River Forest woman fights off kidnapper with violent history


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By Megan Dooley

Staff Reporter

River Forest police have arrested a registered sex offender after he attempted to kidnap a village resident by forcing her into his vehicle and driving off. The woman fought her kidnapper, and was able to escape the vehicle.

Tracey Taylor, 44, who is homeless, is charged with five felonies, including attempted aggravated criminal sexual assault, kidnapping, attempted robbery, aggravated battery and unlawful restraint.

Taylor allegedly approached the 37-year-old female victim on the 1300 block of William shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday, and then grabbed the victim by her arms and body and forced her into his car.

Taylor began to flee the area but the victim fought back by biting Taylor in the arm and repeatedly turning off the vehicle ignition. She eventually escaped the vehicle, and her screams alerted observers to call 911.

River Forest police officers arrived on the scene within minutes of the call, at about 7:50 p.m., and arrested Taylor. The victim was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital and later released.

River Forest Deputy Chief Craig Rutz said Taylor's criminal history includes a violent sexual assault for which he was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Rutz said the judge in that trial described the assault as one of the most violent attacks he had ever encountered.

Rutz praised the River Forest victim's efforts to escape her attacker.

"You never give up. You keep fighting until you're not breathing anymore," Rutz said. "This woman understood that."

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Violet Aura  

Posted: August 23rd, 2011 4:35 PM

Mary, why do you assume that "professionals" cannot have problems? So who is this reviled group you think commits all the crimes--blue-collar workers?


Posted: August 23rd, 2011 4:22 PM

Mary- while I understand your frustration and anger at your daughter being in danger, when did educated middle class and disturbed become mutually exclusive. The first problem you need to fix is your assumption that people who live in RF must be nice and others not.

muriel schnierow from river forest  

Posted: August 23rd, 2011 2:47 PM

these sex offenders are psychopathic. they must NEVER be on the street. write to the governor and the prison review board.this is inexcusable.


Posted: August 17th, 2011 9:02 AM

I think a better measurment of our degreee of civilization is that we let people like this walk free and endanger our families in the name of "compassion". There is compassion, and then there is just plain stupidity. When a "man" acts like an animal, he deserves to be treated like one.

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: August 16th, 2011 7:56 PM

Hey ed. As Dostoyevsky noted "The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering the prisons." While this guy should and will be incarcerated for a long time, society does not benefit by fulfilling your odd revenge fantasies.


Posted: August 16th, 2011 9:01 AM

Why are these kind of slimebags even walking the street after they've already been convicted of violent and sexual crimes? We can keep them locked away from society for very cheap. Just put up some 30 foot high concrete walls, throw all these losers in there together, and just drop bags of dog food in there from time to time. Costs a lot less than the several thousand dollars a year it costs for most prisoners.

Valerie Parkhurst from Fort Lauderdale, Florida  

Posted: August 16th, 2011 5:57 AM

The overall public doesnt realize just how many "Tracey Taylor's" are trolling our streets and communities. Read the daily papers, repeat offenders are repeating becuase the people "we pay" to watch the store just dont. Revolving these freaks back out to feed is criminal in itself.

Oak Park from Oak Park  

Posted: August 14th, 2011 4:44 PM

Mary O'Leary, I'm counting on you getting your Irish up, and not letting bad people causing you to become fearful. The peeping tom won't be peeping probably for a long time. Crime doesn't always strike in the same place.

Mary o'Leary from River Forest  

Posted: August 14th, 2011 3:56 PM

Oak Park from Oak Park. Will reading this paper change the fact that this guy terrorized my daughter two years ago. He spent one night in jail. He is unable to control his twisted urges. Who knows what this sicko has been doing for the last two years. Reading about these crimes only increases my sense of fear and paranoia. I also live very close to where the woman was attacked last week.

Oak Park from Oak Park  

Posted: August 14th, 2011 11:19 AM

Mary Oleary, seems to be the same guy that RFPD, did pick up. You missed it in the Wednesday Journal. You will have to pay more attention what the WJ reports to stay updated.

Mary oleary from River Forest  

Posted: August 13th, 2011 4:21 PM

I am not sure if this is the same peeping tom. The RFPD should be very familiar with the peeping tom that I described. He has been arrested more than a few times. He has appeared in court and spent short periods of time in jail. He lives in River Forest. He appears to be an educated middle class man. He is in fact a disturbed man. He is and or was a social; worker.

Oak Park from Oak Park  

Posted: August 13th, 2011 3:50 PM

Mary Oleary, do you have another peeping tom? RFPD, picked up one the other week ago.

Mary Oleary from River Forest  

Posted: August 13th, 2011 12:21 PM

Are children supposed to carry pepper spray? What makes West chester such a desirable place to live? There is also a peeping tom living in River Forest. He has stalked several teenage girls in town. He is trained to be a social worker, but prefers looking into bedroom windows at night. This man has spent very little time in jail.

The Cure from River Forest  

Posted: August 13th, 2011 8:08 AM

Awareness & pepper spray is the answer. I run in River Forest around the same area. I used to wear headphones and stopped. I also purchased pepper spray and bring it along on my runs.


