Florist Recovering After Robbery, Knife Attack

Employee of Wicker Park's Asrai Garden flower shop attacked shortly before noon, police said

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Wicker Park florist was recovering Thursday after being stabbed repeatedly by a man during a robbery.

    The woman was attacked while working at the Asrai Garden flower shop, in the 1900 block of West North Avenue, shortly before noon, police said. The man walked in and handed a note to the woman that said he was going to rob the store, authorities said.

    The employee fought back, police said, and was stabbed with a floral cutting knife.

    The woman -- who sources said is named Kristin -- was taken to John H. Stroger Jr., Hospital of Cook County in stable condition with cuts to her head and arm.

    Another woman who works nearby said she saw someone suspicious in the area shortly before the attack.

    "Someone across the street approached me, just yelled at me from across the street, asking for a cigarette. I didn't have anything on me, I just kind of kept walking, you know, denying him everything that I could, and kind of heard him shuffling, kind of picked up my stride and walked a little faster, kept looking over my back. Something just didn't sit right with me," said Melody Palermo.

    Police described the attacker as a black man between the ages of 25 and 35. He stands about  6 feet, 3 inches or 6 feet, 4 inches tall, they said.

    No one was in custody by Thursday evening. Anyone with information should contact Chicago police.

    In response to the attack, Chicago's chapter of the Guardian Angels is offering a free self-defense class on Saturday from 6-8 p.m. at 2142 N. Milwaukee Ave.