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Handyman Scammer Wipes Tar on Police Station Walls, Prosecutors Say

 Prosecutors allege Niclio Benson, 29, used tar to repair a Mt. Greenwood man's concrete porch.
Prosecutors allege Niclio Benson, 29, used tar to repair a Mt. Greenwood man's concrete porch.
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DNAinfo; Chicago Police Department

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A Mt. Greenwood man was in for a rude surprise Tuesday after he paid a local handyman $100 to repair a porch, prosecutors said.

When the homeowner peeked under a tarp to look at the work, he realized Niclio Benson, 29, had simply covered the concrete porch in black tar, Assistant State's Attorney Erin Antonietti said during a bond hearing Wednesday.

Benson didn't stop there, according to a police report.

After he was arrested Tuesday afternoon, Benson wiped his tar-covered hands across the brick walls of the Morgan Park District police station, swearing and shouting, "You wanna charge me with something ... charge me with this," the report said.

Benson, of suburban Oak Lawn, was charged with home-repair fraud and criminal defacement of property, and cited for not having the appropriate licenses to contract in Chicago.

He's on parole for theft and aggravated fleeing.

Prosecutors said Benson rang the victim's doorbell Tuesday and claimed he could fix the man's porch for $100. According to an arrest report, Benson promised to use "high-pressure hydraulic cement" to repair a front-porch stair on the house in the 10300 block of South Lawndale Avenue.

Benson covered the porch with a tarp, claiming it would dry faster, Antonietti said. But when the victim lifted the tarp later, he realized Benson had used roofing tar, according to police.

Officers arrested Benson a few blocks away about 5:30 p.m. He became "very irate" and swore at police multiple times, the arrest report said.

Cook County Judge James Brown on Wednesday set bail for Benson at $50,000.

Benson's public defender said his client was self-employed in construction.

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