Chicago’s top cop calls teen girl’s rapist — still at large — ‘a monster’
BY TINA SFONDELES Staff Reporter December 19, 2013 9:06PM
Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy on Thursday stood in front of the Northwest Side community reeling from the brutal rape and attack of a teen girl, vowing to find her attacker and urging the community to offer up clues. | Tina Sfondeles~Sun-Times
Updated: January 21, 2014 11:30AM
Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy on Thursday stood in front of the Northwest Side community reeling from the brutal rape and attack of a teen girl, vowing to find her attacker and urging the community to offer up clues.
“This is not [just] a crime of an innocent individual. This is a crime against the community,” McCarthy said in an appearance that surprised organizers of the meeting at the Northwest Side Housing Center, in the 5300 block of West Diversey.
“I don’t have much to comfort you and I apologize for that, but what I can tell you is that we’re not going to stop until we solve this crime,” McCarthy said.
“I just felt the need to come here and share with you the fact that we’re going to make sure we catch this monster. We’re going to make sure that it doesn’t happen again in this community, or anywhere in the city,” he told the roughly 200 in attendance at the meeting.
McCarthy said more than 50 police officers have combed the area near the Tuesday attack in the 2400 block of North Long, collecting garbage on rakes, hoping to find clues. He said the 15-year-old victim remains hospitalized and “on the fence,” — a reference to her fragile condition. He urged anyone who saw or heard anything to step forward to help detectives: “Somebody may not even known it but it could be the smallest thing — someone coming out of an alleyway, you might have seen something.”
The nearly 90-minute community safety meeting — not far from the scene of the attack — also brought out elected officials and Chicago Public Schools representatives. Chicago Police say the attack happened about 6 a.m. Tuesday, just 30 minutes before Safe Passage Route workers began patrolling Fullerton Avenue near Long.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said earlier Thursday: “First and foremost, my thoughts are with the mother and father and the family. Second is bringing whoever did this to justice — swiftly. Third, every street in the city of Chicago — regardless of where it is and regardless of the hour—should be a safe street for the children of Chicago.”
James Rudyk, director at the host center said there were 20 violent crimes reported in the community between Nov. 7 and Dec. 7, including three sexual assaults between Cicero and Austin.
“This is a concern in our community that needs to be addressed,” he said at the meeting. “…We must be vigilant of patrolling our streets, our allies, our sidewalks. It’s not just the job of police but of the community.”
Detectives do not yet have a description of the attacker, according to Area North Police Sgt. Andrew Schoeff, who also urged the public to call police with any details regarding the attack.
“It’s no secret that there was quite a bit of blood on our crime scene. If anybody knows of any unexplained blood on their hands or clothing, just anything that you might have remembered as being jarring, bloody discharged clothing, those kinds of things can help. As soon as we get a good description, you can bet we’ll let the community know.”
“It’s difficult to express in words how frustrating and helpless it feels to have something like this happen,” Jim Benbow, a Belmont-Cragin resident, said during the meeting. “We absolutely want to see this person brought to justice...but we also want to know that down the line, steps are being taken to make sure this never happens again. That all of our kids are safe. That all our adults are safe. That people can walk down the street and not feel afraid.”
The Guardian Angels have been passing out fliers near the crime scene, and will also be out Friday morning.
“Hopefully if we’re out there we can get names and numbers, addresses, or a description that we can forward to police,” Miguel Fuentes, who’s been with the Guardian Angels for 25 years, told the Sun-Times. “The bottom line is we all need to work together. We need to get this guy off the street.”
Contributing: Fran Spielman