Prosecutor: Kidnapping victim bit assailant until he let her go
By BILL DWYER firstname.lastname@example.org August 13, 2011 6:30PM
Updated: October 19, 2011 3:05AM
A 37-year-old woman scratched, punched and bit her assailant until he gave up trying to kidnap her from a quiet River Forest street Thursday night.
In doing so, the prosecutor told a judge Saturday morning, the woman escaped being beaten, raped and possibly killed.
“But for the victim fighting for her life, this would be a very different case,” Assistant State’s Attorney Maureen O’Brien told Judge Gregory Ginex during Saturday’s bond hearing in Maywood for the alleged assailant. “She saved her own life.”
Tracy Taylor, 44, a registered sex offender whose last-known address was in Aurora, was charged with four felonies: aggravated kidnapping, attempted robbery, aggravated battery and unlawful restraint.
He was ordered held on $1 million cash bond.
In a brief interview Saturday, the victim told the Forest Leaves, a sister publication of the Chicago Sun-Times, that women need to be on guard even in communities perceived to be safe.
“I think women need to be aware, and they need to know what to do if this happens to them,” she said.
At the hearing, O’Brien gave graphic details of the attempted kidnapping at 7:50 p.m. Thursday in the 1300 block of William Avenue in River Forest.
Taylor, who thought he was in Oak Park, was looking to rob the woman, the prosecutor said.
After asking the woman for directions and being ignored, Taylor followed her as she tried to walk away, telling her, “You don’t have to be afraid,” O’Brien said.
He then allegedly grabbed her and tried to shove her toward his car.
When the woman fought back, the 5-foot-10, 250-pound Taylor knocked her to the ground, causing her to hit her head on the pavement, prosecutors said. He picked her up and dragged her to his car, O’Brien said.
He allegedly turned her upside down and put her into the driver’s seat area of the car and wedged her head under the steering column.
When Taylor got in the car and attempted to drive off, the woman scratched and punched him, then bit hard into Taylor’s fingers, officials said.
She also managed to reach up and turn the ignition off at least twice, slowing his escape.
“He’s repeatedly punching her in the head as she bites his fingers,” O’Brien said.
The struggle and the woman’s screams drew the attention of an 8-year-old boy who was nearby. When a man walked up and asked what was going on, Taylor allegedly replied, “My girlfriend is just tripping.”
Apparently frustrated by the struggle, Taylor allegedly threw the woman out of the car and said, “I don’t have time for this, bitch.”
Taylor tried to drive off, but police arrived and blocked his escape, O’Brien said.
Police learned later that the victim did not know Taylor and that he was out on parole after being convicted of aggravated criminal sexual assault in Kane County.
While in the River Forest detention area Thursday night, Taylor repeatedly struck the steel wires so violently that he partially broke the structure away from the wall, O’Brien said
Taylor knocked two bolts anchoring the cage front to concrete block walls, chipping the concrete. Damage is estimated at $2,500.
“He is the most violent, rageful person I’ve ever dealt with as a police officer,” said River Forest police Detective Sgt. Marty Grill, who interviewed Taylor.
Besides Taylor’s rape conviction in 1990, Taylor also has faced charges for burglary, robbery, theft, aggravated battery and resisting arrest.
After a jury trial in Kane County in 1990, Taylor was sentenced to a 30-year prison term. He appealed, won a new trial and, in 1994, was convicted a second time.
Judge James T. Doyle imposed a 35-year sentence due to Taylor’s violent behavior while incarcerated. According to a 1997 appeals court ruling upholding Taylor’s prison sentence, Doyle called Taylor’s 1989 crime “the most brutal of its type that he had ever heard or seen.”
“He specifically found that, based upon the testimony and the evidence, the offense here was accompanied by exceptionally brutal behavior and was indicative of wanton cruelty,” the appeals court noted.
Taylor was paroled in November 2008. Earlier this year, he was convicted of battery, for which he received a conditional discharge.
In court Saturday, Taylor told Ginex he was unemployed, and had been homeless “about three weeks.”
In 2010, Taylor’s last-known address was in the 2400 block of Autumn Grove Circle in Aurora.
“I do find that the defendant is a danger,” Ginex said in setting his bail. “The proof [of his alleged crimes] is evident and the presumption [of guilt] is great.”
River Forest Police Chief Greg Weiss expressed satisfaction with the outcome.
“Everything worked in this case,” Weiss said. “Starting with a woman who refused to be a victim and ending with dedicated, well-trained police whose first priority is the protection of their community.”