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Woman charged with pushing North Side alderman in breadcrumb dispute

Updated: May 19, 2012 12:35AM

A 59-year-old Uptown woman is facing a battery charge for allegedly pushing a North Side alderman during a confrontation over feeding pigeons.

Ald. James Cappleman (46th) said he saw breadcrumbs on the ground near North Broadway and West Wilson and began to sweep them up. A woman then exited a car and a confrontation occurred.

Police said Young Kang told Cappleman, “You are the alderman; I voted for you. You should not be sweeping up breadcrumbs.”

Cappleman told police that Kang — listed in the police report as 5-foot-2 and 110 pounds — shoved him hard enough to physically move him into the street, then threw a handful of breadcrumbs at him, according to police. She then drove away in a gray Toyota Prius.

Cappleman said he is 5-foot-8 and 160 pounds.

Police broadcast a message about a battery involving an alderman that included a description of the woman, the car and a partial license plate.

A three-vehicle police tactical team stopped the car a short time later in the 1100 block of West Wilson, and Kang exited from the passenger’s side and threw rice near a sign warning of a $500 fine for feeding pigeons, police said.

Kang admitted that she’d been in an altercation with the alderman, police said. Cappleman arrived, positively identified her and signed a complaint for battery.

Kang, of the 4900 block of North Winthrop, was charged with misdemeanor battery and issued at least one citation, police said.

Cappleman declined to comment when asked if he had known Kang previously, citing an upcoming court appearance.

The alderman said the area is littered with breadcrumbs every day and has a pigeon problem, so it is not uncommon for him or his staff to sweep up crumbs.

The city is also getting ready for a potential rat problem when the CTA Wilson station is renovated, he said, and one way to keep it down is by cleaning up breadcrumbs.

“We aren’t trying to stop them [from throwing breadcrumbs], but if we see it we sweep it,” Cappleman said. “We don’t have any discussions with them.”

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