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Neighbors help robbed pizza delivery man

June 8, 2009 8:43:14 PM PDT
Many crimes go unnoticed. But residents in north suburban Evanston refuse to ignore the case of a pizza delivery man who was attacked and robbed.It was by chance that Omar Gutierrez witnessed a pizza deliveryman getting attacked in the courtyard of his south Evanston condo.

Last week, Gutierrez was shooing his cat off his computer near the window when he saw Steve Walker getting punched repeatedly by two men, who then stole his money and car.

Gutierrez called 911 and ran outside to help, but didn't meet Walker until the next day when he and Walker identified the suspects who had been arrested.

Gutierrez says he became acquainted with Walker, who lives in Carol Stream, but works at a Papa John's Pizza in Evanston and was distraught over his car being totaled in the suspects' getaway.

"That tells you how tough he has it. This guy commutes an hour and a half each way to make his living. And he doesn't make much," said Omar Gutierrez.

So Gutierrez decided to help, building his first ever Web site with information about the pizza delivery man who has not been back to work since the attack which left him with several injuries.

"I just whipped one up, put the email there and went to bed. That was it. The next morning, I woke up and there was $600 in pledges already there, mostly from this building," said Gutierrez.

One of those donations came from Ralph Shin. It was his pizza that Walker was delivering the night of the attack.

"As a neighborhood, we've fought hard because eight, nine years ago, this was not a good place," said Ralph Shin.

Other neighbors say they plan to follow suit, and donate money to the cause.

"It kind of restores a bit of faith in humanity as well, that there are people prepared to step in and assist when there's no call for them to do so at all," said James Ragunathan who plans to donate money to Walker.

On Tuesday night in a park, just steps away from where Walker was attacked, Gutierrez and his neighbors will give Walker all of the money that was donated in the past week - money that will help Walker get back in his feet.

For more information on how to donate, visit www.clydeneighbors4steve.webs.com.


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