Taft High School student honored for fighting off dog stabber
by BRIAN NADIG
A 15-year-old Taft High School student was honored for her courage and bravery after she fought off an assailant who stabbed her chihuahua several times while she was walking on Dec. 26 near West Irving Park Road and Normandy Avenue.
The 12-year-old dog “Bebe” received emergency veterinary care sand survived her wounds, and a 61-year old woman was arrested after the assault and remains in jail awaiting trial. A neighbor of the girl apprehended the suspect and held her for police.
Surveillance footage shows a woman approaching the girl and her dog. The girl runs away with the dog, which is on a leash, but the woman chases her, and at one point the girl pushes the woman away, but at various points during the chase woman stabs the dog.
News of the attack last month led to about $9,000 in donations to the Garrido Stray Rescue Foundation. Those funds are being used to cover Bebe’s surgical and other medical bills.
Ynali Macias, the teen who fought off the assailant, said that the community rallying together to raise the funds not only helped save the dog’s life but helped her cope with the traumatic situation.
“I was down at first, (but) it made me feel good,” Macias said of the community’s response.
Macias added that the self-defense training she has received from her father Sergio, helped her survive the attack. He is an instructor in Krav Maga, an Israeli martial arts.
At a Jan. 24 ceremony, the 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District captain Mike Barz presented Macias with a medallion for her bravery, and Gladstone Park Chamber of Commerce president Dan Ciolino presented her with a certificate of recognition.
The suspect was identified by police as Jeanette Olivo, age 61, of Portage Park. She was charged with aggravated cruelty to an animal and aggravated assault, police said.
At the time of the incident, Olivo was out on bond in connection with a Dec. 10 incident near Cicero Avenue and Irving Park Road in which she was charged with battery and aggravated assault, police said. Since 2014, she has been arrested about eight times in Chicago, according to police.
In support of the Macias family, the Garrido foundation has had court advocates at every court hearing for Olivo, foundation co-founder John Garrido said. Court advocates show support for victims of crimes.
For more information on the Garrido foundation or to make a donation, visit www.garridostrayrescue.com.
Editor’s note: Publisher Brian Nadig is an officer with the Gladstone Park Chamber.