Chicago Ridge deputy fire chief remains on home confinement after being charged with attempted murder

Gary Swiercz

January 8, 2013 3:24:18 PM PST
New details emerged Tuesday about a former suburban deputy fire chief charged with trying to kill his neighbor.

In court Tuesday, prosecutors said the victim ran to the apartment of the suspect, Gary Swiercz, not realizing he just attacked her while wearing a mask. Swiercz was hired as a firefighter in 1988 by the Chicago Ridge Fire Department. As of Monday, he retired as deputy chief.

Swiercz came to the Bridgeview courthouse Tuesday as prosecutors wanted to have conditions of his bond increased. The judge let stand a previous judge's order allowing Swiercz out on bond but on home confinement at his parents' home in Worth.

Swiercz is accused of attacking a female neighbor in her sleep in his Tinley Park building on Saturday wearing a ski mask.

A prosecutor said Tuesday the victim didn't know who was behind the ski mask and actually went to her firefighter neighbor for help -- only to find his door open.

"That poor girl," said neighbor Pearl Doran. "She'll be seeing this in her sleep always...I just hope she can get over it."

One woman, who did not want her name used, says her daughter lives near Swiercz. Despite installing a new security system -- and the building had its locks changed -- she says two female relatives of Swiercz went into his condo Tuesday.

"Family members now have keys to the building after the locks have been changed, and the scare has put back into her again," said the woman.

Swiercz is charged with attempted murder, home invasion, attempted aggravated criminal sexual assault, aggravated unlawful restraint and residential burglary.

Swiercz did not comment as he left the courthouse Tuesday. He is due back in court February 7.