Mayor: Gold Coast Remains Safe

By Wendell Hutson and Quinn Ford  on November 19, 2012 3:50pm  | Updated on November 20, 2012 10:27am

BACK OF THE YARDS — Mayor Rahm Emanuel insisted that the Gold Coast was safe Monday, calling a weekend stabbing at a Michigan Avenue hotel a "single incident."

At about 8 p.m. Saturday, a 67-year-old man using the bathroom at a restaurant inside the Westin Hotel on the Magnificent Mile was stabbed repeatedly and punched by a 56-year-old man, prosecutors said during a Monday hearing. When the man fled, a bartender at the restaurant chased him and was stabbed in the chest.

The incident happened on the same day as the Festival of Lights parade, which drew an estimated 1 million people to the Gold Coast area, Emanuel said Monday.

"Let me remind you that just the other day we had 1 million people and not a single incident," Emanuel told reporters during a press conference about school improvement in Back of the Yards. "You’re interested in the Magnificent Mile. There are other things I’m looking at.

"I think the city is making progress. I know [police Superintendent Garry] McCarthy, who I spoke to earlier today, will address the issue at a later time."

Jimmy Harris, 56, of Chicago, was charged with attempted first degree murder, aggravated battery and aggravated unlawful restraint in the stabbing, police said.

The 67-year-old victim remained hospitalized Monday, prosecutors said.

Harris was on parole for the beating and stabbing a 69 year-old victim with a broken bottle when the Gold Coast incident occurred, prosecutors said.

He was ordered held without bond Monday.

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