Police on the lookout for Oak Park attacker

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By Megan Dooley

Staff Reporter

Click here to see the press release from police.  -  Click here to see a map of the recent attacks.

The Oak Park police are reaching out to the community for help in capturing an assailant they believe to be responsible for three recent attacks on women. The string of attacks all took place between March 30 and April 4.

In a press release dated April 6, police said that they'd increased patrol units in the area, which includes the area near Lake Street from Austin Boulevard to Oak Park Avenue, in response to the attacks.

All three incidents occurred close to midnight. In each attack, the victim was approached from behind and placed in a choke hold as the attacker demanded money.

The suspect is described as a black male in his 20s, between 5-feet-10 and 6-feet tall, with a medium build. In all three attacks, he was reportedly wearing a light colored jacket and a black stocking hat.

In the first incident, which occurred just before midnight in the 200 block of Lake Street, the attacker made off with the victim's Blackberry cell phone and cash.

The second attack occurred after midnight on April 2. A victim was walking into the front door of her apartment building in the 400 block of North Austin Boulevard when she was accosted from behind. The victim kicked the attacker and screamed, prompting the suspect to flee on foot.

The third attack occurred in the 200 block of North Oak Park Avenue at or just before midnight on April 4. The victim was approached from behind, knocked to the ground and placed in a chokehold.

The attacker reportedly said, "All I want is your money." In this most recent attack, the suspect made off with the victim's purse.

None of the victims suffered serious injuries in the attacks, and the suspect didn't use a weapon, but police are warning residents to take necessary precautions and stay cognizant of their surroundings.

Asked if the police have any leads, Commander LaDon Reynolds said, "We're looking into different avenues in the investigation."

Reynolds said that the department has released a number of safety tips for people to follow, and he recommended that people keep a cellphone on them at all times.

"I think it's always good to travel in pairs when it's later in the evening," Reynolds said. "I think just in general it's a good idea."

Police are also asking anyone with information about the attacks, or anyone who witnesses suspicious activity, to call the department at 708-386-3800. Anonymous tips are also welcome at 708-434-1636.

  Oak Park police seek help identifying attacker

View Police on the lookout for Oak Park attacker in a larger map

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Reader Comments

16 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Comment Policy

Teresa Powell  

Posted: April 8th, 2011 8:49 AM

I have checked the website and reported the error to the IT department. I will let you all know what I find out about this. I encourage those interested in Village updates to try again later.

epic lulz  

Posted: April 8th, 2011 12:38 AM

Not to worry. I'm well aware that the WJ hacks into OL servers and cross references the IPs of their users, which I why I use different random proxy servers in order to remain in stealth mode....


Posted: April 7th, 2011 11:49 PM


Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 7th, 2011 10:54 PM



Posted: April 7th, 2011 10:09 PM

But epic lulz, Do you comment over at the Oak Leaves. I think not. Your time seems to be spent here at the WJ.

epic lulz  

Posted: April 7th, 2011 5:59 PM

Although useful for general OP announcements, don't bother with the email list for timely breaking crime news. The VOP email notice of this crime did not go out until a day after the police press release, and hours after the WJ article. Unfortunately, the WJ does not appear to have an online crime blotter, and just highlights some local crime. For more in depth coverage, I go to the Oak Leaves website.

@Teresa Powell  

Posted: April 7th, 2011 5:48 PM

I just tried to sign up for email notices as well, but I get the same error message. The website is not working.

D. Houlihan from Oak Park  

Posted: April 7th, 2011 5:29 PM

I tried to sign up for the email notices, but got the following message several times today: "Microsoft VBScript runtime error '800a0046' Permission denied /OakParkVillageMailingList/MailingList.asp, line 84"

Teresa Powell  

Posted: April 7th, 2011 5:25 PM

Here again is the website you may use to put your name on the Village's e-News list. http://muniweb.com/OakParkVillageMailingList/MailingList.asp Or go to the Village website and click on News for the drop-down list.

Jean Lotus from Oak Park  

Posted: April 7th, 2011 4:31 PM

Ms. Powell, Just FYI -- The mailing list subscribe website is not functioning.

Paddy Boy  

Posted: April 7th, 2011 4:10 PM

Myself, and an a number of folks I've discussed this with over the past year or so, strongly believe the village of OP and the police are way to lax in the area of enforcing any panhandling or simple harassment laws. Criminals start out as panhandlers. As Barney Fife used to say, :nip it nip it in the bud" .....

Teresa Powell  

Posted: April 7th, 2011 3:07 PM

I second Ray's suggestion. Here's the link to the Village site for regular updates on safety and many other important news items. http://muniweb.com/OakParkVillageMailingList/MailingList.asp

Ray Johnson from Oak Park  

Posted: April 7th, 2011 1:01 PM

@ "I love Oak Park" -- I encourage you to sign up for e-News by the VOP. A bulletin was released and can be viewed at: http://www.oak-park.us/police/ Visit www.oak-park.us to sign up for news and/or Facebook and Twitter updates. I believe the Police are doing all they can to catch this criminal.

Paul Kersey  

Posted: April 7th, 2011 12:32 PM

I wonder if a good tasering or stun gun jolt might slow down this crime spree?

I love Oak Park  

Posted: April 7th, 2011 12:02 PM

I live at the 400 block of North Austin and I had no idea this happened. I would really appreciate it if the police did a better job of keeping the resident/community abreast of ANY crimes in the immediate area.

Violet Aura  

Posted: April 7th, 2011 11:01 AM

Regardless of gender, strolling around that late at night is not the best idea. If you are leaving the El or bus at that hour, the best thing is to ride a bike home rather than be on foot where you are more vulnerable.

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