NEAR WEST SIDE — Mayor Rahm Emanuel said his teenage son, mugged late last month near the Ravenswood home of Chicago's first family, is doing fine — but "I can't say that about his parents."
"But he is doing fine, and that tells you a lot about the resilience of teenagers," the mayor said Monday at his first news conference since the Dec. 19 holdup. The family left for vacation shortly after the crime.
Zach Emanuel, 17, was on his cellphone with his college counselor when he was approached from behind, assaulted and robbed of his phone just after 10 p.m., his father said.
"On a serious note, I want to thank everybody who has both communicated to Amy or I directly about Zach's well-being and their thoughts, everybody throughout the city who has done that," the mayor said. "We want to thank them very much.
"You have a role to play as a press, and I get that. I have a role to play, not just as mayor but as a father. So, I hope you respect his privacy as a teenager, he is fine and he is doing well.
"As it relates to either my or my family's safety, I want you to know the way I approach it is, first of all, we are fortunate with this job and what the public provides us. Obviously, [Chicago Police Supt.] Garry McCarthy has addressed this. There are some blind spots, and they are going to address it for the safety on the block, not the safety of the house. I’ll leave that for them to do because that’s their job to do, but that’s their job to do for everyone in the city, not just us.
"But he is good, and to be honest it’s good to have that time as a family together.
"There’s a police part that we will do as they do their work as detectives. Again, I’m going to balance your desire, your responsibility to ask questions. I’m also going to do this in a way that’s respectful of him. He’s a teenager, he’s a minor. He has some privacy. He was on the phone with his college counselor."
Two men approached Zach near the Emanuel home about 10 p.m. on Dec. 19. and went through his pockets, taking his cellphone before fleeing, police said.
Kelley Quinn, an Emanuel spokeswoman, said the teen was assaulte and needed medical attention. The Tribune, citing police reports, and the Sun-Times, citing a source, both reported that Zach suffered injuries, including a fat lip and a chipped tooth after being put in a chokehold and punched.
No one is in custody.
At his news conference Monday, Emanuel thanked the Police Department.
"I want to thank all the men and women in the Police Department for this and what they do all year every day throughout the city of Chicago," he said. "The job of the Police Department is to make sure all parts of the city, and every resident of the city has the safety they expect from the City of Chicago."
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