Crime

Woman Arrested For Pushing Stroller Full Of Guns

| by Michael Doherty

A Chicago woman was arrested for reportedly pushing a stroller filled with weapons.

Yarisma Martinez, 18, was walking through the Back of the Yards neighborhood when police stopped her, WBBM reports. She was allegedly carrying a handgun, a rifle and ammunition inside the stroller.

Police had earlier captured surveillance video of a man firing a rifle on the street, but were not able to catch him. The recording showed Martinez and another woman arriving at a nearby house afterwards, before leaving the home pushing a stroller and carrying a diaper bag.

When police stopped Martinez, they asked her if she was carrying any weapons. Martinez allowed the officers to look inside the stroller, where they found the firearms and ammunition, according to AOL.

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The weapons found included a Mossberg 30-30 rifle with two live rounds and a spent shell wrapped up in a blanket, as well as a loaded 9 mm pistol with a 15-round magazine and a box of bullets.

Martinez was charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon on two counts and held on $20,000 bail.

The woman reportedly has no criminal record.

"Here is an 18-year-old with two guns on the streets of our city," said Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil.

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Parts of the Back of the Yards were called some of the most dangerous blocks in Chicago in 2016, according to DNAInfo. According to a 2013 study, around 30 percent of the neighborhood's population lives under the poverty line.

In the New City community, which includes the Back of the Yards, around one-third of residents over 25 do not have a high school diploma, and one-half of the neighborhood's population between the ages of 20 to 24 are unemployed.

"We've seen a structural removal of resources," said Lurie Children's Hospital psychologist Claudio Rivera, who lives in the Back of the Yards. "This is a low opportunity area."

"There's a bit of a misconception that maybe if a kid joins a gang or commits a crime or has an unexpected pregnancy or drops out of school that there’s nothing to do to help, [that] they're hopeless," said Rivera about the neighborhood's cycle of poverty and violence.

"It's like a cycle that never ends. Back of the Yards is the back yard of the city. It's been abandoned. It’s been left behind," said Chicago Police Department Crime Prevention Officer Rafael Yanez. "Because that area has been abandoned, the gangs have been really aggressive in recruiting."

Sources: WBBM, AOL, DNAInfo / Photo credit: Ericson Smith/Flickr

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