CHICAGO (CBS) — A mother of two who was attacked and robbed while parking her SUV in the alley behind her Northwest Side home last week was speaking out about her terrifying ordeal, hoping others will learn from it.
Nicole Cisternino shared her story with CBS 2’s Sandra Torres in this Original Report.
For Cisternino, it’s difficult to visit the spot where she was robbed and attacked on Wednesday night in the Palmer Square neighborhood.
“My stomach drops, and it’s like seeing it and experiencing it all over again,” she said.
Around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nicole was switching spots for her two vehicles in her back alley, when she noticed an unfamiliar van.
“It’s not that unusual to see, in our alley, cars parked back here, or whatever, and I dismissed it,” she said. “The guy stepped out from the garbage bins, essentially, and I just tried to run to my back door, and started immediately screaming.”
She said the man then tackled her, and began hitting her in the head.
“The first blow came, and I remember seeing a flash of light, and then darkness, and just continual punches to the head,” she said. “He finally got the keys out of my hand and took off.”
Police said the robber got away with her Lexus SUV. Cisternino suffered a laceration to her face and a concussion.
“The one thing he said to me was ‘Shut up you white b****. Quit trying to kick me.’”
That’s why she agreed to share her story, hoping others will learn from it.
“It really messes with your mind in a sense that, like, I go through all these should have, could have, would haves,” she said. “I had some red flags go off that night, and I ignored them or dismissed them, and I think it’s really important to pay attention to that.”
Cisternino said police have recovered the stolen SUV, but have been unable to locate her attacker, who she believes was 15 or 16 years old.