Police searching for bus stop attacker in Humboldt Park, Ukrainian Village neighborhoods

July 9, 2013 (CHICAGO)

According to a community alert from Chicago police, the woman was at the bus stop enclosure at Western Avenue and Augusta -- near the border of Humboldt Park and the Ukrainian Village neighborhoods-- when the suspect attacked her at approximately 5 a.m. Monday.Police say the man then dragged the victim to a nearby gangway where he beat and sexually assaulted her.

The owner of a gas station across from the alleged attack says he saw a man fitting the description of the suspect on his surveillance cameras. He claims the suspect made a purchase and left his fingerprints on the glass. Police were dusting the area and reviewing the cameras.

Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Watch founder Steve Niketopoulos says his group is getting info from other businesses with cameras in the area that may have captured the suspect too. And he's also trying to find solutions.

"Of course we're gonna be talking to the alderman about ongoing gangway issues and lighting issues, but it's about getting everyone involved to out on your porches deter criminals going thru alleys by being present," said Niketopoulos.

Marsha Lee lives nearby and heard the victims' screams and called for help.

"I heard 6-10 loud, loud screams from a female and I ran over to my window. I was looking to see if there was anyone running, because after the ten screams, it stopped," said Lee.

The Guardian Angels hit the streets late Tuesday afternoon handing out informational flyers and safety tips.

They say this is the 7th assault on the North Side against women since May and each attack has been violent.

This latest attack hits close to home for young women that commute from here.

"It's awful and unfortunate someone has to be scared to go to the bus stop in the morning on a perfectly safe block," said Michelle Dimitris, neighborhood resident.

"I always look like almost every block, I look who's around me, I stay aware," said Kathy Ortega, commuter.

Many that live in this area say crime here in on the rise and they need more police presence and more cameras around to catch suspects.

"I think it hits home because I've had recent issues in the neighborhood and you never know who is living near you, you never know who is watching you," said Lee.

"I live right here," said neighbor Jackie Adams. " There are other women who might not have heard about it. So, I'll share that with the people in my building."

Adam Smith also lives above the bus stop with his fiancee, whom he said walks the neighborhood on her own.

"It's 10 feet from our front door. We've walked by there hundreds of times. It's very close to home," said Smith.

Chicago police describe the suspect as a black male between 19 and 26 years old and clean shaven. At the time of the attack, they say he was wearing diamond stud earrings in both ears, along with a green t-shirt, green shorts, black shoes and a black bandanna.

Police are advising female residents in the area to be alert and to walk in pairs early in the morning and at night.

"I'm always very aware of my surroundings and careful about where I run, but I don't feel that my safety is in danger. I just try to be as aware as I can," neighbor Sarah Willy said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Chicago police.

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