The 12-year-old girl was attacked by a man who beat her as he tried to pull her into a small, red car near 169th Street and 88th Avenue in Orland Hills near the border of Orland Park Monday. Another man was driving.
"She claims that he struck her several times in the abdomen with her book bag and then hit her head several times into the tree that was there," said Chief Thomas Scully, Orland Hills Police Department.
"Just last night, had all my grandkids, and we were driving around looking at the decorations in the neighborhood," John Zawisza said. "Then I heard it this morning, and I'm like, 'Wow.' It's really scary."
"I don't think it'll stop the kids from trick-or-treating, as long as they've got their parents out. I know the neighbors will be aware, and I'm sure the police activity will still be going on," Robert Greenfield said.
"I was shocked. We do have a safe neighborhood. It was two blocks from me, this stop. We're just going to keep our eyes on our kids," Cindy Weiner, parent, said.
The girl attends Prairie View Middle School in Tinley Park. Her physical injuries are not life-threatening. The girl's family says she is traumatized to the point that she did not recognize or respond to her parents.
"I'm just hoping that her and her family are able to get through this, and hopefully she'll be able to come back to school next week or something," Gia Weiner, student, said.
After the incident, Kirby School District 140 sent out an alert to parents.
"We're telling parents to be vigilant as we always tell our parents and our staff and our children to always be vigilant whether it's yesterday today or tomorrow. We know that there's creepy people out there who are willing unfortunately to victimize our kids," Dr. Mike Byrne, Kirby School District superintendent, said.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Orland Hills Police Department at (708) 349-4434.