Charges filed in Bucktown bat attack

Marcy Cruz (left) and Heriberto Viramontes (right)
April 28, 2010 6:50:37 AM PDT
Two people face charges of aggravated battery and armed robbery in connection with an attack on two women in Bucktown last week.

The suspects, Heriberto Viramontes, 30, and Marcy Cruz, 25, were arrested on Tuesday. They will appear in bond court Wednesday.

During a press conference held Tuesday evening, a police spokesperson said Viramontes attacked two women, stole their purses, and then escaped in a car driven by Cruz. According to authorities, both suspects gave statements to police.

Police also said they tracked down the suspects after they used cell phones and credit cards stolen during the attack. A follow-up investigation also reportedly included surveillance video recorded as the credit cards were being used.

Police said they found other items belonging to McShane and Jurich when they searched the suspect's homes. Officials said they also have the bat.

The suspects' alleged victims -- Natasha McShane, 23,and Stacy Jurich, 24, -- remained hospitalized Tuesday. McShane was in critical condition and Jurich was upgraded to fair condition at Illinois Masonic Hospital. Authorities say the two were beaten with a wooden bat while walking in the 1800-block of North Damen Avenue on Friday at 3:30 a.m. They reportedly were heading to Jurich's home after celebrating a night out.

McShane is a UIC grad student from Northern Ireland who had been in Chicago just four months.

There were two emotions that extended from Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood to Northern Ireland Tuesday night: relief and outrage.

"It's good they're in custody. At least they'll stop re-offending," said Bernadette McShane, Natasha's grandmother.

"I just don't understand why they couldn't take their money, why they had to hit 'em like that?" said one Bucktown resident.

"As Stacy recounted the horrific ordeal that she and Natasha McShane endured, two experienced, hardened big city detectives both admitted to welling up as she was retelling the story. That's how senseless and brutal this crime was," said Commander Joseph Salemme of Area 5 Police Detectives.

The brutality of the beating is making national news in the United Kingdom.

"It seems like a nightmare you want to wake up from but it is happening. We are going to have to deal with it. All we have to do is move on and pray and hope Natasha will be better, which she will be," Conor McShane, Natasha's brother, told the British Broadcasting Corporation.

"They keep telling us any procedure they do, she's stable but still critical. So hopefully that'll change over the next few days," said Bernadette McShane.

McShane says her family refuses to judge Chicago by the actions of a few people.


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