Police probe attacks near Midlothian Metra station
By Mike Nolan firstname.lastname@example.org August 11, 2014 5:26PM
Midlothian police are searching for a man they believe was responsible for four incidents in recent weeks near the village's Metra station, including three attacks on women who were robbed. | Mike Nolan~Sun-Times Media.
Updated: September 13, 2014 6:23AM
Midlothian residents who are part of a community policing program plan to walk the neighborhood around the Metra station Tuesday evening, a reaction to a second woman being attacked and robbed while walking home from the station.
The latest attack early Sunday was on a woman who lives just a few blocks from the station and was the fourth such incident near the train station in recent weeks, according to police, who believe the same assailant was involved in all four. In each case, women were robbed or approached by a man wearing a ski mask, police said.
In a posting on Midlothian’s community policing Facebook page, Police Chief Harold Kaufman says police were “doing everything possible to catch this guy and bring him to justice.” Kaufman did not return a reporter’s call on Monday seeking comment.
Residents involved in the police department’s Citizens on Patrol Program plan to walk the area around the station starting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, and police have stepped up patrols in the wake of the incidents.
The most recent one occurred at 12:30 a.m. Sunday as a woman who was walking home was pulled to the ground from behind by a man who grabbed her purse containing $180 and fled, police reported. When she tried to get up, the man struck her on the right cheek with his fist, according to police.
The attacker is described as being of medium build and wearing the ski mask and a gray hooded sweatshirt, although the hood was not pulled up.
Police said there were three prior incidents involving a man wearing a ski mask who attacked or approached women near the Metra station:
On Aug. 4, a 17-year-old girl told police that she was approached by a man wearing a ski mask as she was outside her home.
On July 29, a woman walking home late at night from the station was tackled and punched several times in the head by a man wearing a ski mask and hooded sweatshirt who ripped a tote bag from her shoulder and fled.
On July 19, a woman who was holding her 7-month-old daughter outside her home near the station was attacked and robbed by a man who broke the woman’s nose.
One woman who regularly commutes from the Metra station, Loraine Abernathy, said she doesn’t live within walking distance of the station but would “never dream of walking (to or from it) that late at night.”
The victim in Sunday’s attack told police she had called a cab company to get a ride home from the train station, but the company declined, referring her instead to the police for a lift.