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Chicago mom beaten while waiting for son’s class to let out: prosecutor

JasCastro40  Milwaukee has been charged with beating  Chicago mom as she waited for her son's classes let out

Jason Castro,40, of Milwaukee, has been charged with beating a Chicago mom as she waited for her son's classes to let out in the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood. Authorities say it was the culmination of a traffic dispute. | Chicago Police mugshot

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Updated: April 4, 2014 6:27AM



Samantha Radjenovic says her eyes still twitch and she’s developed a stutter since she was beaten last fall while waiting to pick up her son, a first-grader, from Henry D. Lloyd Elementary School.

During a Sunday hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, a Cook County judge ordered 40-year-old Jason Castro, of Milwaukee, held on $300,000 bond in connection with the alleged attack on Nov. 19th in the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood. Castro’s charged with aggravated battery.

Radjenovic, 30, said she was in her car, waiting for classes to end, when a motorist tried to parallel park his SUV into a tiny parking space behind her, outside the Chicago Public School in the 4800 block of W. Dickens Ave.

First the driver backed the SUV into the spot ­— striking a van in the process, Radjenovic said on Sunday when reached by phone. Then the driver pulled forward, ramming her car, she said.

When Radjenovic got out to snap a cellphone photo of the vehicle’s license plate, and informed the driver, a man, that she would be filing an insurance claim, he went ballistic, she said.

“I felt my bones cracking. There were about 50 people in their cars and nobody came to stop it,” Radjenovic told the Sun-Times. “Nobody did anything.”

The attacker, later identified as Castro, punched Radjenovic 13 times in the face, breaking an eye socket, her nose and loosening her teeth, Cook County prosecutors said in court.

Radjenovic said she then crumpled to the pavement. Her attacker, she said, then grabbed a small child from his vehicle as she stumbled to the front of the school. Court records indicate he fled the scene on foot.

Radjenovic said she had seen her attacker outside the school before but had never met or talked with him. Attempts to reach Castro and his family members for comment Sunday night were unsuccessful.

When she reached the front door of the school the day of the alleged attack, staff inside the school were not willing to help, Radjenovic said.

“A woman came out and said, ‘This didn’t happen at school, we’re not going to help,’” Radjenovic said. A parent with a cellphone called 911 instead, Radjenovic said.

While CPS officials sent a nurse out to wipe her face with gauze, they barred her from entering while detaining her son inside. Eventually an ambulance took her to Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center, according to a Chicago Police report. Her son was released to the custody of his grandparents, she said.

CPS spokesman Joel Hood declined to comment on the alleged attack.

“I’m just disappointed in the school system,” Radjenovic said. “Nobody wanted to get in involved. The whole side of the school was facing the street. Everyone was able to see what was going on.”

Email: bslodysko@suntimes.com

Twitter: @brianslodysko



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