Person questioned in Rogers Park sex assault near Jarvis station on CTA Red Line

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police say they are questioning a person of interest in connection with the sexual assault of a 25-year-old woman near a CTA Red Line station in Rogers Park.

The offender followed the woman off the train at the Jarvis stop, police said, around 4:30 a.m. Saturday. About a block away from the stop, police say he grabbed her from behind, pulled a gun and forced her into a secluded area where she was sexually assaulted.

"It's crazy because you would think with all the cameras around that people would not behave that way. It's frightening," said Russell Easley, a CTA rider.

"It's just such a tight-knit community here that it's kind of surprising that this happened," said Lisa Pangborn, a CTA rider.

On Monday, the Guardian Angels handed out fliers with surveillance photos of the suspect's face to commuters.

Residents in this part of Rogers Park say crime isn't unusual around this 'L' stop. In fact, Red Line rider Nina Henderson says a man tried to pull her into an alley about a month ago as she walked to her car in a nearby parking lot.

"The way I perceived it at the time was a sexual assault or they wanted to do that. Luckily, I was able to make quite a ruckus, and I think it scared the guy off and he
left," Henderson said. "It's a shame that women have to walk through this area, and you can't feel safe."

A community alert from police said the suspect is described as an African American man in his late 20s or early 30s with a dark complexion. He is about 5 ft. 8 in. tall and weighs around 165-200 lbs. Surveillance footage shows he was wearing a black winter jacket, a black knit hat and a backpack at the time of the attack.

Police have not confirmed that the person in custody is the man seen in the surveillance photos. No charges have been filed. Anyone who recognizes the suspect in the photos is urged to call Area North detectives at (312) 744-8261.

Police are reminding riders to avoid walking alone if possible and to not wear earphones, especially late at night.

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