March 21st, 2007


Trouble Close to Home

Returning from the store on Sunday afternoon, I saw a large middle-aged man trying to decide how to post a notice on the front door of my apartment building. As I approached, he turned and handed me a couple pieces of paper. “Here,” he said, “this fellow has been running up to people and stabbing them in this neighborhood.”

I have those pieces of paper in front of me right now. One is a sketch prepared by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. It depicts a Hispanic-looking man in a hooded sweatshirt. The other piece of paper is a Community Alert from the Area 3 Detective Division. It reads, in part, “Please be advised that an unknown male offender has been randomly approaching males and females with a knife in the Edgewater Community . . . offender runs toward the victim from behind and assaults victim with a knife.” It goes on the give a detailed description of the man, as well as the approximate addresses of several of the incidents. One of them occurred no more than 2 blocks from my apartment within the previous few days!

Well, that will make one look around as one is walking around the neighborhood, I can assure you. Robbery is bad enough, but at least there’s a certain logic to robbery that you can combat by exercising your own logic. But random, unprovoked attacks – that’s another thing altogether, and much trickier to defend against.

The next chapter in this story appeared in the Tuesday (March 20) edition of the Chicago Sun-Times:
‘Crazy’ looks set off slasher: prosecutors
Luis Irizarry went on a slashing spree because his victims gave him “crazy” and “weird” looks, prosecutors said Monday.

Irizarry, 26, is charged with five counts of aggravated battery and one count of attempted murder in the string of recent knife attacks on the North Side. Judge Raymond Miles ordered Irizarry held without bond Monday and sent to the county’s Cermak Health Services for evaluation.

Describing a March 13 attack, assistant state’s attorney Heather Weber alleged Irizarry stabbed a 41-year-old man in the face “because, in his words, the victim looked at him real crazy.”

The attacks continued from March 13 through Sunday. Most happened in the Edgewater neighborhood, though Sunday’s attack occurred in the 3400 block of West Diversey.
So we’re resting a bit more comfortably here tonight, although there is one odd note I should add, regarding the last attack that took place on Sunday. 3400 West Diversey is several miles from here, quite a ways from the locations of the other attacks. As it happened, CC was in that very neighborhood on Sunday, running errands – and probably telling herself that she was far away from that lunatic from our own neighborhood!
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