Attorney: Beating Victim Unknowingly Fled to Attacker's Condo

Former Chicago Ridge fire chief accused of assaulting neighbor

By emily florez
|  Tuesday, Jan 8, 2013  |  Updated 2:58 PM CDT
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Gary Swiercz is charged with attempted homicide, aggravated attempted criminal sexual assault and home invasion. Emily Florez reports.

Gary Swiercz is charged with attempted homicide, aggravated attempted criminal sexual assault and home invasion. Emily Florez reports.

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Neighbors React to Arrest of Fire Deputy

Tinley Park neighbors of Chicago Ridge Fire Chief Deputy Gary Swiercz are in shock after he was arrested for allegedly breaking into a woman's apartment and beat her while armed with a knife. Emily Florez reports for NBC News at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013.
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Prosecutors say a Tinley Park woman unwittingly sought out her attacker for help after she was assaulted Saturday morning.

Gary Swiercz, 49, is charged with attempted homicide, aggravated attempted criminal sexual assault and home invasion after police say he entered his neighbor's home while wearing a ski mask, and severely beat her while holding a knife.

Lawyers say the woman ran to Swiercz's home because she knew he was a fireman, but didn't know the identity of her attacker. Swiercz was later arrested in the parking lot.

Swiercz, who resigned from the department on Monday, was freed on $150,000 bond over the weekend and mandated to wear an ankle bracelet, but during what was supposed to be routine hearing Tuesday, state attorneys asked the judge to revoke it.

The request was denied because Swiercz has no previous criminal history, but he was ordered to stay away from the victim and the condominium complex, surrender any firearms, and continue to be electronically monitored.

The alleged victim's neighbor, Eve Molly, isn't happy Swiercz is not in jail.

"If they have evidence to support what he possibly did, I don't understand how he made bail. I don't think that that's right," Molly said. "If someone had intention to hurt someone, they shouldn't be free."

Police say Swiercz was off duty and not performing in an official capacity when the crime allegedly occurred.

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