$2.5M Bond for Man Charged in Brutal Attack of Teen on NW Side

A judge set bond at $2.5 million Tuesday for a man charged with assaulting and critically injuring a 15-year-old girl.

Luis Pantoja, 25, of the 5500 block of West Wrightwood Avenue, was charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated criminal sexual assault, aggravated battery and unlawful use of a weapon by felon, according to the Cook County State’s attorney’s office.

Officials said the teen, an honor students at a charter school, was found lying bloody and battered shortly after 8 a.m. Dec. 17 in front of a home on the 2400 block of North Long Avenue.

The resident who found her said her pants and shoes were on, but her backpack was dropped in an alleyway.

Prosecutors said the teen was walking to a bus stop at Fullerton and Long when she was hit on the head with a blunt object, dragged into the yard and assaulted.

The teen suffered multiple skull fractures and brain bleeding and was placed in a drug-induced coma. She remains in critical condition, police said.

During a community meeting in the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood after the assault, McCarthy promised residents he would catch the "monster" who brutally attacked the girl.

Police canvassed the neighborhood, spoke with residents, reviewed surveillance video and interviewed the victim's family members and possible witnesses.

Police said they recovered DNA evidence from the scene and executed a search warrant, which recovered additional physical evidence and a .32 caliber revolver.

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy earlier this week thanked police officers and detectives who "worked tirelessly on this case" as well as members of the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood who "worked to bring this awful criminal to justice."

Pantoja is scheduled to appear in court again Jan. 24.

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