DeKALB - Things in DeKalb may have escalated further Sunday evening as looters smashed windows and doors were it not for DeKalb Pastor Joe Mitchell, and peaceful protesters who stood in front of stores like Rocky's convenience store with their arms outstretched to prevent damage.
"Not Rocky's, not Rocky's," they said, as they stood between the store and those wishing to loot it.
There were no clear connections between the peaceful protestors Sunday and those who looted several businesses in DeKalb, including Thirsty Discount Liquors, the 7-Eleven on the corner of Hillcrest and Annie Glidden, Huskies Discount Tobacco, Huskies Liquor and Discount Furniture. The group also made verbal threats to loot Walmart and Target, though by the time they arrived, the stores had already closed and were surrounded by police from Sycamore, DeKalb, and DeKalb County Sheriff's Office.
In total, eight people were arrested as a result of Sunday's events, seven due to looting or arson and one for punching a DeKalb police officer after he requested she stop standing in the street, DeKalb County court records show.
Mickeya I. Stewart, 25, of the 800 block of Ridge Dribe was charged with burglary after DeKalb police say she looted Huskie's Discount Liquor at 1030 Arcadia Drive around 9 p.m. Sunday, records show.
Breanna Bogacki, 25, of the 800 block of Russell Road was charged Sunday with aggravated battery and resisting a police officer after police say she was standing in the road in the 1000 block of West Hillcrest Drive, appeared to be intoxicated and was asked to leave the road multiple times.
Thomas C. Mitchell, 35 of the 800 block of Jefferson Avenue in Elgin and Denzel L. Harris of the 1500 block of Spaulding Avenue in Chicago were charged with arson after they lit a $150 shed for sale outside of Lowe's on fire. It was quickly put out by DeKalb fire crews on the scene.
Vernon Edwards, 18, of the 900 block of Ridge Drive was charged with burglary after he took a bat to the door of Thirsty Liquors in DeKalb.
Donnell Miller, 26, and Marcus Hall, 25, both of the 900 block of Ridge Drive and Kanesha L. Kizer, 22, of the 800 block of Ridge Drive were charged with burglary after police say they broke into the Boost Mobiel at 1738 Sycamore Road around 10:30 p.m. Sunday.
The looting began around 6:10 p.m. Sunday, not a half hour after peaceful protestors dispersed from standing in the street at the intersection of Annie Glidden Road and Hillcrest Avenue. Several people hung around the parking lot of the 7-Eleven on the corner, before running into Thirstys Liquor on the opposite corner, grabbing merchandise, and running out of the store.
Staff appeared to run to the door moments later to lock the entrance to Thirstys. Minutes later, a man took a bat to the door, and another a rock, smashing the glass entrance, and many followed inside, looting bottles and cases of alcohol and other merchandise.
Shouting could be heard during the looting of the strip mall the followed, and Rocky's was the only store others appeared to stand in front of to protect it from looters.
Around 6:25 p.m., while people were looting the Hillcrest strip mall Sunday, DeKalb Pastor Joe Mitchell, of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, arrived and used a megaphone from a DeKalb police car as he begged looters to go home.
"I agree with you no justice no peace, but this is not the way. Somebody's going to get hurt, somebody's going to die. Please, show love for one another, go home."
During the looting, there appeared to be no standoffs between DeKalb police and the crowds of bystanders, though police arrived to block the entrance of Thirstys.
Several people attempted to loot Walmart, Target and other box stores along Sycamore Road. Police from Sycamore, DeKalb and the DeKalb County Sheriff's office put up blockades to stop people from entering the stores, and sent a citywide alert urging all businesses to close immediately.
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