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Police Search for Man Who Attacked Couple With Baseball Bat

By Heather Cherone | March 20, 2013 2:36pm | Updated on March 20, 2013 3:58pm

PORTAGE PARK — Chicago police released a composite sketch Wednesday of a man they say used a baseball bat to attack a couple after they left a St. Patrick's Day party at Our Lady of Victory Church.

Dennis Tisdale, 35, suffered a traumatic brain injury and a broken jaw as well as injuries to his ribs and hands on March 3 when a man attacked him and his wife near Milwaukee and Sunnyside avenues. 

Tisdale, who has four children, was in a coma when he was rushed to the hospital, where he underwent surgery for a subarachnoid hemorrhage that initially left him unable to speak and partially paralyzed on his left side.

Police are looking for a 5-foot-7-inch bald man between 25 and 32 years old who weighs between 160 and 180 pounds with a light complexion. He was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt at the time of the attack.

Ald. Tim Cullerton (38th) is offering a $1,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the attacker.

"This was a brutal attack," said Cullerton, who attends church at Our Lady of Victory. "It is rare that something like this would happen in Portage Park."

Tisdale and his wife, Linda, were walking west on Sunnyside Avenue about 2 a.m. after the party at the church hosted by Our Lady of Victory's Holy Name Society. The couple had gone to the Windsor Tap, a nearby bar, for drinks, and were returning to their car, which was parked near the church.

While in a crosswalk, a silver or gray sedan or SUV brushed against Tisdale and his wife, and harsh words were exchanged, Cullerton said.

The man pictured in the sketch got out of the front passenger seat with a baseball bat and repeatedly hit Tisdale in the head and body, police said.

"It could have been worse," Cullerton said. "You never know what can happen."

The car or SUV was last seen going east on Sunnyside and south on Milwaukee, police said.

A veteran of the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division and an iron worker in Chicago, Tisdale came home from the hospital this week.

An online fundrasing effort launched by the Tisdale family is working to raise $15,000 to cover Tisdale's medical bills. As of 2 p.m. Wednesday, more than $7,500 has been raised.

"He will have to learn many basic functions again, and this will take several months," Terry Tisdale wrote on the fundraising website. "Dennis has always been the "rock" of the family with an unwavering moral compass."

Police urged anyone with information about the attack to call 312-744-8263.