UPDATED 06/21/11 5:50 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — A community-wide effort is underway to catch the sex attacker who assaulted a 7-year-old girl over the weekend.
As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, the Saturday night attack has the Southwest Side’s Archer Heights neighborhood on edge. Volunteers and Ald. Edward Burke (14th) are helping with the search for the suspect.
Around 11:40 p.m. this past Saturday, the man sexually assaulted the girl in the 4900 block of South Kildare Avenue. Then he ran off on foot.
Police said the girl did not know the man, and have not said why she was by herself on the street late at night. That detail wasn’t lost on Ald. Burke.
“It’s interesting, isn’t it, that we need a license to drive a car but we don’t need a license to be a parent,” Burke said.
As CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports, there was a big noisy party that spilled into the alley from the yard next door to the girl’s home on Saturday. That may have distracted attention for the attacker.
“I went to bed around 1 o’clock and the DJ was still blasting,” said Armando Gomez.
Another resident, Matye Martinez, believes with all the people around that somebody should have witnessed the attack.
“What i don’t understand is there was people outside, you know,” said Martinez. “There were neighbors outside. I don’t understand why nobody saw nothing.”
On Tuesday morning, Burke and city Clerk Susanna Mendoza were out alerting the community about the attack.
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“I’m in distress and the clerk is in distress, and you’re in distress,” Burke said. “When you hear about this happening to a little, innocent 7-year-old girl, we ask ourselves, what is going on in society? What kind of animal is going to attack a little 7-year-old girl?”
Burke and Mendoza on Tuesday morning greeted residents in the neighborhood who stopped by the Polish Highlander’s Place and Banquet Hall, 4808 S. Archer Ave. They came to buy city vehicle stickers, but were also given information about the recent attack.
“This predator is at loose on the streets; he hasn’t been apprehended yet,” Burke said as he handed a police community alert flyer to neighbor Raul Reyes. “So we need to make people aware.”
“I’ll definitely stop by the 8th District (police station); see how I can help,” Reyes said. “This is very heartbreaking to see someone who’s at that age go through something like that, especially in this area where I live.”
“It is concerning to see such a young girl be sexually assaulted around here,” added Mary Kate Love, also an Archer Heights resident.
Police are looking for a male white Hispanic between the ages of 17 and 25, standing 5 feet 7 inches tall with a black crew cut, a light complexion, a think build, and acne on his cheeks. He was last seen wearing a blue baseball cap, a white T-shirt and blue jean shorts, police said.
In their community alert, police advise anyone who sees a suspicious person to contact them, and for everyone to be aware of their surroundings and those of their children. Police also advise walking with a friend whenever possible, and telling children to report any suspicious activity to an adult.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Special Investigations Unit detectives, at (312) 492-3810.