KANKAKEE — A hearing is set for Tuesday in Kankakee County court as to whether a bond should be revoked for the owner of a Kankakee home declared a nuisance property last November.

The house at 456 S. Lincoln Ave. is owned by Irene Guzman.

Kankakee County State’s Attorney Jim Rowe said he could only say the motion is seeking the bond be revoked and nuisance property vacated.

The hearing is set for 2 p.m. before Judge Bill Dickenson, who ruled Guzman’s home a nuisance property due to gang activity last year.

City of Kankakee and Kankakee County officials claimed the house was used by members of the Latin Kings, including two of Guzman’s sons, Hernan and Rueben Carmona.

The caveat for Guzman retaining the home is that no further incidents occur in the house, garage or property.

The ruling said that if that does occur, city officials would be able to force residents to vacate and board up the home for one year.

On Nov. 10, 2020, Dickenson ruled Guzman, her husband and two minor children were the only ones allowed on the property. No gang members or gangs could live or visit the house for one year, the ruling said.

Due to the current state law, Guzman could keep the house by abiding by the judge’s rules and paying a $5,000 bond.

Court documents filed last month allege that Guzman has not complied with the conditions of the bond, saying other individuals were allowed onto the property and into the house.

The Kankakee County State’s Attorney’s office has obtained photographs and videos to document repeated violations of the bond conditions, according to a court document.

The photographs and videos were taken on Nov. 19, Nov. 20, Dec. 5 and Dec. 6, 2020.

According to the court documents, they show Guzman’s son Martin Carmona on the property and coming out of the house. Other individuals have been photographed and videotaped on the property or going into the house, records say.

The state also said Guzman had not paid the $5,000 bond as of Dec. 10. Records with Kankakee County Circuit Clerk’s office show that the bond had not been paid as of Dec. 31.

According to court documents, Kankakee police have been dispatched to the 400 block of South Lincoln Avenue 150 times since September 2017 for reports of shots fired, ordinance violations and more.

One of those shots fired incidents occurred Sept. 16, 2019, in which an Illinois Central school bus carrying Kankakee school students got caught in the crossfire when a member of a rival gang, the Harrison Gents, opened fire on the house. Witnesses told police gunfire was returned by people standing outside Guzman’s house.

As for the residence at 456 S. Lincoln, officers responded to 29 calls from Oct. 9, 2017, to Oct. 2, 2019.

The City of Kankakee has had two other houses in the city vacated after being declared nuisance properties in the past three years.

The city’s code enforcement department can deem a residence uninhabitable. If that happens, the owner must bring the building up to code as well as pay any outstanding fines, fees and taxes in order to allow people to live in the home again.


Jeff Bonty has worked for The Daily Journal since September 1986, starting in the sports department before moving to news reporting in 2002. He's a native of Indiana and graduate of Purdue University. His email is jbonty@daily-journal.com.