A former deputy fire chief had a court hearing Tuesday morning in connection with charges he violently attacked a neighbor.
This comes one day after Gary Swiercz retired from the Chicago Ridge fire department after 24 years.
In court today we learned the victim in this case, actually ran to Gary Swiercz’s apartment after she was attacked, looking for help, because she knew he was a firefighter. He wasn’t home, but his door was open. Prosecutors say she didn’t recognize him as her attacker because he was wearing a ski mask.
Gary Swiercz walked into the Bridgeview courthouse expecting a preliminary hearing only to learn the state’s attorney office had filed a motion to deny his bond, claiming he was a real and present threat to the public.
Swiercz was just released from the Cook County jail yesterday on a $150,000 bond and ordered to wear an electronic home monitoring braclet, while staying at his father’s home in Worth.
Swiercz, a former deputy fire chief with the Chicago Ridge fire department, is facing several charges, including attempted murder, aggravated attempted criminal sexual assault, and burglary after investigators say he broke into the home of a woman who lived in his Tinley Park condo building around 2:30am Saturday.
Prosecutors say he was wearing a ski mask and carrying a knife, duct tape, rope, a sex toy and lubricant. The woman says she was asleep on her couch when he covered her mouth, and put a knife to her throat and asked her if “she wanted to die and bleed.”
She says he then forced her into the kitchen where he grabbed her by her hair and slammed her to the ground three times. She says he then ran out the back door, the same door he came in.
Witnesses say they later saw Swiercz throwing items into the dumpster. When police questioned Swiercz later, he was wearing black make-up around his eyes and they say he confessed to attacking the woman and told them he realized he was a public servant and shouldn’t being doing that, so he ran out.
The judge denied the state’s request to reconsider bail, saying the state did not present any new evidence.
Afterwards, Swiercz left the courthouse with a police escort, at the request of his attorney.
Still no possible explanation for Swiercz’s behavior that night. His attorney refused a request for an interview, but in court on Sunday she speculated a medication error may have had something to do with his behavior but she wouldn’t go into detail.
Swiercz will be back in court on February 7th where the indictment is expected to be read.
As for the victim, we have learned she has left the area and is now suffering severe headaches from the Saturday’s attack.