UPDATED: 10/9/2013 5:10 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Police are questioning a person of interest in the investigation of a man who allegedly raped two women and a teenager in the Washington Heights neighborhood, and also broke into another family’s home nearby, and hid in an 11-year-old girl’s closet.
“She could have been raped, could have been killed, and I could have came home to something worse,” said the 11-year-old girl’s mother, Marquita Snow Whiten.
CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports all of the attacks happened within a three-block radius in the Washington Heights neighborhood.
Police said it started around 4 a.m. Wednesday, when two women were attacked in their home in the 10300 block of South Emerald Avenue.
Later, around 5:30 a.m., that man broke into a house in the 10100 block of South Green Street, and hid in an 11-year-old girl’s closet.
Her mother said the girl woke up to the sound of her puppy barking.
“He was in the closet, just staring, and thought it was a monster, so she screamed really loud,” she said. “For her to go through this, I know she’s scared, and I don’t want anybody else’s child to go through this.”
Her father, Edward Whiten, said he thinks the man was in the house for a few minutes before he was discovered. When Whiten got to his daughter’s room, the suspect dove out her window, head-first.
“I just saw his legs, and his feet. He was already mostly out the window,” Whiten said.
He said he believes the man got in by propping a garbage can against his daughter’s window, and climbing in. The window was closed, but not locked.
The suspect never laid a finger on the girl.
“Thank God we have this dog,” Snow Whiten said.
Marquita Snow Whiten was working the overnight shift at the time, but said if she’d been at home at the time, “I would have probably tried to kill this guy.”
Police said, about an hour later, the same man sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl walking to her bus stop about a block away, near 103rd and Peoria Streets. He dragged that girl into a nearby yard, and raped her.
Only an alley separates that spot from the Whiten home.
Matthew Cooper said he woke up when his nephew started shouting that someone was being raped in their back yard. By the time he ran outside to check, the attacker was gone.
“I saw the little girl with no shirt on, and she was crying, saying ‘He raped me, he raped me.’ And we just ran around the neighborhood, but we couldn’t find anybody,” Cooper said.
The victims were being treated at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park.
The suspect was described only as a thin dark-complected man, in his 20s, with shoulder-length dreadlocks. He was wearing a dark gray T-shirt, blue jeans and black gym shoes.