Arrest expected in beating of elderly couple walking in Old Irving Park; crime updates given at Feb. 28 meeting hosted by Alderman Gardiner
by BRIAN NADIG
An arrest in the recent beating of an elderly couple in Old Irving Park is expected as soon as this week, as a person of interest has been identified, according to officials at a Feb. 28 public safety meeting hosted by Alderman Jim Gardiner (45th).
The 72-year-old man who was attacked told audience members that his wife, also age 72, suffered broken wrists and jaw. “For six to eight weeks we have to feed her with a syringe,” he said, adding that he suffered a broken nose.
Gardiner said that the attack was shocking given that it occurred “in broad daylight … at a busy intersection” and that the couple had reached out to him, asking if they could tell their story at the meeting.
The incident occurred at about 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17, in the 4200 block of West Irving Park Road, as a man followed the couple as they were leaving the Irving Park CTA Blue Line Station, according to Chicago police. The woman was pushed to the ground and kicked in the head and face several times, and the man was punched in the head until he fell to the ground and then was kicked multiple times, police said.
The man said that before the attack they tried to go into nearby businesses but that doors were locked due to COVID-19 restrictions. He addd that after he asked the assailant why he was following them, the assailant started throwing punches.
The man said that paramedics arrived quickly and that he has been pleased with how Chicago police have handled the investigation. “The detectives were right at the hospital … in less than an hour, (and) they call everyday.”
Police believe they have identified the suspect, and it appears that he has committed similar acts of violence in the past, the man said. “It’s not a robbery … just likes to beat you silly,” he said, adding that prosecutors need “more freedom” to do their job so that violent offenders can be kept in jail.
Gardiner called the meeting after a Feb. 20 incident in which three people were shot at about 1:10 a.m. at a party rental venue, which city officials said is unlicensed, at 4272 W. Irving Park Road. All three people were reported in fair condition at the hospital, Gardiner said.
The party reportedly was being held in memory of a man who had been murdered, and someone fired several shots after a fight broke out, police said. It appears that most of those at the party knew each other, and two of the victims are not cooperating with detectives, police said.
Joseph Sneed of the city Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection told residents that unlicensed clubs are “all over the city”and that out-of-control parties at private house rentals also are a problem. He asked that suspicious venues be reported so that city agencies can investigate.
Gardiner said the city Department of Buildings commissioner Matthew Beaudet came out to the party venue on Irving Park and that his department issued an “off limits” notice for the storefront.
Also at the meeting, the 17th (Albany Park) Police District encouraged homeowners to look into a program in which outside surveillance cameras on a home can be connected to the city’s 911 center and that police will access the camera when there is an emergency call from that address. There are restrictions on the types of cameras that are eligible. For more information, call 312-746-9111.
Officials encouraged residents to report suspicious activity to 911.
“Always be aware of your surroundings,” Gardiner said. “Usually if you feel awkward, there’s something awkward going on.”