Carjacker forced woman into trunk in Wrigleyville before 23-mile drive, crash, police say

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A woman was forced into the trunk of her own car at gunpoint and sexually assaulted Thursday night on Chicago's North Side before police said her attacker drove 23 miles.

The man crashed the Mazda just before 10 p.m. near West 115th and South Throop streets on the city's Far South Side, where police said he bailed out of the car. The 24-year-old victim was able to escape from the trunk and call for help.

She had minor injuries and was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center for treatment.

Police said the armed suspect approached her in the rear yard of an apartment building in the 3700-block of North Fremont Street in the Wrigleyville section of Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood around 8:20 p.m. The offender, with the victim in the trunk, drove around for 90 minutes and attempted to use the victim's ATM card at various south side locations before crashing into a tree more than 20 miles from the alley where it all started.

The attacker is described as a heavyset black man in his 30s, about 5-foot-10 and 200 pounds with a goatee, wearing khakis and a red sweatshirt.

Police said the description of the attacker is similar to the description of a man who sexually assaulted a 25-year-old woman in her car in the 1200-block of West Barry on Feb. 28. In that incident, the offender approached a woman who was walking to her car, forced her into her car at gunpoint, and sexually assaulted her. The offender fled on foot, police said.

No one was in custody Friday, police said.

Women who live in Wrigleyville told ABC7 Eyewitness News they were disturbed to hear what happened to the victim.

"It's definitely uncharacteristic of the neighborhood, so it's shocking to me. Definitely makes me a little bit worried," said Julia Millon, a neighbor.

"It's terrifying. I always feel really safe in this neighborhood. To hear something like that happen is really scary," said Hayley Wilson, another neighbor.

Lee Bob Geissbuhler, who also lives in the neighborhood, said he was shocked at the time the crime occurred.
"That's like a normal time people would be out and about doing things," Geissbuhler said.

Although the 19th District Police Station is a block and half away, some believe there is still not enough security in the area.

That's why the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce is paying for private security starting Saturday, a first for the Wrigleyville and Central Lakeview neighborhoods.

"If we're not getting enough support for getting more officers on foot in the district to be visible, we all have to step up," said Maureen Martino, executive director of Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce.

The private security is expected to cost upwards of $225,000 and will be paid for by a special tax district.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.
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