Sex assault reported in Lincoln Park

September 22, 2011 (CHICAGO)

Police say the man wore a ski mask, gloves, black gym shoes and a dark shirt.

Besides the sounds of the L train, the 2600 block of North Wilton is a quiet neighborhood. But people who live there say they're now more aware

"Bad things can happen anywhere. It is not always going to be as safe as you want it to be," said Lawrence Pope, neighbor.

The alleged rapist and robber took an undisclosed amount of cash.

"I definitely have been less vigilant because I feel it is a relatively safe area. Obviously it is not. It sounds like it happened in the middle of the day, which is really very scary," said Michelle Litos, neighbor.

Santiago, who lives near the victim, says she's lived on the block for 36 years and has never heard of such a vicious attack on Wilton. One concern for neighbors, she says, is loud, frequent train noise that could mask the sounds of a crime in progress.

"I go to work and come back by myself all the time. Sometimes I'm alone in the house, as well as my dad who is a senior citizen. So it is frightening," said Santiago.

The woman was taken to Illinois Masonic Medical Center where she was listed in good condition before being released.

Few of the people out walking their dogs Thursday morning in the neighborhood had heard about the attack, but all shared the feeling that violent crimes are rare in the neighborhood.

"Yes, very scary. It's supposed to be a safe neighborhood. I have always felt safe. It's really scary," said one neighbor, Robin. "That's really scary. You could just be at home, and, I mean, that someone would somehow force themselves in, it's really scary. I really hope they catch the person."

Word of the attack was especially shocking to many college students in the neighborhood. The block where the attack took place is not far from DePaul University.

"Especially a student or, you know, a lot of us, it's our first time in Chicago, and this is happening at the beginning of the school year. And it is a rude awakening, I guess, into the city life," said neighbor Jimmy Woolert.

No one is in custody.

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