A Chicago murder suspect charged in connection to the beating of a man along the Magnificent Mile had been repeatedly arrested and released both before and after the deadly assault.
Henry Graham, who prosecutors say has multiple convictions for battery and assault, was charged with first-degree murder last week in connection to the July death of Russell Long.
Graham, 49 is accused of attacking Long from behind around 3:52 p.m. on June 29 in the 600 block of North Michigan Avenue, delivering closed-fist blow to the back of the man’s head. Court documents say Long fell onto the concrete and was seen bleeding profusely from the head, all while Graham sat on a nearby fire hydrant and watched for about five minutes.
Hearing sirens, Graham allegedly walked off, but two witnesses followed after him and flagged down officers in a squad car, the Chicago Sun Times reported. In a conversation recorded by officer-worn body cameras, police questioned Graham, and he allegedly admitted to striking Long. Yet, Graham was not taken into custody at that time.
Long, whose online obituary describes him as “a man of intelligence, creativity, and adventure” who served as the vice president of operations at Northern Trust Bank for 26 years, died on July 12, about two weeks after the broad daylight assault from a traumatic brain injury.
The Cook County Medical Examiner ruled his death a homicide, the Times reported. Yet, it took about fourth months before charges finally came in connection to Long’s death. Additionally, police had arrested Graham at least 11 times this year, including assaults on people walking along the streets of Chicago before and after Long was fatally attacked, CWB Chicago reported.
Just two days before the deadly assault on Long, Graham was arrested on June 27 for allegedly kicking a 30-year-old woman in the leg and face as she waited for a bus near the Magnificent Mile, according to CWB Chicago, which Assistant State’s Attorney Anne McCord Rodgers outlined the allegations during a Friday detention hearing.
In November 2022, Graham was accused of shoving a 71-year-old man into a glass storefront in Evanston. He failed to appear in court until April, when the case was ultimately dropped.
He was again accused of kicking a woman in a leg and an arm as she walked near Daley Plaza earlier this year, but again, the case was dropped in July, according to the outlet.
In March, Graham allegedly “displayed irate behavior” and punched a man in the chest, face, arms and legs on a CTA train near Dempster, court records show. He pleaded guilty in April and received 33 days’ time served. He was arrested for assault in Evanston just a week later and again failed to appear. In that case, Graham received 15 days’ time served on June 20.
In the time since police let Graham go after allegedly assaulting Long, he was allegedly arrested another six times, according to CWB.
That includes on July 9 for allegedly trespassing at a River North Church, but the case was dropped on August 22.
Graham was arrested again on Aug. 4 for allegedly throwing a bottle of gin through an Evanston store window. The case was reportedly dropped on Sept. 5.
Graham was arrested on Aug. 16 and charged with shoving a 14-year-old girl in the chest, causing her to fall over a bench. Evanston police reported that Graham pulled the girl by her ankle, causing her to suffer scrapes to her arms and legs, according to CWB, and he received a sentence of 18 days’ time served on Sept. 5.
On Sept. 22, Graham was slapped with four felony counts of aggravated battery to police officers. He was accused of biting one Evanston officer on the hand, biting another officer on the thigh, kicking a third officer in the groin and hitting a fourth officer. That case is still pending, though he was reportedly released with conditions.
Graham was arrested again on Oct. 3 for allegedly striking a Lakeview man with a broomstick outside Wrigley Field in a caught on camera incident. Court records show he was ordered detained in that case, the Times reported. Graham was already in custody at the time he was charged with Long’s murder.
At the hearing Friday, Rodgers said Graham’s felony criminal background includes aggravated battery of a peace officer in 2017 and a federal charge of importing firearms in 2012.
Judge Barbara Dawkins ruled Friday that Graham be held as a public safety threat ahead of the murder trial.
CWB reported that the Chicago Police Department has opened an internal investigation into why Graham was never taken into custody after the June 29 broad daylight assault on Long.
According to the outlet, a friend of Long’s called 911 from his bedside at Northwestern Memorial Hospital on July 4 begging for the police department to dispatch an officer to take a police report. The operator was reportedly reluctant because Long could not speak but agreed to send a car. It was not until then that Chicago Police began documenting and investigating the case.