Son: Suspects in Tinley Park home invasion 'ruthless'

April 15, 2010 4:48:26 AM PDT
Up to six people could be involved in a home invasion and attack in the south suburbs. Two suspects were in custody, and a massive manhunt was under way for up to four others. Several people living in the Tinley Park home were attacked by the suspects, who broke into the house early Wednesday morning.

A young boy alerted police, calling 911 while hiding from the attackers.

It all started at approximately 4 a.m. in the 9100-block of Basswood. However, Tinley Park police said later Wednesday afternooon they were confident the four remaining suspects are no longer in the immediate area.

The attack early Wednesday morning was as bold as it was brutal. As many as half-dozen intruders broke into the home and used their fists and a gun to beat and pistol whip those inside, all the while demanding cash.

"They busted the front door in, came in and they just basically started beating the hell out of him," said the victims' son Diah Darwish, who credits his 14-year-old brother with saving lives because he chose to hide and call for help.

"He said, 'My initial reaction was to go out there and help, but then my common sense took over and told me, no, get back into the room and call the police. They can help better than anyone,'" Darwish said.

When asked if he thought that saved their lives, Darwish said: "One hundred percent, 100 percent."

"These guys were ruthless," said Darwish.

"It's one thing when you get attacked in the street. It's another attacked if you're attacked in business. But when someone invades your home, your sanctuary where you feel like you're safe, that's a very, very, very difficult thing for anybody to deal with," said Fadi Rafati, the victims' nephew.

Police arrived at the scene, scaring off the attackers. One jumped from an upstairs window onto a balcony below.

"When our officer arrived at the front of the residence, he observed through the window that a male resident was being accosted inside the residence, and he immediately kicked the door to the front of the residence to make entry to protect that citizen, at which time, the offender and several other offenders that had been in the residence exited through the rear," Cmdr. Rick Bruno of the Tinley Park Police Department said.

Officers arrested one suspect trying to enter this get-away car parked one block away. Two hours later, residents tipped police to another hiding nearby.

ABC7 has learned one suspect's car is registered to a home just a few miles from a convenience store in Chicago's Morgan Park neighborhood that is owned and operated by the victims.

"We know [the] family owned a business in the city, and it's possible they were followed home, but other than that, anything further than that would be speculation," Bruno said.

Throughout the day, heavily armed officers searched the southwest suburb from the air and ground.

"My wife said she saw two of them with dogs and helicopters and fixed-wing planes. There was [no] going back to sleep this morning," Tinley Park resident Roy Beals said.

"It's a shock. I grew up in this city, and with the recent crime here, I think it's got a lot of residents on the edge of their seats," said Jon Sus, also a Tinley Park resident.

The husband and father, who was the primary target of the attackers' rage, was listed in fair condition Wednesday evening. His son tells ABC7 that his father is resilient and strong, and they hope he will make a full recovery.

The mother was said to still be in shock from what took place inside the home.

Investigators say they believe they have a good idea of who the four remaining suspects are. Police say they are confident they will be able to catch up with them.