Evanston man, 63, charged in 4 knife incidents including stabbing dog

EVANSTON, Ill. (WLS) -- An Evanston man was charged in four separate incidents involving a knife, police said Monday.

James Collins, 63, was charged with four felonies and a misdemeanor, including attempted armed robbery, aggravated battery, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated cruelty to an animal, according to Evanston police.

The animal cruelty charge stems from an incident Nov. 23 in which Collins approached an elderly couple walking their dog in the 800 block of Church Street and asked to pet their dog and instead stabbed it in the leg and ran off. Collins admitted to being the offender in this incident, police said.

On Dec. 19, police allege Collins battered a 19-year-old man at the Burger King located in the 1700 block of Orrington Avenue. Collins allegedly rubbed the knife on the man's arm and poked him with it several times, police said. The man was uninjured.

On Dec. 20, Collins allegedly attempted to slash a 68-year-old woman's wrist at the CTA Davis Street station, police said. The woman, who was an acquaintance of Collins, was protected by the wool cuff of her clothing and was not injured. Collins admitted to being the offender in this incident as well, police said.

The fourth incident also took place in the 800 block of Church Street and involved an animal, police said. Collins allegedly approached a 51-year-old Chicago woman and brandished his knife, demanding her purse and a large duffel bag she was carrying, police said. The woman refused to give up the duffel bag because her service cat was inside. Collins threatened to stab both the woman and the cat, police said. Witnesses called 911 and responding officers arrested Collins.

Collins used the same knife, a sportsman-style knife with a fixed blade and a sheath, in all four incidents, police said.

Bond and court dates for Collins are pending, according to Evanston police.
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