Composite released in Oak Park muggings

Composite of a suspect wanted in three robberies in Oak Park.

April 13, 2011 7:05:08 PM PDT
Oak Park police released a composite of a man wanted in connection with three attacks on women in the west suburb.

All three attacks took place near midnight near Lake Street. In each mugging, the women were choked by a man and told to hand over their purses and cash. None of the victims was seriously injured, though in at least one assault the woman was thrown to the ground.

The most recent attack happened April 4 in the victim's building courtyard. The two other attacks took place on March 30 and April 2.

"I don't want this to happen to anybody else, and I want this person to understand that he messed with the wrong person, and I'm not just going to go away and hide," said Lisa Dodge, one of mugging victims.

Thanks to Dodge, police have a rendering of the Oak Park serial robber.

It was outside Dodge's apartment building on the night of April 4 that she was attacked by a young man.

"This person jumped out from one of the porticos and said, 'all I want is your money.' And I said, 'I don't have any money,' and I just kept walking," said Dodge.

She says the man then jumped on her, bringing her to the ground and choking her from behind. As his grip on her neck tightened, Dodge fought back.

"I was not going to go without a fight. I was going to make sure that I kicked him or hurt him or scratched him or did something to him, that this was not going to go well for him either," said Dodge.

Dodge managed to yell 'fire,' something she learned recently in a self-defense class, and soon, neighbors were outside.

The attacker ran away after taking Dodge's purse.

"I hope that I see him again because I will call 911, and he will be arrested," said Dodge.

Days earlier in separate incidents, police say the suspect robbed and assaulted two other women. All three attacks have occurred within a mile of each other blocks from CTA "L" stops, putting residents on alert.

"I mean, I have mace with me right now, and it's the middle of the day, so just always gotta be safe," said Kim Krenn, Oak Park resident. "I've heard they've beefed up the patrol around the area, and I have seen a lot more cop cars, but I just hope they catch this guy and put this in their priority, one of their priorities."

Dodge sustained only minor cuts and bruises, but she knows things could have ended differently.

"I'm pretty outraged about this, and I want people to be aware that they need to take care of their friends, their neighbors, their family, and just look out for everybody," said Dodge.

Police will not go so far as to say that all three incidents are connected to the same suspect.

"All the incidents are similar, but we can't conclusively say at this point that they are all definitely connected," said Commander LaDon Reynolds, Oak Park Police Department.