One of a small group of Tremont residents (“Tremonsters,” as some appropriately call them) who are upset because the whole city aren’t sharing their indignation over a spat between two local residents has brought her high dudgeon to clevescene.com. Lily Miller appended off-topic posts to several recent Scene news stories, attempting to gin up some outrage over this neighborhood food fight.
For the majority of you who couldn’t follow what she was ranting about: Back in early July, hot-headed Sammy Catania (development director for the Tremont West Development Corporation) impulsively headed down to Lincoln Park to confront irritating local pest Guy Templeton Black, who spends most days sitting in a corner of the park with his ill-behaved dog and collection of advocacy signs, about gossip he was allegedly spreading about Catania.
There was a lot of swearing and blustering from Catania; there was passive-aggressive wheedling and whining from Black, who kept a small video camera in Catania’s face the whole time. At one point, Catania appears to shove it away; the taping goes on until Catania storms away.
Black’s neighborhood fan club exploded, posting over and over on the local blog realneo.us that a “disabled elderly man” (no one’s quite clear what Black’s “disability” is) was “physically assaulted.” They attempted to file criminal charges at the county prosecutor’s office without success.
That’s understandable, given that their own video disproves their case: If Black had been “assaulted,” it’s hard to see how he could have continued to film uninterrupted. A few days later, another neighbor, wheeling his bike through the park, also confronted Black and pushed the intrusive camera away.
To Black’s groupies, these two confrontations amounted to a wave of “mob gang violence” directed at the neighborhood’s “elderly, handicapped residents.” “Recent incidents involving reported gunplay and documented violence by TWDC staff and their friends against Guy Templeton Black prove there is a violent organized crime syndicate in Tremont, willing, able, and happy to inflict physical harm upon the weak,” posted one. Another demanded to know why Mayor Frank Jackson had shown no interest in mediating this shouting match.
Blacks supporters are also outraged that councilman Joe Cimperman hasn’t inserted himself into the situation, that neighborhood business owners have supported Catania, and that Tremont West hasn’t fired him. — Anastasia Pantsios