for money and implied they had a handgun. The men took $28 and walked away, Guenther said.

– Kris Anne Bonifacio