BUCKTOWN — Police are investigating a daytime attack on two Bucktown roommates who were punched by a man on the sidewalk earlier this week.
About 4:50 p.m. Wednesday, the women, 26 and 29, were walking in the 1900 block of North Milwaukee Avenue when a man pushed them to the ground and punched their heads, police said.
The man did not say anything to the women nor did he attempt to steal their belongings, the women said. After the attacks, he walked north toward the Western Avenue Blue Line station.
A man who was sitting in his car caught part of the attack on video:
The roommates told Block Club the man accosted them as they were walking from their home to Aldi to get salads.
As they walked, they talked with a friend via FaceTime, the women said. Because of rush hour traffic, cars along Milwaukee Avenue were sitting “standstill” in bumper-to-bumper traffic, the women said. Other pedestrians crowded the sidewalks.
One of the women felt a “pull” from behind and an arm around her neck. Then she was on the concrete, being punched repeatedly in the face. When her roommate tried to intervene, the man punched her, too.
“I felt like he was just beating us to beat us up and he was gonna stop whenever he wanted,” one of the victims said. “That’s what it felt like. He just kept swinging.”
No one attempted to intervene and help them, the women said.
At one point, the women banged on the door of a bus for a few minutes, . The bus driver did not open the door to let the women on, they said.
“Absolutely no one got out to help us,” one of the women said. “We were on the ground getting the crap beat out of us. Everyone was just recording.”
The women said the friend with whom they were FaceTiming heard and saw the attack through the phone.
The women think the man only stopped attacking them when he noticed there were so many onlookers recording the attack on their phones. He did not try to steal anything from them, nor did he say anything, they said.
“He just walked away,” one of the women said.
The women said they are sore and bruised, but they were not seriously injured.
The women are not from Chicago but have lived in the city for years and never felt unsafe. They have taken self-defense classes and even had pepper spray on them during Wednesday’s attack. But in the moment, “all of that goes out the window,” one said.
“The element of surprise is not there when you’re taking a self-defense class,” she said. “The scarier part was this guy had no care in the world that there were people on the sidewalk, people in their cars. He still attacked us. Did he really want our stuff? Or was he just gonna continue to beat us?”
The unprovoked attack has left them fearful for their safety.
“No one got out. No one thought to get out and help these two girls that are being beaten up in the street,” one woman said.
“This was during the day on one of the busiest streets in Chicago at the busiest time,” the other said. “I never thought that I would have this piece of security taken away from me, of just walking to the grocery store during the day.”
The women said the man was about 5-foot-11 and wore dark-colored clothing, white shoes, a hoodie and a face mask.
No one was in custody as of Friday. If anyone has any information, including video footage of the attack, they should contact Area 5 detectives at 312-746-7394 or submit a tip anonymously online, police said.
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