Police confirm Louis Rocah was attacked with a baseball bat early Tuesday morning in the 3100-block of North Pine Grove in the city's Lakeview community on the North Side. He has been released from a hospital.
Police describe the suspect as male with a slim build, about 6'0". He was wearing a black body suit and a black mask.
Authorities say when the Rocahs' home alarm went off around 4:30 a.m. they reset it and went back to bed. Then the couple noticed a person in their bedroom demanding money. The intruder hit Rocah in the head and the suspect fled. It is not known if anything was taken from the home.
During the incident the suspect reportedly attacked the homeowner with a bat. Rocah sustained some injuries in the attack. His wife, 80-year-old Barbara Rocah, was by his side.
"First it was horror that such a thing could happen to a colleague and friend, someone I knew. And I was certainly very concerned for the Rocahs because this could be a very serious and lethal thing," said Dr. David Terman, a friend of the couple. "It is a terrible thing because it shatters all your feeling of expectable security. We don't expect those things to happen to us."
Louis Rocah has been a professor of architecture at UIC for more than 40 years. Before that he studied under a number of notable architects, including Mies van der Rohe. Barbara Rocah is a psycoanalyst. She just retired from the Institute for Psychoanalysis after 40 years. The couple has lived in their North Side house for several years, according to neighbors.
As neighborhood residents heard news about the attack they said that there's been an uptick of crime lately in their neighborhood.
"It feel pretty safe in this area. This is the first time for me hearing so I don't know. Basically, I guess it is not safe any more," said Zlata Sakic, neighbor.
"I have seen a couple of car windows smashed over the last week or two. That is about it. I'm shocked that there was a home invasion in this neighborhood," said Amit Patel, neighbor.
"There have been several car break-ins in the street over the past probably two, three weeks," said Chris Bergen, resident.
Investigators spent the day at the scene of the crime collecting evidence.