Worker assaulted in River North book store; Police seek suspect

Chicago police are looking for the man who sexually assaulted a worker inside a near north side bookstore last night.

Around 10 p.m.,  a worker at After Words New & Used Books on East Illinois in River North was locking up when a man asked if he could come back inside

He said he had left something inside. She let him and police say that’s when he pulled  a knife on the 42-year-old woman and dragged her back to the restrooms.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the attacker assaulted her, used cocaine and tried to stop her from escaping.

When the woman heard her husband outside the bathroom door, she screamed for help. Her husband, according to the Tribune, chased the intruder out of the store with a baseball bat.  He got away.

the man police are looking for is described as African American between the ages of 30 and  40, 5’7-5’9 and 160-180 pounds.

A new hotel, a major shopping destination and Trump Tower surround the little mom and pop bookshop where the attack took place, but locals say the neighborhood is changing.

The area has a homeless population that is growing and getting more aggressive here. They also tell WGN criminals are becoming more brazen.

“They don’t really bother me, but I have 2 daughters and there is no way I’d let them come here,” said Jeff Liska who works in the area.  “I was unaware of the neighborhood until I started working here.”

“It’s getting to the point that at night, after 8 o’clock, I feel I can’t leave unaccompanied in the area,” said Lucia Malovany who lives in the area.

While police check private surveillance cameras, the shop is taking one good first step: changing its hours. The owner will be locking up at 6:30 p.m. instead of 10 or 11 each night.

The Guardian Angels are offering escorts to cars or public transportation in the area. They say they will do it  until the suspect is caught.

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