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'606' Trail Walker Punched; Suspect Threatened to Steal Her Dog, Police Say

By Alisa Hauser | August 10, 2016 12:54pm | Updated on August 10, 2016 12:59pm
 Some people have argued The 606 has resulted in rising property values around the elevated trail, forcing some residents to move from their longtime homes.
Some people have argued The 606 has resulted in rising property values around the elevated trail, forcing some residents to move from their longtime homes.
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Wikimedia Commons/Victor Grigas

HUMBOLDT PARK — A woman walking her dog on The 606's Bloomingdale Trail Tuesday night was punched in the face by another woman who also threatened to steal the victim's pet, according to a police report.

An incident occurred in the 2600 block of West Bloomingdale Avenue around 10:15 p.m., said Officer Nicole Trainor, a Chicago Police spokeswoman. Two women approached the 30-year-old victim, "hit her in the face with a closed fist" and said they would steal the animal.

The two fled westbound on a bicycle after the victim called police, Trainor said. Authorities arrived but could not find the suspects. The victim declined medical assistance, police said.

Details of the alleged incident were posted by a friend of the victim on a neighborhood watch Facebook page for "West Bucktown," an East Humboldt Park neighborhood just west of Western Avenue.

The friend said the woman was walking her small dog while talking on the phone when a Hispanic woman around 19 or 20, wearing a red hoodie, rolled up on a bike and hit the friend "in the face out of nowhere."

"The woman then biked away, and my friend headed for the nearest exit. She then saw the woman returning with a group all on bikes. They threatened to hit her again and take her dog," the friend said.

While running for the Rockwell Avenue exit and simultaneously calling 911, a man rode his bike alongside her and taunted her, saying to her that the police would never get there in time, the friend posted. A Good Samaritan who was near the trail's Rockwell ramp waited with the victim until police arrived.

Ben Pavlovic, who lives in the 1700 block of North Maplewood Avenue near the trail, witnessed the woman talking with police at the northwest corner of Rockwell and Bloomingdale.

"I called my wife who was in a taxi on the way home, clued her in, and told her to make sure she looked around before exiting the taxi," Pavlovic said. The incident "just makes me want to speed up our plan to move and get out to the suburbs."

"Before I left the house, I even thought about the possibility of crime. That's no way to live," he said. "Five years ago those thoughts of mugging or robbery wouldn't have entered my mind."

For residents, the incident was a reminder that the trail is not always a safe spot considering there are only 12 points of entry or exit on the 2.7-mile-long trail.

"It sucks to say this, but it seems it's safer to walk the regular streets, dealing with traffic and other inconveniences than up on the trail after dark," said Yolanda Correa.

The 606, like all Park District parks, closes at 11 p.m. daily. The Chicago Police and Park District have conflicting viewpoints on whether the trail can stay open after 11 p.m. for commuters using the path as a thoroughfare.

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