Alert issued month after Lincoln Park sexual assault

August 3, 2011 2:52:53 PM PDT
A woman was sexually assaulted on a Lincoln Park street in early July, but Chicago police didn't release an alert until almost a month later.

The attack took place on July 9 near the intersection of Wrightwood and Southport. The alert was released by the Chicago Police Department on Tuesday, August 2. Now, police are turning to the public for help in finding the offender.

"I don't understand why we didn't hear about it sooner," Steve Redfield, resident, said. "It can happen anywhere, but if it is going on we should know about it at the very least."

At 3:15 a.m. on Saturday, July 9, the 22-year-old woman was walking alone in the 1400-block of West Wrightwood when an offender grabbed her from behind, placed his hands over her mouth, implied he had a weapon and pulled her to the ground. He sexually assaulted the woman and stole her cell phone.

"How awful. I had no idea that happened. I have two small children. That's atrocious," Noelle Toney, Lincoln Park resident, said. "I heard about the alley attacks that are happening in this neighborhood but not any one being sexually assaulted."

Police say the offender rode away from the attack on a bicycle down Southport. He is described as a male between the ages of 25 and 35, 5'7" tall, and 170 pounds with dark brown hair.

"That is so scary this such a family-oriented neighborhood. I know a lot of students in the neighborhood walking home at night," Toney said.

Police in the neighborhood suggest residents be aware and alert their neighbors about the crime. If possible, residents are encouraged not to walk alone and stay in well-lit areas. Also, police recommend pedestrians refrain from talking on their cell phones.

"It is scary for me because I walk here a lot. Hopefully it doesn't happen again," said Carolyn Mezyk, Lincoln Park resident, "Walk with people and known about your surroundings."

Police are also suggesting that residents call 911 to report any suspicious persons, vehicles or activity in the neighborhood. Officials need a detailed description of the offenders, including the vehicle description and license plate information.

Chicago police did respond to calls from ABC7 about the delay in the release.

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