CHICAGO (CBS) — A woman who lives near Lincoln Square says she is afraid to walk by herself – at least for now – because of an incident that happened over the weekend just blocks from her home. And now there’s word of another incident in that neighborhood.
It was late Saturday afternoon and 28-year-old Meryl Williams was walking in the 25-hundred block of West Eastwood.
All of a sudden, a man riding a bicycle on the sidewalk rode by her – and groped her.
“I didn’t even hear this bicycle behind me – and I know they’re not supposed to ride on the sidewalk. This guy passed me on his bike, on my left, and he just – I didn’t even hear him.
“All of a sudden I felt someone grab my butt. And then he just sped off.
“I was shocked for a second. I kind of stood there and said, ‘Hey!’
“My instant thought was, that must be somebody I know. Then I realized, no, no one I know would ever do that. So I cussed him out and he didn’t even look. He heard me shouting. I know he did.”
And there may have been another incident a day or so earlier.
47th Ward Democratic Party Committeeman Jack Lydon lives nearby – in the 2000 block of West Wilson.
“My daughter heard a woman outside our house who screamed. And my daughter went out to investigate and the lady told her that a man on a bike had ridden down the sidewalk and grabbed her.”
Lydon says this is a crime of violence – and he says he’ll make sure officers are aware at the neighborhood police beat meeting.
Williams posted her account on Everyblock under the heading “Beware of Handsy Cyclist.” And dozens of people, almost all supportive, have responded.
“If you had told me how I would feel, I would be really surprised. I wouldn’t say it’s not a big deal but (that) I would just say it’s a crappy thing to do.
“But no, it’s really upsetting. Because now I feel kind of scared walking by myself. And there’s no reason for me to feel that way. I was really surprised by how shook up I felt.”