Mother, daughter allegedly attacked for 'looking happy' in Brighton Park

A 25-year-old Chicago man is charged with attempted murder after he allegedly attacked a woman because she looked happy.
Prosecutors say a Chicago mother was attacked simply because she looked happy- and now, she's speaking about her ordeal.

Jessie White, 25, was charged Wednesday with attempted murder. He's accused of going after Anna Morales and her daughter with a knife on the steps of a Chicago church.

Morales says she believes it was a conversation with her daughter about a puppy that may have sparked the alleged attack, and she said afterwards, the suspect offered a bizarre apology.

"If he would have had more time, he could've killed both of us," said Morales.

Morales asked us not to show her face, but she did show us her injuries, including cuts and bruises on her neck and face, as well a broken blood vessel in her eye.

Morales said the attack happened a block from their home in Brighton Park. Morales was walking her 8-year-old daughter Serenity home from school. She passed by White, she says, who was sitting on the church steps.

"Me and Serenity were talking about puppies, and she wanted to get a new puppy, and we were talking about stuff like that," said Morales.

Prosecutors said White would later tell police that he attacked the mother and daughter because they looked happy.

"I felt somebody cover my eyes and put a knife to my throat," said Morales.

Morales said she yelled for her daughter to run away, and Serenity used her backpack to try to beat back their attacker. Morales says she was dragged into an alley, and then down into the basement of an apartment building. The blade in the attacker's knife fell out during the scuffle, she said.

"He began to stab me in the head with the handle part," said Morales.

Serenity ran home and notified her father, Jesse Canchola, who then ran to the alley, he says, where his wife's screams lead him to down to the basement.

"And I look to the side, and that's when I see him on top of her, choking her. But she wasn't moving anymore, like she was unconscious," said Canchola.

Canchola says he managed to subdue White, and he and his uncle held him down until police arrived. His words were still haunting to Morales.

"He was just sitting down, and he just said, 'I'm sorry. I just wanted to kill you,'" said Morales.

A judge denied bond for White at a hearing on Wednesday.

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