Bar patrons donate money to beating victim

April 26, 2010 (CHICAGO) The families of two women were at their sides three days after they were attacked by a man with a baseball bat in Bucktown.

Natasha McShane, 23, remains in critical condition and Stacy Jurich, 24, is in serious condition at Illinois Masonic Hospital.

Jurich's family is praying for a full recovery and hoping that she will be moved soon from ICU to her own room. Her brother said that what they want is justice.

McShane's family flew in from Ireland.

The graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago worked part time at Butch McGuire's Irish pub. Bar owner Bobby McGuire says his phone has not stopped ringing with people wanting to know about McShane.

"She came here shortly after she got to Chicago looking for work, very personable, outgoing, friendly," said McGuire. "Everyone loves her."

On Saturday morning, someone in the pub put a bucket out with a picture of McShane so that people could donate money to help the young student.

"Lots of people have been calling and stopping in and leaving money and checks, offering to pay for hotel rooms, and you know, whatever they can do," said McGuire.

McGuire says he has been in touch with McShane's family.

"What I heard yesterday was there were some positive signs but still critical," said McGuire.

Chicago police say McShane and Jurich were brutally beaten with a bat by a robber who stole their purses at around 3:30 a.m. Friday morning in the 1800-block of North Damen Ave. in Bucktown. They were heading to Jurich's home around the corner.

"They were out up in Wicker Park or Bucktown, and you know, trying to get home after a night of celebration, and this happens," said McGuire.

"It's scary to think they were hit from the back, you know, and wasn't asked if they could just have the purse. He just immediately went to violence," said Hanna O'Leary, Bucktown resident.

"I was out that night... I guess it shows you should keep your eyes open," said another Bucktown resident who wanted to remain unidentified.

McGuire said McShane underwent surgery Friday to reduce pressure on her brain. He does not know the extent of her injuries.

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