Woman burned by acid-like liquid in robbery

July 28, 2008 8:42:25 PM PDT
A woman suffered severe burns on her face during an apparent robbery outside her apartment on the city's Northwest Side. The chemical attack took place in the city's Logan Square neighborhood. It happened about 6:30 Monday morning in the 2900-block of West Altgeld.

When police entered the victim's apartment to try to collect her clothing they were unable to do it because the acid was burning through the clothing and the floors. Hazmat teams were called in to collect evidence.

The victim's daughter says she cannot believe that someone could do this to her mother.

"Why would somebody do something like this? About 25 percent of her body was burned. She was on her way to work," said Shirley Medina, victim's daughter.

The victim's boyfriend was in his apartment when he heard the screams of his girlfriend, 47-year-old Esperanza Medina.

"Two girls came from behind, poured something chemical on her, burned her skin, her back, her front, her face. She was rushed to the hospital. They stole her purse along with her wallet," said the boyfriend.

ABC7 was shown a video taken by a nearby surveillance camera that shows two young girls and a young man, who appear to be in their late teens or early 20s, get out of a car about a block away from where the attack occurred. All three are seen running down the street. Moments later, the three reappear, the young man carrying what looks like a long tube under his arm and the woman carrying a purse that looks like a shopping bag.

The victim's daughter said she does not believe this was a random act of violence. She added her mother has been receiving death threats along with the mother's boyfriend. She says it has something to do with a debt. Her tires had been slashed. She says her mother is unable to open her eyes, but her condition has been stabilized.

"There were two death threats, not directly to her, but indirectly to her boyfriend and told her they wanted her money," said Shirley Medina, victim's daughter.

The victim's boyfriend gave a tour of the inside of the car, which was damaged by a chemical. Shirley Medina said her mother's boyfriend poured water on the vitim and called 911.

The incident occurred a block down the street from the Hispanic Development Housing Corporation, where security cameras may have captured images during the time of the attack. The head of security for the nursing home showed a video taken by surveillance cameras.

The video captured two young girls and a young man, who appear to be in their late teens or early 20s, getting out of a car just about a block away from where the attack occurred.

The three were seen running down the street and disappeared. Moments later, the three re-appear on the video with the young man carrying a long tube under his arm and one woman carrying a purse and looking inside it while the other woman walks slowly behind her.

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