A 28-year-old Maywood man was charged Thursday with one count of kidnapping and one count of child abduction for separate abduction attempts of two Oak Park girls as they walked to school, the morning of Dec. 5.
Shawn Stubblefield, of the 1800 block of South Fourth Avenue in Maywood, was also charged by Chicago police in connection with an incident that occurred the morning of Dec. 3 in the 400 block of North Parkside Avenue in Chicago's Austin neighborhood. In that incident he was charged with two counts of kidnapping, one count of criminal sexual assault and one count of aggravated criminal assault.
Stubblefield was booked into the Cook County Department of Corrections Friday. He is being held on $250,000 bail.
On Dec. 5 around 8:15 a.m., a 16-year-old OPRF High School student was walking in the 100 block of South Taylor Avenue when a man approached her, put his arm around her neck and started pulling her. The girl screamed and bit his finger before pulling away, police said. A passing motorist stopped and the suspect released his hold and walked away.
A 13-year-old was walking in the 700 block of Home Avenue about 25 minutes later on her way to Brooks Middle School when a man came up behind her and placed his hand over her mouth. She screamed and ran toward a passing motorist and the man fled.
Descriptions provided by the victims about the assailant and the vehicle he was driving gave police sufficient information to quickly alert neighboring law enforcement agencies.
Stubblefield was stopped on Madison Street in River Forest within minutes of the Oak Park incidents. An off-duty Maywood police officer reported a vehicle driving erratically, and River Forest Police, armed with a description of the vehicle and its driver provided by Oak Park, quickly made the connection, according to a statement from Oak Park police.
District 200 staff found out about these two incidents around noon on Dec. 5, as well as a third incident that had occurred the previous afternoon, said D200 spokeswoman Karin Sullivan. In the third incident, an OPRF High School student was walking home from a club meeting at the school when she realized she was being followed from Lake Street down Ridgeland Avenue. The girl went to Julian Middle School, 416 S. Ridgeland Ave., for safety, Sullivan said. A staff member there saw she was being followed as she approached the door and called police.
Principal Nathaniel Rouse announced that students would not be allowed off campus for lunch for the next two periods that afternoon.
Oak Park Police Chief Rick Tanksley praised the actions of the motorists whose willingness to get involved likely stopped the attacks. He also lauded the cooperation of multiple law enforcement agencies that led to the speedy arrest of the suspect.
"The willingness of these two motorists to get involved when they saw a crime being committed is to be commended," he said in a news release. "In addition, the excellent work performed by all the police agencies involved further underscores the importance of the unified spirit of cooperation that we have in the Chicago metro area."
Tanksley praised the victims for their presence of mind in getting a good description of the suspect and his vehicle.
Stubblefield has previous felony convictions dating back to 2006, including possession of a controlled substance, manufacturing and delivery of cannabis, forgery and theft.