Things That Matter

Chicago Teen Shot In Chest After Trying To Steal A Woman’s Dog

A Chicago woman shot a teenage girl in the chest Friday night after she attacked the woman and tried to steal her dog. Araceli Diaz, 21, and the 14-year-old girl had arranged to meet “to conduct a sale,” according to a Chicago Police Department press release. According to authorities, the teenager pulled out a pellet gun and “struck Diaz on the head with it,” in an effort to steal Diaz’s property. That ‘property’ was a Husky puppy. Diaz, not knowing the teenager’s weapon was, in fact, a pellet gun, shot the teenager in the chest with a handgun. Diaz fled the scene in a white Cadillac but was arrested an hour later thanks to surveillance video.

Diaz is being charged with one felony count for not having a concealed carry license, resulting in one unlawful use of weapon felony charge. The teenager was hospitalized and charged the following morning with one felony count for attempted armed robbery.

Araceli Diaz is not being charged for the shooting itself, as it was considered self-defense.

CREDIT: CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT

Diaz appeared in court Sunday morning, where Judge Arthur Wesley Willis set her bail at $5,000, meaning she’d have to post $500 to be released from jail. Diaz’s attorney, Mike Walsh, told reporter Tom Schuba that Diaz breeds Huskies, and was attempting to sell the dog when the unidentified juvenile attacked her. Prosecutors have already indicated that they’ve concluded she fired the gun in self-defense. Diaz has a valid firearm owner’s identification card but did not have a valid concealed carry license, making her use of the legal weapon unlawful. 

“A BB gun can appear like a real gun and to anyone out there it’s gonna appear like a real gun, to the police, and to any individual, and if someone’s carrying and they have their own CCL they may use their own gun to defend themselves,” Chicago Police Officer Jose Jara told FOX32.

The girl reportedly ordered Diaz to the ground before assaulting her.

CREDIT: Chicago Police Department

Diaz placed the dog in the girl’s arms and told her she could take the dog home for $800, according to The Chicago Tribune. Suddenly, a nearly perfect moment (adopt, don’t shop, mi gente), became violent. The girl ordered Diaz to the ground and hit her twice on the head and face with a metal pellet gun, according to The Tribune. As the girl tried to run off with the dog, Diaz allegedly shot her twice in the chest and abdomen and fled the scene in a white Cadillac. An hour later, police tracked Diaz down using surveillance footage and found a loaded Glock handgun and magazine in the passenger seat of her car.

Prosecutors say the girl arrived with another person, according to The Chicago Tribune.

CREDIT: Google Maps

“We’re not sure where they met initially or how they communicated, but all we do know is that the 14-year-old did show up with other intentions and she pulled out a BB gun,” Jara initially told FOX32. Later, at Diaz’s court hearing, prosecutors said that the two began communicating on Facebook to arrange the sale, according to The Chicago Tribune. The teenager arrived with another person to meet Diaz at 5:45 p.m. Friday evening on the 2300 block of South Drake Avenue, prosecutors said, according to the outlet.

A petition to drop Diaz’s charges has been posted to Change.org. Only one person has signed it, and it’s the petition-writer, Jerald Fraley, who is mysteriously listed as deceased on Facebook

The teen was transported to a hospital where she was treated overnight for her gunshot wounds. She was charged Saturday morning with attempted armed robbery and is expected to appear in juvenile court on December 9, according to police.

READ: Mormon Boy Who Survived Cartel Shooting Reveals His Mom’s Last Words

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Chicago’s Mi Tocaya Is Offering Up Free Mexican Homemeals For Undocumented Community

Culture

Chicago’s Mi Tocaya Is Offering Up Free Mexican Homemeals For Undocumented Community

mitocaya / Instagram

Undocumented communities are being left out of Covid relief plans. Chef Diana Dávila of Mi Tocaya in Chicago is working to help undocumented restaurant worker in the time of Covid. Abuse of undocumented workers is rampant in certain industries and Chef Dávila hopes to offer some kind of help.

Mi Tocaya is a Mexican restaurant in Chicago’s Logan Square that wants to help the community.

Covid-19 has devastated the hospitality industry with restaurants being hit exceptionally hard. Restaurants have been forced to close their doors for good as the virus dragged on with no decent relief plan from the federal government. As several countries financially support citizens to avoid economic disaster, the U.S. government has given citizens $1,800 total to cover 10 months of isolating and business closures.

Namely, Mi Tocaya is working to help the undocumented community.

Mi Tocaya, a family-run restaurant, is teaming up with Chicago’s Top Chefs and local non-profits Dishroulette Kitchen and Logan Square Neighborhood Association. The goal is to highlight the issues facing the undocumented community during the pandemic.

The initiative called Todos Ponen, is all about uplifting members of our community in a time of severe need. The restaurant is creating healthy Mexican family meals for those in need.

