CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago woman who was attacked on the sidewalk now knows she was not the only one. The assault happened in broad daylight in the Wicker Park neighborhood near the CTA Blue Line.
The victim, Allison Howe, described a man on a bike in black, and it prompted her to do some of her own detective work.
Howe doesn’t have a car. She pretty much walks everywhere in her Wicker Park neighborhood.
“And now I’m just on guard,” she said.
That is because a stroll from her coffee shop near the Damen Blue line stop Monday around 10 in the morning left her bruise.
“I was just so startled by it,” she said. “The way he tugged on me tore my skin slightly.”
All she knew was someone on a bike in all black groped her backside and sped off near Pierce and Hoyne. She called police and ran to warn other women it was happening.
“And another woman just walking by said, ‘Oh my gosh, that just happened to me!” Howe said.
She filed a police report but didn’t stop there. The next day she went to a nearby apartment building to scout out cameras. She described the suspect to one property manager who she says gave her an image of a man in all black on a bicycle.
After posting it to social media she said at least five other women had similar attacks within minutes of each other in broad daylight.
“There was one that happened right on Damen. Another one was on Schiller across the street from Pritzker Elementary. Then the other one was on Pierce,” she said.
Howe said while it is unlikely the man will be caught, she is speaking up so others don’t fall victim.
“I think he’s banking on the fact that you’re not going to take the time to call it in,” she said. “It’s completely disrespectful, violating, and it took a sense of safety away from us.”
Police are investigating Howe’s case and one of a woman who spoke with Howe. She says Thursday another victim filed another report.