No bond for male suspect in bat attack

April 28, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Heriberto Viramontes and his girlfriend, Marcy Cruz, 25, are accused in the attack. Viramontes allegedly beat the women with a baseball bat and took their purses. Cruz allegedly drove the getaway car.

She will appear in court Thursday.

"I don't think there is any condition for bail that I can impose that can protect the community from this individual," Judge Adam Bourgeois said in court Wednesday.

The victims, Natasha McShane, 23, and Stacy Jurich, 24, remain hospitalized five days after they were brutally beaten. McShane is in critical condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Jurich is stable condition at Illinois Masonic.

McShane suffered skull fractures, brain swelling and is in a drug-induced coma. Jurich also had a skull fracture, brain swelling and is suffering from seizures.

Officials said Viramontes gave the victims no warning before hitting them with a bat in the 1800-block of North Damen around 3:30 a.m. Thursday.

"He preyed on two unprotected women, who were by themselves and were unable to protect themselves from this vicious attack by this man," said Erin Antonietti, state's attorney. "The judge granted discretionary no-bail petition based on the evidence in this case and based on the fact that no bond can be set to keep the community safe from this defendant."

Antonietti said that Viramontes and Cruz were drinking prior to the attack. They allegedly left a bar and got into Cruz's car when Viramontes reportedly looked at her and said, "I need some money." He then left the car and allegedly brutally beat the two victims with a wooden baseball bat.

Following the attack, Antonietti said Viramontes left the scene, got in Cruz's vehicle and went to a gas station, where the suspects were captured on surveillance video walking up to the cashier window to make a transaction. Gas station employees say the video shows the male suspect trying to swipe a credit card to put gas into the van. Then it appears he was getting cash from another customer by using the stolen credit card to purchase gas.

"Once the transaction didn't go through the gentleman was really upset. He started threatening him, abusing him. He did even make a comment that he had so much money he could buy this place," said Gani Sodagar, BP manager.

"Both were seen on surveillance video trying to use the credit cards of the victim. The phone records of the victim led authorities to the female co-defendant. Further field investigation led them to Viramontes," said Antonietti.

The state's attorney said Viramontes has a long police record, including stolen vehicles, burglaries and battery. This is the 19th time he is in Cook County Jail, according to the Cook County sheriff's office.

Viramontes declined protective custody and has been put in isolation for his own protection.

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