2 women attacked by man with hammer on Crystal Lake bike trail, witness tells police

CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. (WLS) -- Two women are recovering Wednesday after a man with a hammer attacked them on a bike trail in suburban Crystal Lake.

The McHenry County Conservation District Police Department said the attack occurred at about 5:15 p.m. on Ridgefield Trace bike trail near Oak Street and Ridgefield Road. A witness told police that the man attacked the two women with a hammer.

"We heard some screaming. We thought maybe it was neighborhood kids but then we kept hearing it over and over, and it was a clear 'help.'" Said Michelle Prather who lives nearby. "So that's when my husband and I started to run to what we first heard."

What they discovered was a woman bleeding heavily from the head, and another with cuts to her arms and her bike cast aside.

McHenry County Conservation police and other local forces responded within minutes after Prather's husband called 911. The couple then heard the initial victim's tale of fighting back.

"She remembered who it was so she was telling us all about that. She did not want to sit down because she did not want to pass out, but she was covered and you can tell that she had a head injury," Prather said.

Trail users were stunned with the news of the assault.

"You just don't think about those things around here," said Bill Luckett, "but I think this was strictly an isolated type of an incident."

"I go on that trail a lot," said resident Leslie Buck. "I've never had any incidents. I've never seen anybody that I wasn't comfortable with. This is very surprising."

"Well, I'll keep my doors locked now for sure and my garage door down. I used to keep it up and take some precautions," said resident Al Franchi.

The McHenry County Conservation police said they are looking for a Hispanic or Filipino man in his mid-50s. They described him as 5-feet 7-inches tall, clean-shaven with a stocky build. They also said he was wearing a Green Bay Packers hat, forest green sweatshirt and dirty jeans.

"It is a bit scary because it is such a random act. It is not something, you know, that anyone could have been on the bike trail. I could've been on the bike, anyone can," Prather said.

Authorities said the two women were rushed to Northwestern Medicine McHenry County Hospital with injuries that are believed to be non-life-threatening.
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