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Monday, January 30, 2017

Pants on Fire

I was recently made aware of a review posted on the Paramount Arts Center website by a man who attended a show over the weekend. In his post, he gave the Paramount a 1-star review with an editorial about how the theater is in a “really bad neighborhood”. He went on to say that he was mugged walking from the parking lot to the theater. As if that weren’t traumatic enough, he reported that on the way back to his car he was approached by several “blacks” asking for money and harassing him and his companion. He then warns theater-goers to “bring your gun” and gives some sage advice to us: “Clean up your shit, AURORA.”

This gentlemen then took to his personal Facebook page and reiterated what he wrote on the Paramount website.

When I received a phone call from the Mayor’s office inquiring about the mugging that occurred downtown, I scratched my head. Robberies (aka: muggings) are serious incidents and I hadn’t been provided information about this occurrence.


I quickly did a cursory check of serious incidents that were logged and found nothing of the sort. I reached out to the Lieutenant of our Investigations Bureau and oddly enough, he found no report of a robbery that occurred in downtown Aurora. He expanded the grid search beyond the downtown boundaries and still came up empty. He then did a city-wide search and expanded the date-range and found nothing. You get the idea.

It’s been my experience that those who are victims of a robbery call 9-1-1. It is extremely rare that a person will simply shrug their shoulders and decide not to notify the police — especially given that a robbery is a very serious crime. My spidey senses started tingling but I still tried to give the victim the benefit of the doubt.


I asked the Lieutenant to assign this case to a detective. This was met with polite but quiet opposition and I could almost hear the streaming thoughts running through his head:


“You want me to assign a detective to chase down a victim of crime for a report that doesn’t exist?”

Yes. Yes I do. Pull video from cameras in the downtown area. Search for the victim in records. If there was a robbery, we need to know about it so we can formulate an operational response.

The detective went to work and determined the “victim’s” identity through his social media presence and located his residence (which happened to be in a town directly east of us). The detective made contact with a female from that residence who advised that Mr. R____ was not at home but identified herself as his wife.

The detective asked if they enjoyed a show at the Paramount over the weekend. The woman advised that she and her husband did, in fact, attend a Saturday evening show where a Queen cover band was performing (it got excellent reviews by the way!). When the detective pressed about any unusual incidents that occurred while going to and from the show, the woman seemed befuddled. The detective asked point blank if she and her husband were mugged. I’m going to let you take a guess at her answer.

That’s correct. Nope. Nada. The detective shared with her the content of her husband’s posts on social media claiming to be the victim of a robbery and she couldn’t understand why he would say such a thing. The only thing that occurred in her explanation was a car of people who drove down the street and yelled something from within the car that sounded like, “where’s my money”. The woman said the car never stopped or slowed. That does not translate into a robbery.

He made it all up. Why? What is the motivation of someone who fakes being the victim of a robbery. Was it to garner sympathy? Based on his harsh words, I would say it was more likely to bash Aurora.

We have morphed into a reality where being politically correct is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Despite this, I have difficulty straying from the manners instilled in me so I won’t say precisely what I’m thinking. However, I think it’s appropriate to say that Mr. R’s pants are on fire.

He is a fabricator, a fabulist, a fibber, a prevaricator. A spewer of alternate facts.

This incites me because we used resources and manpower to make sure there wasn’t an actual victim of a robbery.

The downtown area is one of the safest places in our city. People enjoy attending shows at RiverEdge Park and the Paramount Theater and we are pretty proud that our once “rough and tumble” reputation has polished up nicely.

We are the 2nd largest city in the State of Illinois with a booming population of over 200,000 people and yet we are still below the national average for crime. We are certainly not without crime issues but neither is any city our size.

We take crime very seriously and we prefer devoting our resources to the thugs out there committing crimes without having to waste time on storytellers who grandstand to amass attention.

Mr. Pants on Fire, I very much appreciate your suggestion that we “clean up our s&*#”. We will continue to fight against those who do harm in our city and I stand with the men and women of the Aurora Police Department who come to work every day to confront those evil-doers.

I also speak on behalf of the fine people who call Aurora home and don't take kindly to bashing our city with fabrications of grandeur.

So might I politely suggest turning your attention to your own poopie that is in need of disinfecting.

25 comments:

Beth Bugg said...

The Truth Shall Set you Free....

Kathy said...

My husband and two sons and I attended the show Saturday night. It was a fabulous show. We parked at our business on the 300 block of W. Downer Pl and walked into downtown. I felt completely safe the entire time. We walked back to our car after the show. It's too bad that people like this have to fabricate stories to make our great city look bad. Bravo to those trying to set the story straight.

Bill Nantz said...

