RAVENSWOOD MANOR — A 26-year-old Jefferson Park woman charged with randomly attacking several Northwest Side women with a bat twice tried to hit women with her car as she repeatedly accosted women, sometimes minutes apart, prosecutors said.
Denise Solorzano, 26, attacked eight women this week in five separate incidents, Cook County prosecutors said at her bond court hearing Thursday. She hit some of the victims with a bat, punched them and tried to run two people over with her car, prosecutors said.
Police initially said there were nine victims.
Solorzano was charged Thursday with three counts of aggravated battery in a public place, four counts of aggravated battery using a deadly weapon and one count of aggravated assault, police said.
Solorzano, who lives with her parents and her child, was held on $800,000 bond — $100,000 for each woman she is accused of assaulting, Cook County judge Maryam Ahmad said. If Solorzano is able to post bail, she will be placed on electronic monitoring, Ahmad said.
“The court finds that a substantial bond is necessary to specifically protect the safety of women in this community and children, as these are individuals, according to [prosecutors], that this defendant specifically targeted,” Ahmad said.
In the first attack on Sunday, Solorzano yelled at a woman walking in the 4200 block of North Richmond Street and said she was going to “beat her ass,” said Sarah Dale-Schmidt, a Cook County assistant state’s attorney.
Solorzano then got out of her Subaru white sedan and punched the woman, dragged her down by the hair and continued to punch her until a witness came to the scene, prosecutors said.
Later that day, Solorzano approached two other women in the 4000 block of West Lawrence Avenue and asked, “What would you do if I punched you in the face?” said Dale-Schmidt.
Solorzano then started punching one woman, dragged her by the hair and pushed her to the ground, where she punched the woman three more times before the second woman tried to intervene, Dale-Schmidt said.
Solorzano then punched the second woman and slammed her to the ground until a bystander came to help, prosecutors said. Solorzano fled the scene when she heard sirens nearby, prosecutors said.
Solorzano then attacked two women, 27 and 31, with a baseball bat around 11:27 a.m. Tuesday in the 4500 block of North Mozart Street, police and prosecutors said. Just a few minutes later, she also hit a 34-year-old woman with a bat in the 3000 block of West Cullom, police said.
The victims were hit in the arms, hands, elbows and head, prosecutors said. Many suffered head trauma, nose and body pain, and bruises and swelling to their hands, arms and face, prosecutors said.
A few blocks away, Solorzano then tried to hit a woman with her car, got out and asked “What would happen if I bashed you with this bat?” and then hit her on her shoulder, elbow and back, Dale-Schmidt said.
While police tended to the victim, they got another call about a driver repeatedly trying to hit another woman crossing an intersection near Belle Plaine Avenue. The driver matched Solorzano’s description, prosecutors said.
Solorzano then yelled at the woman regarding her ethnicity and used a bat to attack another woman walking her dog nearby, Dale-Schmidt said.
Of the eight victims, five positively identified Solorzano in a photo array, prosecutors said.
Some of the victims caught a partial license number of the white car and noticed it had pink bumper sticker with a crown, prosecutors said. Authorities also used police observation cameras from near where the attacks occurred to track down Solorzano, prosecutors said.
Police spoke to Solorzano’s parents, whose names were on the car’s registration. They told detectives that the car belonged to their daughter and that she struggles with mental health issues, Dale-Schmidt said.
Solorzano was arrested Tuesday and her family turned the white car over to police, but the pink bumper sticker was missing, prosecutors said.
Cops recovered a small black and yellow bat inside Solorzano’s car, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors did not discuss a potential motive for the attacks, but Dale-Schmidt and public defender Tressa Palcheck said Solorzano has mental health issues.
Palcheck said Solorzano has no prior arrest record and is a lifelong Chicagoan who studied at Wright College in Dunning. She has received a health care note to assist with her mental health problems, Palcheck said.
Solorzano is due again in court May 17 in Skokie.
Two of the victims previously spoke to Block Club about the attacks.
One of the women who was attacked Tuesday on Mozart Street told Block Club she was with her sister, pushing her daughter in a stroller, when a woman pulled up in a car nearby.
“This woman pulled over in her car and yelled out the window, ‘What would you do if I came and beat your ass with a with this bat?’” said the mother, who asked that her name not be used. “My sister and I laughed and thought she was joking. And then she got out with this bat that was in the front seat of the car and ran towards us.”
The sisters did not know the driver and were shocked when she ran at them with the bat, the woman said.
A neighbor began recording the attack, and the woman ran off, the mother said.
The victims and the neighbor called police, giving officers a partial license plate of the attacker’s car, they said. The neighbor also posted about the attack on a neighborhood Facebook group, she said.
The woman attacked on Richmond Street told Block Club a woman also pulled up in a car near her, got out and randomly attacked her.
“She said, ‘You know? Do you want me to beat your ass?’ or ‘You want me to kick your ass or something?’” The woman said. “And I was obviously like, ‘No, please don’t. Who are you?’ But I mean, by that point she was already laying into me, and 60 seconds later and it was over. So it’s just very, very strange.”
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