By: Adriana Cardona-Maguigad – The GATE Newspaper
*Names are withheld by The Gate to protect the residents’ confidentiality. One of the residents interviewed is only using his first name.
A Back of the Yards resident is being charged with two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, both misdemeanors, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Juan Trevino, of the 4800 block of South Wood Street, was arrested and later released after the police found several young men in his house last May during school hours.
According to neighborhood residents, Trevino, 61, allegedly welcomed young boys into his apartment, many of them 17 years-old and younger. The boys were allegedly given marijuana and alcohol.
Blanca is the mother of one of the minors found inside Trevino’s home.
She knew two of her sons frequented Trevino’s house, but she never knew there could be drugs or alcohol involved until she talked to the police the day of the arrest, she said.
“[My sons] told me [Trevino] was a nice guy, they only went there to sit around and talk,” Blanca said. “I am not sure how many times, but it was then when I found out that they were going there constantly.”
Blanca’s 13-year-old son, Arturo, said there were times when he saw older boys bringing marijuana to Trevino’s home. He said his friends referred to Trevino as “Godfather.”
“They’ll smoke with him and then they’ll leave,” he said. “They used to ask ‘you wanna smoke Godfather?’”
Arturo said he mainly went there to get on Facebook or to look for his friends.
Wayne, a local resident who asked us to withhold his last name, said for a long time he has been warning the local police about Trevino.
He’s known Trevino for about seven years. “We did talk and had coffee and stuff but there [are] many things he said to me that hit me the wrong way.”
He recalls one particular time when they were sitting on the porch next door and a kid came by. “He said ‘this is my Godson’ and I said ‘okay.’ I think a couple of days later, another kid comes by, a totally different kid and he says ‘this is my Godson’ and then a third one.”
One day, Wayne finally confronted Trevino about his alleged “godchildren.” “How many kids are you Godfather to? ‘Oh a lot of them’. Okay, in what church?” Wayne said. “With being a Godfather you get a certificate, you get a candle, where did these ceremonies take place? There is something off about this man.”
Wayne said one of his neighbors came to him with concerns regarding her son’s relationship with Trevino.
“She [was] very upset, she had even seen e-mails from this man on the computer to her son,” Wayne said.
That same neighbor, Graciela, told The Gate she has been trying to keep her kids away from Trevino for over two years.
Graciela worries because she’s heard that one of her youngest children continues to frequent Trevino’s home.
“Trevino contacts them, and buys them things and after he gives them stuff, he gives them drugs. Since they are younger, they want to experiment everything,” she said.
Graciela said she found e-mails in which Trevino was inviting her youngest son over to his house. “I found a message where Trevino tells my son to go to his house to get the good drugs,” she said.
After hearing Graciela’s complaints, Wayne and another neighbor have been trying to collect more evidence against Trevino.
They have been sitting in the corner store across from Trevino’s home to document the number of minors going in and out of his house. They said much of that information was shared with the police a few months ago.
The local police officer that has been handling the case said the allegations are under investigation and refused to comment. The Chicago Police Department did not respond to our request for comment either.
When The Gate newspaper asked Trevino about the allegations against him, he refused to talk.
Trevino appeared in front of a judge on Friday, July 12, but the hearing was re-scheduled for July 24 because the interpreter for the parents who were testifying didn’t show up.
In the meantime, parents like Blanca and Graciela are concerned about their children’s safety in the neighborhood.
“Here, if you leave your kids, the wolves will eat them,” Blanca said. “If they are not mature enough to say no, the gangs here, or anybody invites them to [do] drugs and whoever wants to fall, will fall.”
She said there aren’t enough programs for youth in the community. Instead of wasting their time at Trevino’s home or smoking marijuana, they could be at a community center putting their minds to better use, she said.
Read The Gate newspaper online
- Issue 4 – Deputy Superintendent Ernest Brown: Bridging Police and Residents One Step at a Time
- Issue 3 – Anti-Immigrant Legislation Blocked in Illinois House of Representatives
- Issue 2 – Immigrants with Disabilites: A Silent Issue
- Issue 1 – State Budget Cuts Impact the Community: Youth Services on the Line
- Issue 25 – The Call to Act Awakens
- Issue 24 – CPS Suspensions and Expulsions Create a ‘Cradle to Jail’ Pipeline
- Issue 23 – Measuring a Milestone: Fr. Bruce’s 25 Years of Priesthood
- Issue 22 – City Election 2011: A Closer Look at Chicago’s Top Mayoral Candidates
- Issue 21 – BYNC begins Annual Christmas Toy Giveaway
- Issue 20 – Find great local shops for your Holiday shopping in THE GATE!
- Issue 19 – Back of the Yards: Platform for City-wide Anti-Violence Awareness Campaign
The BYNC urges all community residents and stakeholders to become aware of the events and news that are shaping the Back of the Yards community. Becoming interested in current events is a step towards empowerment and is vital to understanding our neighbors and our community. In addition to the community newspaper we started, we have added links to other news outlets to our webpage. We urge anyone who sees a relevant news story or has relevant news of their own to send it to the BYNC at email@example.com, so that we can share it with our audience.
Here are some general sources of community news: