Woman beaten, robbed in latest Near North Side attack

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A woman was struck in the face and robbed Wednesday night in the latest violent robbery on Chicago's Near North Side.

"I think they might have been in the car waiting and he got out of the door and kind of came up quietly behind me," Lindsay Stolte said.

Police said the attack occurred near Oak Street and LaSalle Drive at about 7:45 p.m.

Stolte said a man attempted to rob her, grabbing her purse and dragging her to an idling truck waiting nearby.

"We kind of struggled at that point and that's when someone in the back seat said 'punch her,' so they punched me," she said. "And at that point I could kind of feel the blood coming out.

Stolte's legs are bruised and scratched, and her nose is likely broken. She believes three or four men were watching her before one of them went after her. She fought back, struggling with her attacker.

"I was still able to grab my purse and he was trying to get in the car, so I don't know if he punched me or me falling and I grabbed it, so I did still get my purse," Stolte said.

The suspects then got into a truck and headed south on Clark Street, police said. Another woman took pictures of the truck after she heard Stolte screaming and followed the truck as it pulled away.

Stolte said she's angry more than anything, and surprised it happened so early in the evening.

"Anything before eight, typically I feel safe," she said. "If it's after eight I usually carry my mace. But I'm always aware."

The attack is the latest in a string of at least six violent robberies just blocks from each other.

The previous robberies occurred in the:

  • 900-block of North Dewitt Place in the late evening of December 24,

  • 200-block of East Pearson Street in the late evening hours of December 30,

  • 800-block of North Dewitt Place in the morning hours of January 2,

  • 900-block of North Dewitt Place in the evening of January 3,

  • 200-block of East Chestnut Street at about 9:05 p.m. Monday.

Witnesses in previous cases describes seeing the suspects jump into a white colored SUV vehicle before taking off.

On Tuesday, police handed out a community alert to warn residents about the attacks and keep them informed.
Police are warning residents to stay alert.

"Neighbors are very concerned because this has previously been a fairly safe neighborhood," said resident Amy Lardner.

"It worries me, as a person of this area, a citizen of this area, as a resident in Chicago in general, it's very terrifying," said resident Kelsey Knoke.

2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins, spoke to ABC7 earlier this week and said Chicago police plan to increase their patrols which was evident early Thursday morning in the area.

No one is in custody. Anyone with information is asked to contact Area Central detectives at (312) 747-8380.
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