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Man Charged in Mag Mile Stabbing Released on Parole Days Earlier

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Jimmy Harris, 56, was charged with attempted first-degree murder, unlawful restraint and two counts of aggravated battery. Harris is accused of attacking 67-year-old Dr. Mir Shah inside a bathroom at the Westin Hotel.

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Hotel Westin Stabbing

Homeless man stabbed a man in the head in front of the Westin Hotel near the Mag Mile.
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The man accused of stabbing a doctor in a Magnificent Mile hotel bathroom Saturday had been released on parole from the Illinois Department of Corrections 10 days before the incident, according to records.

Jimmy Harris, 56, was charged Monday with attempted first-degree murder, unlawful restraint and two counts of aggravated battery. Harris is accused of attacking 67-year-old Dr. Mir Shah inside the men's room at the Westin Hotel while trying to steal his wallet.

Dr. Shah, a radiation oncologist, was punched and stabbed in the neck, and when a bartender attempted to aid the doctor, the assailant turned on him and cut him too, police said. Shah's family said they found him with a bruised face and bloody wound in his neck.

Police said Harris bolted across the street to The Cheesecake Factory where police took him into custody.

According to the Illinois Department of Corrections, Harris has been in and out of the criminal justice system for more than 30 years. He had been serving a sentence for another armed robbery conviction and was released in August but returned in September for a parole violation. He was released again on Nov. 9.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday fielded questions about the stabbing and a separate robbery at an American Apparel store in the area that led to a police-involved shooting.

"It's not just about the Magnificent Mile," Emanuel said at an unrelated event. "It's about every part of this city. ... As I've said before, I want Roseland as safe as Ravenswood, I want South Shore as safe as Sauganash, and I want Woodlawn as safe as Wildwood, and I won't rest until that happens."

Emanuel maintained that the city's police strategy is working and said it's making progress daily.

"It's not a linear line, but it's making progress throughout the city."

Police Supt. Garry McCarthy was out on Michigan Avenue Monday evening to check on the department's deployment. He said he had no safety concerns surrounding the area for the busy holiday shopping season.

"Michigan Avenue is safer than it's been in 30 years and it absolutely will be safe," said McCarthy.

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