How One Homeless Man Is Terrifying Oak Lawn, a Neighborhood Still on Edge

There is a bogeyman haunting the streets of Oak Lawn.He has been there, on and off, for years. Arrested over and over; charged some two dozen times; incarcerated, too, often in state jail but occasionally in county lock-up or the city's drunk tank. His crimes, those to which he has pleaded guilty, have ranged from trespassing at the neighborhood Kroger and stealing vodka from an Oak Lawn Avenue liquor store to meth possession and spitting at a cop.A longtime bar owner along Cedar Springs Road used to decorate his windows with the man's always-growing rap sheet. In the middle of a weekday afternoon, patrons at neighborhood bars can be overheard talking about him, cursing his name, sharing could-be tall tales about his doings, asking one another if "hey, you seen that S.O.B. lately?"His name is Timothy Box. He is 40 years old, and, according to lawyers who have prosecuted and defended him, he is homeless and mentally ill. He is what people worry about when they talk about a shrinking police force and a spiking homeless population filled with the mentally ill in desperate need of treatment.  Continue reading...

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