The 22-year-old woman was walking through a North Side alley at 4:25 p.m. on Monday when a man with a knife attacked her in the alley behind a former auto body shop that is under construction, Chicago police said. Police say he threatened her with the knife, sexually assaulted her and robbed her before running off.
A man who works at a nearby bar said he saw the woman, who appeared to be very scratched up, run to a coffee shop for help. She was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in "stable" condition, police said.
"It's pretty terrifying. We always felt like it was safe around here," Gabrielle Duprat said.
"I actually walk my dog in the alleys, so knowing that this happened right around the corner from my house, it just makes you look around," Rafael Gonzalez said.
Officials hope to release surveillance video from a nearby store with an image of the suspect. The suspect is described as a black man, between 25 and 32 years old, 5'4" to 5'5" tall with a black skull cap, blue jeans and gym shoes. Anyone with information should call police.
The attack occurred just one block from the Chicago Police Department's 19th District Headquarters. Construction crews are removing the plastic that hung along the fence in the alley so no one can hide behind it.