Posted: August 13th, 2011 6:07 AM

What, no one complaining that the crime rate in River Forest makes it unsuitable for families? No arguing about its inherent lack of quality in comparison to Westchester? Oh right, we save those diatribes for Oak Park.

sad homeowner from river forest  

Posted: August 12th, 2011 11:39 PM

Residents of River Forest pay very high taxes. We also pay for garbage, sewer and water services. There is a veneer of gentility associated with living here. We are riding on the laurels of the past. There have been four attempted robberies to my house in the last seven years. I no longer feel free to leave my home after 6:00 PM.

adele from op  

Posted: August 12th, 2011 7:06 PM

If I were allowed to carry a gun I would have shot him.

Ryan Jones from Forest Park  

Posted: August 12th, 2011 5:56 PM

River Forest and North Oak Park should put guards everywhere keeping the Trash out of these nice communities. Hey Guys stick on the Westside or in Maywood leave us the F**K alone!

AL from Oak Park  

Posted: August 12th, 2011 5:03 PM

I also agree to the right to carry a stun gun/taser.

Could be from River Forest from River Forest  

Posted: August 12th, 2011 4:20 PM

I'm in with the stun guy idea as long as no one has an itchy trigger finger.

middle ground  

Posted: August 12th, 2011 4:18 PM

For self defense purposes, I support the right to carry a concealed stun gun with a kill switch that disables the gun if it gets taken away from the victim.

Try To Be Aware from Oak Park  

Posted: August 12th, 2011 4:08 PM

I've observed people walking alone listening to music on their headphones, texting, and also talking. I don't no what the circumstances where with this attack, or even allude to it but your best self defense is awareness of your surroundings. Carrying a gun ends up giving you a false sense of security, and works against you. Why was this guy walking around? You would be surprised how many people are walking around with backgrounds of violence, drugs, robbery, etc..

Oak Parker from Oak Park  

Posted: August 12th, 2011 3:11 PM

Kudos to the woman who was brave enough to fight back. It is good to know that she is OK physically. As for the guns and walking in pairs, crime is everywhere. Caution and common sense is advisable for both sexes in all communities.

Dan from River Forest  

Posted: August 12th, 2011 2:54 PM

Actually -E- you are so wrong on every level, including legal (the 2nd amendment does not give people the right to carry concealed weapons) and reality. Unless there's been a sudden change in the last year or two, the data show that if you carry a gun and are attacked, the chances are greater that you'll be shot rather than the criminal getting shot. That's especially true for home invasions.

epic lulz  

Posted: August 12th, 2011 2:53 PM

Oh, and here's the kicker: the offender was not armed. If this was one of your typical gun nut states, like TX, where any nut can get a gun, he would have been armed, and the woman would be dead.

epic lulz  

Posted: August 12th, 2011 2:50 PM

No, E, what this incident demonstrates is that guns are useless, because the bad guys will simply overpower you before you can draw your weapon. If the woman had been carrying a gun, she most likely would have been killed by her own weapon. And that's exactly what you hear more of in states with conceal carry laws.

Violet Aura  

Posted: August 12th, 2011 2:45 PM

If that's his mugshot, he looks nuttier than a fruitcake. It is crazy that someone with a HISTORY of violent sex offenses is not being monitored on any level.

Violet Aura  

Posted: August 12th, 2011 2:11 PM

@E: The only way that would work would be if the victim had her "piece" out and was walking down the street with her finger on the trigger. Many times a person may have a gun in their home but the perp surprises them. It's very difficult for people to anticipate when they will get jumped or in this case, grabbed.


Posted: August 12th, 2011 2:01 PM

If Illinois honored the 2nd amendment and allowed for concealed carry of firearms for law-abiding, and trained citizens, you'd hear less about these types of crimes.

muriel schnierow from River Forest  

Posted: August 12th, 2011 1:51 PM

to neighbors and police.Please read "Mask of Sanity" by Herve Cleckley,"Without Conscience" by Dr Robert Hare,researcher for 25 years on this disorder ,and then read "Columbine" by Dave Cullen especially chapters 40 and 42.researched for10 years.We can stop this.

Violet Aura  

Posted: August 12th, 2011 1:48 PM

@Irishman: What about MEN? They are getting it, too! I read a story of a man near Dominican who got beat down and some man in the mask held him to the ground. I think at night especially you are safer on a bike. On foot you have nowhere to run or hide...

muriel schnierow from river forest  

Posted: August 12th, 2011 1:47 PM

sex offenders are psychopathic and cannot be on the street. Never!!!What will it take to get 50 states to appoint Task Forces on violent crimes with a substudy of psychopathic behavior disorder? i just got through reading about a serial killer in Ohio who killed 11 women.Why was he walking around? write to every governor in every state that has a crime like this.???


Posted: August 12th, 2011 1:42 PM

I feel very badly for the woman who had to suffer this terrible attack. Women in the city of Chicago have been encouraged to walk in pairs or groups as much as possible, to try to prevent such attacks. I wonder if it's time for River Forest (and Oak Park and other neighboring suburbs) women to be encouraged to do the same.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: August 12th, 2011 1:41 PM

Why is he even walking the streets? Based upon his history of violent criminal offenses, it's obvious that society is better served and safer when this thug is kept behind bars. No more plea bargains, reduced sentences or parole. If judged guilty for his latest crime; throw away the key! Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Violet Aura  

Posted: August 12th, 2011 1:39 PM

@Phil: Huh? Yes, some people are homeless and live in their cars. And? I suppose you are implying that it's impossible for a homeless person to maintain a car? I just don't see where you're going with this. My reaction to this story? OY. Just OY...

Phil of Ideas  

Posted: August 12th, 2011 1:22 PM

Homeless but not carless.

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