The crime-fighting group made headlines claiming that the Magnificent Mile has turned into the mugger's mile. But the mayor suggests they should take their efforts somewhere else. Natalie Martinez reports.
The Guardian Angels on Thursday shot back at comments from Mayor Rahm Emanuel suggesting the volunteer group could be better placed in areas other than Michigan Avenue.
"We're not the north, south, east or west Guardian Angels," Angels member Thomas Hunt said. "We're the Chicago Guardian Angels and we've been fighting crime on the streets of Chicago and around the world far longer than he's been the mayor."
Hunt's response comes a day after Emanuel said the Angels' efforts might be more appreciated along Safe Passage routes, noting "police work every day to make [Michigan Avenue} secure and safe."
Earlier this week the group passed out fliers warning people about how the Magnificent Mile could become "Muggers Mile" because of some recent robberies.
On Saturday, a group of teens were accused of trying to steal a 51-year-old woman's cell phone and punching a 15-year-old girl in the face for trying to intervene.
The Guardian Angels' fliers offered safety tips and encouraged people to take a cell phone picture if they see a crime and are a safe distance away. Police have a technology that allows them to access the photo quickly when callers contact 911.
"The police can't be everywhere," Angel leader Miguel Fuentes said on Tuesday. "The Guardian Angels can't be everywhere, so people just need to take precautions."
When asked about it after Wednesday's City Council meeting, Emanuel said he realizes the group is interested in safety and security but said "there's a lot of areas in the city where they can work in partnership" [with police]."
The Angels said the mayor's reaction shows he's not aware of what they do. Hunt publicly invited the mayor to go out on patrol with them but to “leave your armed security at home.”
"We're trying to encourage citizens to do their part," he said.
Emanuel's office said they don't have a response to Hunt's invitation.