”We asked ourselves; How can we keep our doors open, provide a true service to the community, maintain and create jobs, and keep the supply chain intact by supporting local farmers and vendors. This is the answer,” Chef Dávila said in a statement. “I confidently believe The TODOS PONEN Logan Square Project addresses all of the above and can very well be easily implemented in any community. Our goal is to bring awareness to the lack of resources available to the undocumented workforce- the backbone of our industry.”

The initiative starts in February.

Mi Tocaya is offering 1000 free meals for local farmers and undocumented restaurant workers. The meals are available for pickup Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 2800 W Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647. to make this happen, Mi Tocaya also needs your help.

The restaurant has teamed up with two nonprofits to make sure that they can scale their operation to fulfill their commitment. They are also asking for donations to make sure they can do what they can to help undocumented restaurant workers.

According to Eater LA, 8 million restaurant workers have been laid off since the pandemic started. Some restaurants have had to lay off up to 91 percent of their staff because of Covid, about 10 percent of those are undocumented. In the cities, that number is as high as 40 percent of the laid-off restaurant staff are undocumented.

“People don’t want to talk about the undocumented workforce, but they’re part of our daily routine in most restaurants,” Jackson Flores, who manages the operations of Mi Tocaya, said in a statement. “They are in the toughest position in the whole economy because they’re an invisible part of it. Restaurant worker advocacy groups have added the creation of relief funds to their agendas, but there have yet to be long-term changes in protections for undocumented workers. Without access to unemployment benefits and other government resources, this group is especially vulnerable.”

READ: Hands-Free Cholula Dispensers Have Become a Thing In Restaurants Because of COVID-19

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More Information Has Come Out About the Man Who Senselessly Shot a Young Woman While She Was Walking Her Dog

Things That Matter

More Information Has Come Out About the Man Who Senselessly Shot a Young Woman While She Was Walking Her Dog

Photo via bella_joy_gardens/Instagram

On June 10th, 2020, a senseless crime was committed. 21-year-old Isabella Thallas was shot and killed while she was out walking her dog with her boyfriend, 26-year-old Darian Simon. Simon, who was shot as well, survived.

Almost immediately after Thallas lost her life, the police were informed of the murderer: 36-year-old Michael Close, who lived in the same building as the couple.

Michael Close had shot the couple from his window with an AK-47. Thallas died almost instantly.

Close was quickly arrested and charged with first-degree murder, first-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, and possession of a high-capacity magazine during a crime.

But questions piled up as to why Close committed this crime in the first place. Why did he target the couple? Was the murder pre-meditated? How did this unstable man get his hands on an AK-47?

As the police put the pieces together, the motive was shocking. According to Close, he shot and killed Thallas because her dog defecated in the alley behind his unit.

The story he gave police lined up with Darian Simon’s version of events as well. Simon says that he and Thallas were walking their dog together behind their building. Simon commanded the dog to “poop” when he heard Close yelling at him from the window above them.

“Are you going to train that f—ing dog or just yell at it?” Close allegedly yelled out the window at them. When Simon bent down to pick up the dog’s feces, that’s when Close open-fired out the window. Simon was able to run away with wounds to his lower body. Thallas lost her life.

According to Close’s girlfriend, the man had been mentally unwell for a long time.

He had been diagnosed with depression as well as a personality disorder but refused to seek help. He frequently abused drugs and alcohol after being sober for three years.

The murder of Thallas was a culmination of a tumultuous night where he had been drinking and arguing with his girlfriend for hours. Thallas just happened to be the person who was at the receiving-end of his outburst. She was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

And recently, some more disturbing information has come to light about Thallas’s murder.

According to Denver Police, the gun that Close used to murder Thallas was taken from his friend, police officer Sgt. Dan Politica.

The close friendship between a police officer and an unhinged murder is, understandably, drawing questions from the Denver community.

The Denver Police Department confirmed that Close and Politica were “close friends”. Thalla’s mother, Anna Thallas, appears to have even more information on the friendship.

“They’re best friends. Life-long best friends for over 20 years. They grew up together,” she told 9News Denver.

Anna Thallas is angry and frustrated that the Denver police aren’t conducting an internal investigation.

The DPD argues that Sgt. Politica did nothing wrong. Thallas points to his failure to report the rifle missing until after her daughter was missing as a massive red flag. It is also worth noting that Politica has a history of violence and disciplinary actions by the DPD.

According to phone records, Close texted Sgt. Politica before the murder complaining about a dog in his neighborhood. After he murdered Thallas, he left Politica a voicemail saying he “really f—-d up bad.”

“That man should be stripped of his uniform,” Anna Thallas said. “Had that officer acted in his capacity and the oath that he took to serve and protect and was a responsible gun owner, Isabella might still be alive. My daughter might still be here.”

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