Surveillance cameras overlooking a West Suburban grocery store parking lot last week recorded a brutal attack that left a 71-year-old woman with a broken eye socket and damaged teeth.
The woman, an Oak Park resident, was putting groceries in her car at the Ultra Foods store, at 7520 Roosevelt Rd., in Forest Park, when she was attacked. Authorities said she was likely chosen because she parked away from the store and because she was alone.
"I really was thinking [that as a] senior citizen I can go without ... a pain. And I still don't believe it happened to me," said the woman, who agreed to speak on the condition that NBC Chicago not identify her by name.
Surveillance video appears to show three people -- two black men and a black woman -- following the victim throughout the store as she shopped. They're later seen following the woman to her car where they knocked her to the ground and kicked her in the head several times.
After what the victim described as an enternity, another car drove up and stopped and told the attackers to leave her alone.
"If this person wouldn't be here, I don't think I would be here today, or maybe in worse shape than this," the victim said.
The voice of her rescuer belonged to a 39-year-old man who identified himself only is Ismael.
"The guy could have had a gun and could have shot me, but you don't think of situations like that," he said. "You don't feel like a hero, you just feel like this is something you needed to do."
The woman was taken to Loyola Medical Center in Maywood. Authorities said she needs to have surgery for a broken eye socket and will also need extensive dental reconstruction.
One of the attackers was described by police as a man between 40 and 50 years old. He was wearing a wool cap, black leather jacket, blue jeans and black boots at the time of the attack.
Anyone with information on the attackers' identities or on the case should contact Forest Park Police Chief Jim Ryan, at 708-615-6299.