WEST LOOP — West Loop neighbors are in shock after a 30-year-old woman escaped potential kidnapping in the neighborhood, just days after residents reported another disturbing attack on a woman nearby.
The 30-year-old was saved by a quick-witted dog walker who sprayed the assailant with pepper spray on Wednesday morning after he tried to lure the woman into a car with three other people inside, a announced the police.
The incident happened at 7.26am in the 200 block of South Sangamon Street, police said. The dog walker, who asked not to be named because he feared for his safety, told the Block Club he saw a man get out of the back of a red sedan on West Adams Streets and South Sangamon and approach a woman, putting his arm around her. and trying to direct her to the car.
The dog walker said the woman flinched when the man touched her and he quickly ran across the street to yell at the man.
“I could tell immediately that she didn’t know him,” he said.
As the man climbed into the passenger side of the car, the dog walker sprayed Mace into the car before the door closed and the driver took off. He saw several people in the car, he said; the police said there were four people.
After being made safe, the woman told the dog walker that the man who had attracted her told her that she “looked really good. Why don’t you come with me? The dog walker described the man, who was wearing a face mask, in his mid-20s, 5ft 11 to 6ft tall and weighing around 150lbs.
Police are currently reviewing video evidence and interviewing witnesses to determine if the incident was an attempted robbery or something more, Ald. said Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th). Police currently classify the incident as a battery.
The dog walker said he didn’t believe the attacker was trying to rob the woman.
“She had a huge bag…so he wasn’t trying to take her bag, because he would just take that.” He was trying to grab it,” the dog walker said.
“His cries echoed from the buildings”
Wednesday’s attack has residents on high alert after another attack was reported by neighbors earlier in the week.
At around 11:30 p.m. Monday, a West Loop neighbor who was watching from her unit above said she heard a woman shout “let go of me” from inside a car parked along South Sangamon Street near West Madison Street. . The neighbor said she saw a man blocking the open driver’s side door of a silver four-door sedan and at least one other person in the back seat of the car.
“His cry echoed through the buildings,” she told the Block Club. “All I could do was shout from above, hoping to distract them… But they were all business. … If they heard me, they didn’t recognize me.
The car sped away with the back door still open, flapping in the wind, she said. The witness called 911 and police responded to the scene, she said.
The witness, who asked not to be named, said she suspected at the time that it was a kidnapping.
“I lived in this town for almost 20 years and I’ve never seen anything like it,” she said.
Sigcho-Lopez said Block Club police are investigating whether the two incidents are related. Police could not immediately confirm on Wednesday whether they were investigating Monday’s incident.
Katalin Ogren, president emeritus of the West Loop Community Organization, said the attack on the woman on Wednesday morning was “horrific”.
“We have also been made aware of another situation that occurred over the weekend and we are working with CPD on this investigation,” she said.
Police are encouraging those living around Mary Bartelme Park to be alert and to call 911 immediately if they notice anything suspicious, Sigcho-Lopez said.
Additional police patrols will be added in the immediate area, police said Wednesday.
Ogren said the West Loop community organization has planned self-defense workshops for September, which she hopes neighbors will attend.
“These are meant to expose people to strategies they can pursue for a crisis like being attacked,” she said.
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