WEST ENGLEWOOD — A South Side bishop plans to move Monday into an Englewood house abandoned by a family intimidated by gangbangers and drug dealers.
Bishop James Dukes, senior pastor at the Pentecostal Liberation Christian Center, said he plans to occupy the house at 2041 W. 68th Place at noon. Dukes said the former tenants left the building after they were beaten and the windows to the home were smashed in a clash with gangbangers. The building was also set on fire.
According to Dukes, the family clashed with gang members after they tried to halt drug deals in their gangway by putting a lock on a gate.
"This could be any of us when we live in a city plagued by violence and drugs," Dukes said, asking the community's support in backing his stand against gangs. "There comes a defining moment in life when we as community of believers must stand for justice. That time is upon us. We cannot allow a family to be terrorized amongst us, beaten, threatened and [their] house burned."
"It's a very noble cause," said Officer John Mirabelli, a Chicago Police spokesman. "Obviously, there's a concern for safety."