BELMONT CRAGIN — A dark pool of blood was still visible in the snow Tuesday afternoon at the site of a vicious attack of a teen near a Safe Passage route on the Northwest Side.
The 15-year-old girl was walking southbound about 6 a.m. in the 2400 block of North Long Avenue in Belmont Cragin when she was attacked by an "unknown male," police said in a community alert issued Tuesday night.
Police said the girl was "struck about the head and dragged into the rear yard of a nearby residence and sexually assaulted."
The girl was taken in serious condition to Mount Sinai Hospital, police said. No one was in custody for the attack.
Tuesday afternoon, Mike Klockowski said he found the teen, bloody and barely conscious, soon after he woke up and went outside to sweep snow from his backyard. She was on the ground near his backdoor, not far from a couple of plastic snowmen.
The girl's pants and shoes had been removed when Klockowski found her lying at his doorstep, he said. Her backpack was among a few articles found among tracks leading from the street through his gangway.
There were "smears [of blood] near the doorbell. I'm guessing she was trying to hit the bell," Klockowski said later Tuesday, referring to the heavy blood marks and handprints on his back door.
Police "tell me she's in bad shape," he said.
Officers later removed his back door for evidence, he said.
In the alley behind the home, fresh blue graffiti could be seen lining garage doors for a half-block near where the girl was found. According to police and neighbors, the spraypaint had mysteriously appeared overnight.
Klockowski has lived in the neighborhood all his life and said he didn't recognize the girl, but was told by police that she's a "gifted student" who does not attend Hanson Park Elementary school, which is less than a block from where the girl was attacked.
"There are so many schools here, it's particularly vicious," Klockowski said. "That poor young lady ... I just hope she's going to make it."
The scene was not far from a Safe Passage route that serves students at Northwest Middle School. The route includes Fullerton and Long avenues.
As school let out and dozens of students walked home with their parents Tuesday afternoon, Johanna Arana said she does not plan on letting her 13-year-old daughter walk to school alone in the morning.
"It's scary to hear things like that can happen near a school," she said. "It's something to really worry about — I have no words."
CPS spokeswoman Keiana Barrett declined to comment on the assault, instead asking media to talk to Chicago police.
"However, I can tell you this occurred before Safe Passage workers are assigned to their posts in that area," Barrett said in an email.
Safe Passage workers are assigned to routes at various time for different schools, but workers typically start monitoring the Northwest Safe Passage route at 6:30 a.m., after the attack started, according to police.
Cops said a larger police presence would be in the area Wednesday as authorities investigate and talk to residents.
Police asked anyone with information about the assault to call detectives at 312-744-8261.