Woman Describes 'Scary' Attack On The 606 While She Was Out Jogging

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Jan 6, 2017 8:20PM

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The 606. Photo by Braden Nesin/Chicagoist

A 29-year-old Lakeview woman was attacked while jogging on The 606 Wednesday evening, and a runner who heard her screaming scared the attackers off.

The woman, who spoke to Chicagoist Friday morning and requested anonymity because she experienced a crime, described how the harrowing attack took place around 6 p.m. Wednesday while she was in the middle of a routine jog along the popular Northwest Side trail. The woman was heading east near the Humboldt Boulevard overpass when she watched a male runner ahead of her jog in between a group of four men walking east ahead of her. She followed behind the runner, passing close to the group of men, when she realized the men had begun chasing after her.

"I heard the scuffle of feet and a saw huge shadow covering mine," she said. "One of the guys lunged at me and tried to grab my neck. The three other guys were watching. He ended up trying to grab me and dragged me across to the other side of the trail. I was screaming for help because there was another runner and I thought, this is my only chance."

The man who grabbed her repeatedly attempted to push her to the ground, she said, while she screamed for help. She managed to roll out of his grasp she said, and then began sprinting toward the runner ahead of her, who heard her cries. The runner then flagged down a cyclist heading west, who stopped to comfort her. They stayed with her as her attacker and his companion fled.

The woman said she works as a nanny near Rockwell and Bloomingdale avenues, so she went to her boss's house and together they called the police department to report the attack. She said she filed a police report from an officer, but has not heard back from them yet. A police department spokesperson told Chicagoist Friday afternoon that the report was not in their system. She described the man who attacked her as around 5'8" in height, 250-280 lbs, black, with cornrows, a black jacket and colored pants. She said she didn't get a good look at the other three, but that they appeared to be in their 20s or 30s.

The experience was particularly harrowing, she said, because she didn't know if they intended to assault her or mug her, and she wasn't carrying any valuables besides her phone.

"I'm about to get gang raped, that's what was going through my mind," she said. "I don't think I've ever been that scared before in my life."

She believes the fact that a runner and cyclist heard her screaming and stopped may have prevented the attack from getting worse. She said her sister made a post to Reddit about the attack to thank the runner and cyclist for their help, and to let other people know how they can help out in situations in the future.

"Even if the runner was out numbered, just him turning back scared the people off," she said. "That's why my sister said, please don't ever ignore cries for help, even if you don't believe it will make a difference."

The woman told Chicagoist that she had heard of other crimes on The 606, but thought that she was relatively safe.

"I run [on The 606] pretty often," she said. "I knew it was dark out, but it was still early enough, and it was cold, there weren't that many people out there. I had my headphones in, but the volume was really low and I was pretty alert. I'd heard stories of people getting mugged, but I didn't think it would actually happen to me."

Now, she wouldn't go jogging on The 606 alone, she said. "I like to run by myself, that's my therapy, and those guys just took it from me."