WICKER PARK— A hunt for authentic paczki to give to his mother-in-law as a "welcome to Chicago" gift ended with a visit to the emergency room for a 27-year-old West Town man.
Eric Cwik, a chemist, said he was walking to a bakery about 8:50 a.m. Friday when he noticed a "big muscular pit bull mix" tied to a newspaper box in front of Prince Food Mart at Western Avenue and Hirsch Street.
"This dog was staring at me as soon as I got in its vision. I put my hand out, not far from my body, and wanted it to get my scent. [The dog] lunged and got my ring finger really bad," Cwik said.
Cwik said he "reacted pretty quickly and drew back," but the graze tore off skin on his knuckle and left two teeth marks as well as bleeding and swelling.
The owner of the dog exited the mart and asked Cwik, "Why did you approach him?” before fleeing with her dog west on Hirsch Street, Cwik said.
After following the woman and her dog to Hirsch Street and Artesian Avenue, Cwik was advised by an operator at the city's non-emergency 311 call center to stop and wait for an ambulance, which took him to St. Mary's Hospital, 2233 W. Division St.
Cwik said he was given antibiotics and ibuprofen, and his cuts did not require stitches.
Abrahim Ayyad, 19, owner of Prince Food Mart, said that a Shakespeare District police officer was able to gather information from cameras installed at the grocery mart.
Ayyad said that the woman who tied up her dog, described as mainly white with black and brown spots, has been a customer for the last couple of years. He said he does not know her name but is familiar with her dog.
"Nobody likes that dog. Her dog is crazy, not normal," Ayyad said.
The woman was described in the bite report as a white woman, about age 50, 5-foot-1, 145 pounds with a medium build and light complexion.
“I feel absolutely disgusted that someone would leave someone else bleeding on the street and run away," Cwik said. "I couldn’t imagine if I were older or a child, I got lucky that it wasn’t much worse.”
Cwik posted his experience on EveryBlock.
"My mom said, 'Don't let this ruin your Christmas,' but I just want to know why it happened and who the woman is. If I don’t know her I can't press civil damages," Cwik said.