Dad saves son from kidnapping attempt at North Ave. Beach
BY KARA SPAK Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org July 3, 2011 2:20PM
Armando Uvalle and his son, Isaiah at home in Cicero,il. Sunday, July 3, 2011 | Brian Jackson~Chicago Sun-Times
Updated: July 4, 2011 10:48AM
At North Avenue beach Saturday, Armando Uvalle took a break from helping his nieces and nephews build sand castles and bury his older brother in the sand.
He stood up and his son Isaiah, 2, ran behind him and tugged on his back leg.
Moments after the tugging stopped, Uvalle turned around and saw a stranger holding his boy up, the man’s hands under Isaiah’s arms.
“He just grabbed him,” Uvalle, 30, said Sunday from the porch of his Cicero home as Isaiah sat on his lap and watched “Dinosaur Train” on his dad’s phone. “I just grabbed my kid back.”
Shaken, he said he told the man “You’re lucky I don’t beat your ass,” and then went over to a police officer who was writing a ticket. She put an alert out immediately, and Tyrone Hill, 37, a registered sex offender whose defense attorney said Sunday has schizophrenia, was arrested at the beach.
Hill, of the 6400 block of South Maplewood, appeared in court Sunday wearing a shirt that said “Break the Silence of Domestic Violence” around a ribbon logo.
William Hall, assistant state’s attorney, said that Hill was convicted in 1997 of two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault. Hill was 16 years old when the assault happened and the victim was 7 years old or younger, Hall said.
In 2010, he was convicted of failure to register as a sex offender, and was on probation for this when he was arrested Saturday.
Cook County Court Judge Maria Kuriakos-Ciesil denied bond for Hill.
Uvalle said he, his wife, their two kids, his parents, his brother and sister-in-law and four nieces and nephews ages 4 to 12 years old decided to spend the day at the beach, arriving at 8:30 a.m. and staying through Saturday’s Navy Pier fireworks. The beach is a regular summer destination for the family, and everyone keeps an eye on the kids, he said.
Saturday’s incident would not stop him from going back to the lake front.
“It could happen to any family,” he said, adding that Chicago police did “a very good job” of acting quickly after his son was grabbed.
Uvalle said he noticed Hill about 10 minutes before the incident. Hill was mumbling to himself and carrying a briefcase, he said. After Uvalle grabbed Isaiah, he said Isaiah did not want his dad to put him down. Uvalle did not want to put his son down, either.
Uvalle identified Hill to police officers, and said for the rest of the day his legs would not stop shaking.
Pointing out “Thomas the Tank Engine” characters on his shirt Sunday, Isaiah was unaware of why he was getting extra attention. Uvalle plans to tell him the story when he gets older.
“When he has his own kids I’m gonna tell him he has to be careful,” Uvalle said.