North Side sees string of attacks

7 attacks in Lincoln Park and Lakeview
August 5, 2009 4:22:40 AM PDT
The Guardian Angels were patrolling Chicago's North Side neighborhoods Tuesday night and warning people about a series of attacks. There have been at least seven but police say not all are connected.

The attacks have continued despite the media spotlight and police patrols saturating the area.

On Tuesday night, ABC7 talked with a man who was assaulted over the weekend.

The modus operandi is the same: two men beating an unsuspecting male late at night.

"I held the fence and screamed for help. Then they started kicking me and punching me," said Serik, assault victim.

The medical student says his two attackers appeared out of nowhere Sunday night. He was walking home from a late night dinner when he turned the corner from Montrose on to Greenview.

"I didn't hear them say anything or ask for anything. All I could remember is I was desperately screaming for help," said Serik.

Serik says a neighbor's screams scared the two men off.

His attacked happened roughly two miles from seven others in the past week in the Lincoln Park and Lakeview neighborhoods.

Another victim told ABC 7's Jason Knowles he used a bike lock to fend off the two men who jumped him Monday morning.

"I started swinging at them. They started backing up a bit. One of the gentlemen said, 'big homey aint goin' let's split,'" said the man who did not want to be identified.

"These guys are vicious and cruel. They don't just rob and hurt. Like I said, we're doing everything we can to catch them and I'm confident we will," said Supt. Jody Weis, Chicago Police Department.

Michael Fuentes is a member of the Guardian Angels. They are acting as an extra set of eyes and ears along the bike and running path in Lincoln Park. It's well populated in the evening, but desolate between midnight and 5 a.m. when the attacks are occurring.

"You have unique cases of people attacking men. Usually women are the ones attacked, being raped, but in this case not only are they robbing men, but physically assaulting them," said Fuentes.

Police haven't linked Serik's assault to the others, but his is a sentiment shared by any victim.

"We shouldn't be living in a place like this, we shouldn't be thinking twice, 'who's going to attack us next,'" said Serik.

On Tuesday night, the police superintendent told ABC7 it looks like only four of the recent attacks were committed by the same people. Others may be copycats or separate incidents.

While the attacks have received a lot of attention, they pale in comparison to what's going on in other parts of the city. In the Englewood neighborhood last month alone, there were 47 reports of aggravated assaults and battery compared with just four in Lincoln Park.


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