LOGAN SQUARE — Neighbors and police are coming together after the assault of two women in Logan Square in the last seven days.
On Oct. 22, two suspects robbed a woman at gunpoint in the 2400 block of North Fairfield Avenue before forcing her into their vehicle and driving to various locations to withdraw money from ATMs.
Criminals matching the same description robbed another woman nearby on Saturday night and attempted to force her into their car in the 2400 block of North Richmond Street, police said.
The woman in the second case was able to fight off her attacker long enough for neighbors to come to her aid, but the attackers got away with her purse.
Paul Biasco says neighbors are shocked but determined to fight back:
Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) blamed the uptick in crime on several years of manpower reduction in the Chicago Police Department and said the Emanuel administration's "assertation that citizens' perception of crime levels is not based in reality" does not help.
"[It's] pretty clear that most of these criminals do not fear being caught, and there are similar types of crimes happening throughout the North Side that we have not seen in many years," Waguespack said.
Neighbors on the block where the second assault occurred are rallying to spread a message of awareness.
"I'm definitely shocked, especially because our block is quiet," said Jill Brady, who lives two doors down from where the woman fought off the attacker Saturday about 10 p.m.
The two attacks occurred less then half-mile from each other, according to police.
Brady and fellow residents on the Richmond block are meeting with Waguespack Thursday and are organizing a community awareness walk Friday.
"You never think it's going to happen in your own backyard," Brady said.
Brady, who moved to Logan Square in 1998, wants to push for a greater police presence on side streets and alleys.
Residents of the 2400 block of North Richmond are partnering with Waguespack and Albany Park District police for the "positive community interaction event" Friday afternoon.
The walk will start on the same block where Saturday night's victim was nearly forced into a vehicle at gunpoint.
Residents of the block are urging others in the neighborhood and concerned citizens to come out and join the effort.
"There has been an uptick in some types of crimes, including robberies and burglaries in Logan Square, according to police data," Waguespack said. "But this latest issue of people being kidnapped to make withdrawals at ATMS is more than we've seen here."
The victim posted a description of the assault to Facebook.
The woman wrote that a man grabbed her from behind, showed his gun and started walking her to his car.
Once she realized it was more than a simple mugging, she knew to fight back and began screaming, "Help I'm being assaulted!" according to the post.
The victim stated that the man was hitting her on the head with his gun. When some residents of the block yelled to ask if she was OK, the attacker said, "This is my girlfriend," she wrote.
The woman said she yelled, "'No I am not'" and, according to the post, using skills she learned from a program called "Girls Fight Back," kicked the man in the groin with heeled boots. That was enough to give her a chance to get up and run across the street when he fell back, according to the post.
The Facebook post does not refer to a second offender, but in a community alert, police released descriptions of a man and woman who were involved in the attacks.
The first offender was described as a black man, 18 to 27 years old, 5-foot-7, 135 pounds with brown eyes, short black hair and a dark complexion. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and blue or black jeans, police said.
The second offender was described as a black woman, 18 to 20 years old, 5-foot-9, 200 pounds, with brown eyes, straight black hair and a medium complexion. She was wearing a gray baseball hat, black hooded sweatshirt and black leggings, police said.
The offenders were armed with a chrome handgun and were driving a dark sedan, possibly a Toyota or Pontiac Grand Prix.
The community walk will start at 2456 N. Richmond St. at 3 p.m. and stop at homes, condos, apartments, restaurants, shops and the "L" stop to speak with residents and business owners about preventive measures.
The group plans to hand out fliers and neighborhood watch signs for residents and business owners to hang in windows.
"We'd love a large turnout in the community to show support and that we will remain vigilant in deterring crime," said Jill Brady, a resident of the block, in an email announcing the event.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Albany Park Police District at 312-744-8263.
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