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One man stabbed, another cut during robbery near Gold Coast hotel

Updated: November 18, 2012 12:35AM

A suspected robber stabbed a 67-year-old man in the neck and wounded another man trying to stop him from fleeing Saturday night near the Westin hotel in the Gold Coast, authorities said.

The attacks happened at 8 p.m. in the 900 block of N. Michigan, officials said. Paramedics took the man with the neck injury in serious condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, officials said. A 35-year-old man was in good condition at the hospital with a cut to the chest.

Police said they were questioning a suspect and recovered a weapon. Witnesses said they saw police storm into the nearby The Cheesecake Factory and a man taken into custody near the Hancock Center.

Managers at Cheesecake and Westin declined to comment.

But Cesar Gonzalez and Nancy Camacho, who both live on the South Side, said they were on their way to an 8 p.m. reservation at a nearby restaurant when they saw a man and police.

“We just heard someone say, ‘he has the wallet,’ ” Gonzalez said.

An apparent employee from the Westin ran to the corner of Michigan and Delaware, and jumped and kicked the suspect with a “karate move,” Camacho said.

“He jumped up and kicked him,” she said.

“They fell and we saw the knife,” said Gonzalez, 29, who added that the knife was about six inches long. “The kid got up and ran down the stairs and he tripped and fell [near the Cheesecake Factory].”

Meanwhile, Sara Cleary said she and a group of five friends were eating at the Cheesecake Factory when police stormed in.

“We were trying to figure out what was going on,” said Cleary, 32, of Findlay, Ohio.

Kathy Stewart, 53, of St. Charles, was in town for the annual light show when she saw out the window of her ninth floor Westin room a man placed on a stretcher and taken away in an ambulance.

Another guy she said was handcuffed by police who blocked Delaware Street.

Bystanders looked on as yellow tape blocked off a portion of the hotel outside. Blood was visible on the ground. About 10:20 p.m., the tape was removed and a worker used a power wash to clean the blood.

Gonzalez said he is now is keeping his wallet in his vest pocket.

“That’s crazy,” he said.

Camacho, 30, added, “There’s so many people around so many kids. It’s just sad.”

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