Rash of Sexual Assaults Have North Side Neighborhoods on Edge

A serial rapist may be focusing on a particular block in an upscale North Side neighborhood in Chicago, police say.

A woman was approached from behind and sexually assaulted in the 1900 block of North Orchard Street Sunday night, police said. The attacker also made off with some of the woman’s personal belongings, police say.

Brianna Skipper works nearby and walks the block every day.

“I think there is a lot of crime on the rise, generally,” she said. “In some of these areas you wouldn’t expect it. “

Other neighbors say the incident is one more reason to be careful.

It just makes you think twice before you take your trash out at night, walking home from the ‘L’,” says resident Julie Capps. “Just looking at this place, i assume this street would be safe so it’s kinda scary to think about this so close to home.”

The attack Sunday night may have been the third in as many weeks, according to police

Thursday night, a 24-year-old woman told police she approached by a man with a gun behind her apartment on the 3700 block of North Fremont in the Lakeview community. He sexually assaulted her and forced her into the trunk of her car, police said.

She escaped after he crashed the car into a tree at 115th Street and South Throop.

Another attack happened Feb. 28 on the 1200 block of West Barry.

Monday night, neighbors expressed their concerns during a forum at the New Life Church on West Lill.

“I really haven’t seen any change in the presence of police in my neighborhood since reporting this,” said resident Kathy White.

Business owners in Lincoln Park say they are worried too…especially about the safety of female employees going home after dark.

“Everyone, in the past, has kind of had their guard down a little bit more because you don’t expect it to happen because there are so many families out and about and whatnot,” said business owner Josh Brown. “And if it’s happening here, you feel as if there really isn’t any safe space in the city anymore.”

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