The family of 67-year-old Dr. Mir Shah watched in horror as their loved one struggled with an attacker Saturday night.
"This was an enjoyable night out for the family turned horribly tragic, but it could have been much worse," the family issued in a statement Sunday afternoon. "Dr. Shah was senselessly attacked last night but managed to escape and we were fortunate to be able to summon help and to be so close to a world-class facility in Northwestern Hospital."
Shah, a radiation oncologist, was downtown with more than a million people to watch the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, when he was attacked inside of a bathroom at the Westin Hotel.
His family said they had just been seated for dinner at "The Grill" when he excused himself to use the restroom. That is when the assailant made his move.
Shah was punched, stabbed and struggled to escape for help. His family said they found him with a bruised face and bloody wound in his neck. They applied pressure to the wound and tried to stabilize him.
Meanwhile, a bartender saw the suspect run through the restaurant and immediately followed him. The assailant turned and cut him too. A restaurant manager who did not want to release the bartender's name stated his employee made a bold move, adding that in moments like this normal people do extraordinary things.
Both Shah and the bartender were taken to Northwestern Hospital to be treated. Shah had surgery this morning and is expected to fully recover. The bartender received some stitches.
Police on Monday charged 56-year-old Jimmy Harris with attempted first-degree murder, unlawful restraint and two counts of aggravated battery in connection with the attack.
Below is the full statement from Shah's family.
Out of respect for Dr Shah and the family's privacy we won't be doing any interviews but thank you so much for your concern. I am Dr Shah's son-in-law. Our statement is as follows - if you have an additional specific question please let me know.
First of all - The family would like to thank the Chicago PD - particularly noting their responsiveness, empathy and dedication - also Northwestern hospital and Westin employees, the doctors and nurses, first-responders and especially the good Samaritans in helping to make this miracle happen.
This was an enjoyable night out for the family turned horribly tragic - but it could have been much much worse.
Dr Shah was senselessly attacked last night but managed to escape and we were fortunate to be able to summon help and to be so close to a world-class facility in Northwestern Hospital. It was a surprise, unprovoked attack.
He is now stable and all signs point to a full recovery.
There will be no further comment from the family. Thank you.