Residents of a condo building in one of Chicago's most affluent neighborhoods this week sent a letter to police and area aldermen demanding more police protection after a number of violent attacks in the area.
"The area needs cleaning up. It needs police visibility," reads a portion of the letter written by the head of the Eliot House Condominium Association. Within the last week, at least three people have been attacked near the building, on the 1200 block of North Sandburg Terrace, in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood.
In one instance, a young man ran into the Eliot House high-rise and told the doorman he was being chased. He begged for help and asked to hide on the upper floors. Overnight security turned him away, and the man was beaten about a block south near the Jewel grocery store.
There were two more muggings in front of the lobby of the same building about two hours after that first incident.
Another doorman working at another building nearby said he's seen an increase in gang activity with beatings. He and other residents say the area around Clark and Division, with its lavish homes and Gold Coast nightlife, is changing.
"I'm on guard all the time and never used to be," said Charlotte Brandenburg, an Eliot House resident. "You shouldn't have to do that in this area."
With rapes, robberies and other crime in recent years, the Gold Coast Neighborhood Association has since hired a private security team to patrol on weekends.
Alds. Bob Fioretti (2nd) and Brendan Reilly (42nd) were among those who received the Eliot House letter.
"I see incidents happen out there," said Fioretti. "I'm alarmed. I still believe we have a lack of police out there to cover the city. We need more police."
Police said they're investigating the incidents but said that overall crime in the 18th District is down 13 percent from last year. Officials did not reveal specific numbers about the Gold Coast.
Suspect descriptions in the most recent attacks were not available.