CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy and other police and public officials Thursday night tried to reassure a sometimes angry crowd of 200 Belmont-Cragin residents that detectives are doing all they can to find the rapist who left a 15-year-old girl for dead.
Those who spoke demanded everything from increased police patrols to martial arts training for schoolchildren, with comments ranging from, “I’m sick of it,” to, “What is going on? Where are the neighbors?”
McCarthy said the rapist will be arrested.
“We’re going to make sure we catch this monster,” he said. “We’re going to make sure that it doesn’t happen again in this community, or anywhere in the city.”
Despite that, at least one resident said she was scared that a new attack had occurred when 50 officers were deployed Thursday to comb the area looking for clues and witnesses.
Area North Detective Sgt. Andrew Schoeff reassured the speaker that they were investigating the Tuesday morning attack and not a new crime.
Schoeff said, unlike some cases in which neighborhood residents are silent and uncooperative, police have received “tons” of calls from people offering information that they hope will prove useful. McCarthy and Schoeff both urged the public to continue.
McCarthy said detectives have made some progress, but Schoeff said the girl remains unconscious, and as a result, unable to help describe her attacker.
“It’s no secret that there was quite a bit of blood on our crime scene,” Schoeff said. “If anybody knew of (someone with) unexplained blood on their hands or their clothing, just anything that your memory might be jarred by something like that, or if you found any bloodied discarded clothing anywhere in the area, those kinds of things can help, and as soon as we get a good description of our offender, you can bet we’ll let the community know.”
Residents made a series of demands when speaking during the meeting, sponsored by the Northwest Side Housing Center at the Northwest Community Church, 5318 W. Diversey Av.
They demanded an earlier start to Safe Passage patrols, more police officers and more cameras intended for security, not traffic tickets.
Residents said they wanted a follow-up meeting to discuss crime prevention in the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood, and police and public officials tentatively agreed to a meeting at 10 a.m. Jan. 25 at Northwest Community Church.