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Neighbor Rushes In As Teen Threatens Woman At Gunpoint In Lakeview Alley; He Says It's 'Disappointing' That Suspect Is Now Out Of Custody

CHICAGO (CBS) -- In a brazen attack in Lakeview, police said a teen threatened a woman with a gun just to get access to her cellphone.

But a neighbor's quick action likely saved her life. That neighbor talked exclusively with CBS 2's Marie Saavedra on Tuesday.

The attack happened in an alley behind Sheffield Avenue off George Street. It is just behind a busy strip of bars and restaurants on Sheffield Avenue that still had plenty of people around Monday night at 9:30 p.m.

That was when the woman started her walk home, until she got to the alley.

"I've been thinking about it all day," said the neighbor, Vegim Begolli. "Sure, of course."

Hours later, Begolli is still replaying what happened Monday night as he got ready for bed.

"I heard a really loud scream - horrific scream - and I looked at my wife, and we both said, 'That's not normal,'" he said.

What his ears heard, his surveillance cameras captured. Police confirmed the cameras show a 15-year-old boy grab a 24-year-old woman, pinning her down in the alley.

Begolli's doorbell camera recorded the woman's fear.

"I have no money!" the woman is heard yelling.

He also saw it from his window.

"I hear her yell that he has a gun," Begolli said. "You'll hear a gun cock, and she says that it was in her face - and it was all about an iCloud password."

"I don't know my password! I don't know it!" the woman is heard yelling.

"As I'm running downstairs, I'm purposefully saying: 'Call the cops! Call the cops!'" Begolli said. "I think that deterred him. If not, opening my door deterred him, and coming outside."

Several angles of video show how seconds before Begolli came out, the teen left the woman and walked off as if nothing happened. Police caught up with him, charging him with robbery and two other felonies.

You can add that to the tally for the Town Hall (19th) Police District – which extends from Lawrence Avenue south to Fullerton Avenue and from the North Branch of the Chicago River to Lake Michigan, and which includes all of Lakeview. The district seen 162 robberies so far this year – 10 fewer than 2020.

What bothers Begolli more than the totals is the fact that the teen is now out of custody on electronic monitoring.

"After you point a gun at somebody's head and threaten to kill them over a phone, I'm not sure how you can get released the next day," he said.

Begolli does not think that punishment fits the crime he witnessed.

"It doesn't matter if I'm in Lakeview or I'm in another neighborhood. It's disappointing," he said. "It's disappointing that it's happening here."

The 15-year-old's two other charges include unlawful possession of a firearm, and possession of a stolen firearm. He is due back in court in mid-September.


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