Friday, February 15, 2013

"Our job ... is to be leaders and be protectors."

Bystanders Stop A Rape On Chicago Lakefront Jogging Path
Re-printed from a story at WFLD Channel 32 on February 14th 2013

A Chicago sex offender is caught while trying to rape a woman jogging in broad daylight by two citizens.

CHICAGO, IL. - Three men who were flagged down after hearing the screams of a woman being attacked on Wednesday afternoon on a lakefront running path on the South Side were able to chase down the attacker and hold him until police arrived.

Brandon Williams, 24, of south suburban Calumet Park, was initially expected to appear in court for a bond hearing Thursday, police said, but his court appearance has been scheduled for Friday. Williams, a registered sex offender, has been charged with one felony count of criminal sexual abuse.

About 1:40 p.m., the 36-year-old victim was running along the path near 6400 South Promontory Drive, when she was attacked by a man who tried to sexually assault her, according to police.

She called out for help, and two men who were nearby came to her aid and her attacker fled.

24-year-old Michael Adams, a former Marine, decorated Iraq War combat veteran and an East Side resident, was driving south on Lake Shore Drive near 63rd Street Wednesday afternoon, when he saw a young man apparently trying to rape a woman along the lakefront.

He said he thought it was odd when he saw the woman running in typical jogging gear, and a man running right behind her in jeans.

Adams made a U-turn, then saw the man grab the woman, knock her to the ground. Police said the attacker also tried to force the woman’s clothes off.

“By that time, he was already attacking her, throwing her on the ground. And I’m protective of my family, so I wish somebody would do the same for my girlfriend or my family,” he said.

Another man, 38-year-old Donny Jones of Markham, was also driving on Lake Shore Drive when the woman "ran into the middle of Lake Shore Drive, flagging down cars," he said Thursday.

Jones stopped his car for her and the woman told him, "This guy just tried to attack me," he recalled. The woman then got into Jones's car, and when she saw the alleged attacker running away, she pointed him out to Jones.

Jones drove toward him, got out of the car and chased him along with two other men.

"We gave chase, we knocked the guy out, and we held him down" until park district police arrived. A few minutes later, Chicago Police took the suspect into custody.

The 6400 block of South Promontory Drive overlooking Lake Michigan where the Attempted Rape took place.

Jones, who owns the Chi-Town Steak and Lemonade restaurant in Chicago Heights, was heading from a construction job to a Home Depot store at the time.

"I live in the south suburbs and wasn't even supposed to be there," he said.

In addition to his restaurant and construction work, Jones said he is a gospel music recording artist, and that aspect of his life came through as he spoke about this incident.

"It's just God's grace that led us to be able to do this like this. I'm just thankful we were able to catch this guy. (God) really was looking over her. I'm just so thankful to God that he used me and the other guys to catch the guy," he said.

He took the opportunity to reflect on violent crime, saying, "Our job on this earth as men is to be leaders and be protectors.

"It feels gratifying to know we caught someone and know we saved someone (from the psychological damage had the attacker raped her)," he said.

Jones also expressed astonishment at the brazen nature of the crime.

"This guy tries to rape her at 2PM on Lake Shore Drive? Who does that in this world?"

Jones said the victim "was just out there training for a triathlon. Luckily, she was in good enough shape to get away from the guy."

Jones, awaiting a television interview, said the attention he has received "is funny, it really is. I didn't get (involved) for this."

In addition to this case, police are looking into the possibility that Williams may have been involved in other similar attacks.

References:
WFLD FOX 32, Bystanders thwart sex assault on lakefront jogging path
Chicago Sun-Times, Suspected Lakefront Attacker Caught
CBS Chicago, Marine Veteran Stops Rape Attempt Along Lakefront