Napervillians...

Amy Roth said...

I attended the concert as well. Before, I parked in the West Suburban lot and then met friends at Ballydoyle. Then we walked to the Paramount, had a royally good time, and all walked separately back to our cars. No problems or incidents. Shame on this guy! Thank you for looking into it and bringing the truth to light.

Dee Carlson said...

Chief K. Ziman,
You went above and beyond to defend your city from some idiot. WELL DONE
GREAT JOB
Respectfully
D.Carlson

kenya914 said...

I agree 100% with what you said Dee!

Kimberly Stemm said...

Well said! Lead on Chief. We are behind you and City of Aurora 100%.

Pam Kluber said...

We don't need that kind of s#%t trashing up our great city.

Robert Tiscareno said...

Too bad he feels he has the right to fabricate stories, too bad the APD CANNOT take him to task

425 West Park said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mandala459 said...

Well said Chief Ziman!

Frida7 said...

Alternative facts

Bob Bridgman said...

Good work Lt. in spite of being put on a snipe hunt. Probably a good thing Mr Poopie doesn't patronize and review any of our inner city restaurants or bars. The show was fun, the parking was well lit, and the audience was old. bob

Craig Gustafson said...

I'm not from Aurora, but was worried about going there a lot due to its reputation. Last year, I directed one show at Riverfront Playhouse (around the corner from the Paramount) and acted in the following show; meaning that I parked on Broadway three or four nights a week for ten to twelve weeks. Never had a problem.

Shannon Halikias said...

Thanks for you kind attentions. I live in Naper but I am out all the time in Aurora. I adore the Monday movies at the Paramount, Culture Stock, my kids went to theater camp at Riverfront Playhouse. I worked for APL for four years! Strong Library, strong community. It is a fantastic town of diversity, learning, and culture. With over 42 square miles it is the second largest city in Illinois and of course will have a ratio of incidents. Sad that somebody likes to create one of them when there is enough in this world to handle as is. Let your manpower go to what is needed!!

I live in Naper and we have incidents and issues that happen....but people love to love us and don't usually comment so much on the negative that happens in this town too. But step over here and there is just as many issues and just as many challenges. We just got a little bit better at plasticizing it and/or wearing really great makeup and designer clothes to hide it. But our schools still have drugs, families still feud, economics don't buy happiness and Mr. Pants on Fire might need to be schooled a little bit on random gossip.

I can ONLY guess that this person was somebody just seeking attention on his social media for lack of a better development of self. Your column was shared on social media from friends......and I'm glad! Keep writing.

Happy Camper said...

Maybe we should build a wall along Route 59 (just kidding!!)

William Hall said...

Bravo, Chief!

Sara Elliott said...

Thank you, Chief!

k MC said...

Like Hillary, he misspoke!!!

Carolynab79 said...

Thank you Chief for setting the record straight. As a 9-1-1 dispatcher, we hear great tales all the time only to find out later it wasn't exactly as described to us...making our credibility suffer (thank goodness for recording EVERYTHING!) in the eyes of the very officers we take care of. It's nice to see karma in action.

PLB said...

Thank you for sending a Detective out to call Mr. R's Bluff. We have enough hate in this world, that we do not need to be making it up too. Thank you for your service and dedication to Aurora. I wish I would have been on the doorstep when the Detective asked Mrs. R how she enjoyed the show.

PLB said...

Thank you for sending a Detective out to call Mr. R's Bluff. We have enough hate in this world, that we do not need to be making it up too. Thank you for your service and dedication to Aurora. I wish I would have been on the doorstep when the Detective asked Mrs. R how she enjoyed the show.

wgrl said...

Downtown Aurora is a great place. I have never felt unsafe there! We love to attend concerts at the park and walk around by the river. It's beautiful.

-Warrenville girl

Valerie R said...

My husband and I are avid Paramount patrons, and have attended on average 15 - 20 performances per year over the past 12-ish years. I have never felt remotely ill at ease in walking the area around the theater. We have watched the transformation of the downtown area over the years, which has made it more and more attractive and pleasant.
I do not understand what Mr. R's motovation would be to have fabricated such a story. It's a shame that resources had to be wasted to investigate, but at the same time, money well spent.
All I can think to add is I❤️Aurora's downtown 'theater district' and shame on you Mr R!

Reggie said...

Long ago we lived near Copley/OLGC among many friends and coworkers. Never had an issue that we haven't also experienced in that "town to the east" where I grew up. On the rare instance we had to call APD, they were reassuring and actually quite humorous. (Unlike now.) While we enjoy being closer to the folks, there's always a trade off. Love the APD with their professionalism, compassion and competence. :)