Anger, concern and even fear has been growing after police said two women were attacked along a Crystal Lake bike trail by a man wielding a hammer Tuesday.
“We heard some screaming and we just assumed it was just neighborhood kids playing,” said resident Michelle, who preferred to keep her last name anonymous.
Michelle said that around 5:15 Tuesday evening she had been in her backyard with her husband when they heard someone yelling for help.
She said they immediately ran toward the sound and spotted a woman with blood all over her face.
“I saw a woman come out of the bush and she was just covered in red…she was just repeating herself what happened, somebody had a hammer,” Michelle explained.
She also said another woman on a bike had an injury to her wrist.
According to McHenry County Conservation District police, a man riding on a bike along the Ridgefield trace bike trail struck both women with a hammer.
Michelle said the first woman she saw was hit in the back of the head.
“She was like, ‘I don’t know where my phone is’…she didn’t want to sit down because she didn’t want to pass out,” Michelle recalled.
Multiple agencies responded to a 911 call from the trail, including Crystal Lake Police, the McHenry County Sheriff's Office and officers of nearby McHenry County College.
The suspect in the attack was described as in his mid-50s, clean-shaven and standing at around 5'7", with a stocky build, wearing a forest green sweatshirt, jeans and a Green Bay Packers hat, authorities said.
The victims were taken to Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital, according to police, who said they were treated for non-life threatening injuries and released Tuesday night.
Residents hope police arrest the suspect quickly.
“I ride on these all the time,” said another resident, Mark Eckel. “It really undermines your sense of safety on the trail.”
No one was in custody in connection with the attack as of Wednesday evening, which remained under investigation. Anyone with information on the suspect or the incident itself was asked to contact Conservation District police through the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department dispatch at (815) 338-2144.