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Woman Forced To Undress In Attempted Rape Thwarted By Neighbor In West Town

The attacker approached the woman in an alley behind the 500 block of North Leavitt.

The alley behind the 500 block of North Leavitt.
Alisa Hauser/ Block Club Chicago
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WEST TOWN — A woman was forced to undress by her attacker in an attempted rape and robbery in an alley next to Ellen Mitchell School in West Town.

At about 6:10 a.m. Thursday behind the 500 block of North Leavitt Street, a 29-year-old woman was on her way to work when she was approached by a man armed with a handgun who demanded cash from the woman, police said. When she told him she didn’t have any, he forced her into a nearby alley at gunpoint.

The man then forced the woman to undress in a gangway before the woman was able to run away and get help, said Sgt. Rocco Alioto, a Chicago Police spokesman.

A neighbor stopped the assault by intervening, according to a woman who lives near the school.

Police released a more detailed description of the suspect Friday.  He’s described as a black male, 18 to 20 years old, about 5-foot-7 with thin build. He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and black gym shoes with reflective material on the back of the shoes, police said.

Berenice Barragan, a mother of two students at Mitchell School, a daughter and son in seventh and fourth grades, respectively, said she was concerned about the attempted assault as well as the fact no one has been arrested.

“This concerns us. We need more police and security,” Barragan said, adding that she has lived in the West Town neighborhood near the school for 10 years and has always considered it relatively safe.

“The whole community …is on high alert,” another school source said.

No one is in custody and Area Central detectives are investigating.