A Columbia College student said he was attacked on a city street early Wednesday morning by robbers with a baseball bat, and police are now investigating whether that incident is linked to others that happened within a couple of hours.
Nick Assardo, 18, does not smile when he retells the story of how he was mugged shortly after walking a friend to the Harrison Red Line stop at Polk and State streets at about 3:45 a.m.
"The second he was down the stairs and out of the picture, these four guys came out of nowhere and jumped me," he said.
He said they pushed him as they demanded him to tell them what was in his pockets. Two security cameras on a nearby garage may have captured what happened next when he fell over a small fence and onto the ground.
"They used a bat and they beat my face and they beat my head. They beat my leg," said Assardo. "They grabbed my wallet out of my pocket. They grabbed about $50 and they started running."
He described three of his attackers as being young men between the ages of 18 to 22. He said they stood about 5-feet, 8-inches tall and weighed between 170 and 185 pounds. He couldn't describe the fourth person.
"I remember they were laughing a lot; cackling. And I remember thinking how demonic that was," said Assardo, a film student from Minneapolis.
Less than an hour later and 25 blocks north, in the 2100 block of North Larrabee Street, a 44-year-old man was jumped as he tried to hail a cab, police said in a report.
Then shortly after 5 a.m., a doctor was robbed and attacked near Michigan and Superior streets, police said.
"Give me your [expletive] or I'll kill you," the victim said his attackers demanded, according to police.
The doctor described one attacker as a young man between the ages of 17 and 22. He said he stood about 5-feet, 8-inches tall and weighed between 160 and 180 pounds. He had black hair with dreadlocks.
He could not describe his second attacker.
Chicago police are not officially saying the three attacks are related, but they do admit the circumstances are very similar.