Story Summary

15-year-old girl beaten, assaulted, left in backyard

A 15-year-old girl was found beaten in a backyard on the northwest side.

Chicago police say the victim was walking in the 2400 block of North Long Avenue around 6 a.m. Tuesday, heading to the bus stop, on her way to school, when she was hit in the head and dragged into the back yard of a nearby home and sexually assaulted.

The homeowner found the girl and called police.

Police do not have a description of the attacker because they have not been able to talk to the victim due to the severity of her injuries.

They are also asking anyone with information to give them a call at 312-744-8261.

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A man charged with trying to rape and kill a girl on her way to school is in jail on two and a half million dollars bond.

At the criminal courts building, prosecutors laid out the case against Luis Pantoja  that according to detectives, includes DNA recovered from a condom wrapper at the crime scene and a telltale boot print.  Prosecutors say the boot print, along with other evidence  discovered in the snowy backyard at 2417 N. Long on the Northwest side, points to Pantoja.  .

“Shoe prints left on the scene are of the same size, design and tread pattern as the defendant’s boots he was wearing at the time of his arrest,” said Jennifer Gonzalez, Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney.

When investigators took him into custody last week, Pantoja was still wearing the same boots he wore during the attack, according to police.  And a subsequent search of the 25-year-old’s apartment uncovered  blood-soaked clothing – matching descriptions given by witnesses – one of whom allegedly spotted Pantoja fleeing the scene in a snow-covered hoodie and dark clothing, moments after the December 17th early morning attack in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood.

Police accuse Pantoja of striking his young victim over the head with a blunt object – the force of the impact fracturing the victim’s skull in several places – leaving a trail of blood from the gangway to where Pantoja allegedly raped the 15-year-old.

One hopeful sign in today’s proceeding has to do with the victim’s health.  Prosecutors say the victim, a Chicago Public School honor student, has been moved from Mt. Sinai hospital to a rehab facility – a possible indication that her condition has improved.

Chicago police have made an arrest in  the rape and brutal assault of a 15 -year-old girl who was attacked while walking to school in the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood last month.

Prosecutors charged 25-year-old Luis Pantoja with attempted murder, sexual assault, and battery.

The assault happened December 17th in the 2400 block of North Long Ave.

A man, who came out of his house to clear snow, found the girl half-naked lying in a pool of blood in his backyard.

She remains hospitalized.

Police say DNA evidence led them to Panjoja.  He was arrested Friday night at his home without incident.

Authorities asked for a sign language interpreter during the hearing. According to the police report, Pantoja is deaf and mute.

He had been arrested in August of 2013 for criminal sexual assault.  Court records show he was appointed a public defender and appeared before a judge who set bail at $200,000 dollars.

In September, another judge dismissed the charge on a finding of no probable cause.

Chicago police have made an arrest in  the rape and brutal assault of a 15 -year-old girl who was attacked while walking to school in the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood last month.

Prosecutors charged 25-year-old Luis Pantoja with attempted murder, sexual assault, and battery.

The assault happened December 17th in the 2400 block of North Long Ave.

A man, who came out of his house to clear snow, found the girl half-naked lying in a pool of blood in his backyard.

She remains hospitalized.

Police say DNA evidence led them to Panjoja.  He was arrested Friday night at his home without incident.

Authorities asked for a sign language interpreter during the hearing. According to the police report, Pantoja is deaf and mute.

He had been arrested in August of 2013 for criminal sexual assault.  Court records show he was appointed a public defender and appeared before a judge who set bail at $200,000 dollars.

In September, another judge dismissed the charge on a finding of no probable cause.

A 15-year-old girl is showing signs of improvement after she was beaten and raped on her way to school.

The girl is recovering from her injuries, and is now able to speak to police.

On December 18, she was walking in the 2400 block of North Long to a bus stop when she was attacked.

She was found by a neighbor.

So far, no arrests have been made.

Chicago police were once again canvassing the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood this morning searching for information on last week’s violent attack on a teenage girl.

On Tuesday, the 15-year-old girl was on her way to school was beaten and raped in the backyard of a home.  She’s now in a coma with a severe head injury.

Residents are concerned and using caution in the area.

Chicago police are urging residents to pay attention when they’re out, walking in groups whenever possible.  They want any clues that could help find the girl’s attacker.

“Any tips, the smallest thing you can think of, anything you can think of you can call us you can call the area detectives,” said Sgt. Timothy Dineen .

For now, police stepping up patrols and going door to door and talking to those who live here is what they can do to try and catch the criminal.

They are also asking anyone with information to give them a call at 312-744-8261.

Chicago police will be canvassing the Belmont Cragin neighborhood Sunday afternoon, to develop leads in the the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl.

The girl was on her way to school early Tuesday morning when she was beaten and raped.

She’s now in a coma with a severe head injury.

Police will begin canvassing at 12 p.m.,  on the 5400 block of West Fullerton Avenue.

About 140 Belmont Cragin residents, many demanding more police presence and action on the part of public officials, packed a community meeting Thursday night organized after a 15-year-old girl was found sexually assaulted this week on her way to school.

Many sought more information about the attack in the neighborhood, while others who spoke out said they were grandparents and parents scared for their families after the attack, which was reported around 8 a.m. Tuesday. The girl was walking to a bus stop and sustained head injuries and remains hospitalized, officials said.

But before the residents weighed in, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, who had not scheduled to attend, spoke for a few minutes.

“We’re not going to stop until we solve this crime,” he told the crowd, who applauded him, adding, “We are going to make sure that we catch this monster.”

McCarthy told residents police have made some progress on the investigation but that police “are not even close to bringing it to fruition.” Other Chicago police officials in attendance told the crowd they don’t yet have a description of the offender.

Still, many residents, invited to speak and share concerns at the microphone, were critical of the level of police protection in the neighborhood and said the city is not doing enough to prevent crime.

“There’s cameras there that are for tickets, not for protection. We need cameras, we need patrols, we need faster response time,” said Raquel Castaneda, 26, who said she has lived in Belmont Cragin her entire life.

Many also criticized Chicago Public Schools officials, who oversee Safe Passage routes to schools.
The girl was found less than half a block from one of the routes, patrolled areas that were set up for the current school year to help students who have longer walks in the wake of dozens of elementary school closings.

Enit Martinez-Gonzalez, who said her high school daughter leaves for school the same time as the girl who was attacked, said routes to school should be patrolled and staffed earlier in the morning.

“Help us make this better,” Martinez-Gonzalez told the public officials at the meeting.

Some officials at the meeting, including aldermen, state legislators, CPS officials and police, responded to the criticism and demand for more vigilance.

“We do care,” said CPS Chief Safety and Security Officer Jadine Chou. “We’re working with our organization and with Chicago police and with elected officials to see what we can do to help.”

Police Commander Kevin Navarro, whose district includes Belmont Cragin, , said he “guaranteed” that officers would start working in area schools to address crime prevention tips. But even after hearing from officials, residents who spoke said officials must do more.

“We deserve to be safe and our children deserve to be safe going to school in the morning,” said C.K. Johnson as she shouted into the microphone.

Johnson said she lives in the North Center neighborhood but attended the meeting to support the teen who was attacked and her family. She said she drives her son to Lane Tech High School every day to ensure his safety.

“No one is protecting (the children) and it makes me very, very angry as a mother, community member, taxpayer,” she said.

The nonprofit Northwest Side Housing Center organized Thursday’s meeting. The organization is planning another for 10 a.m. Jan. 25 at the Northwest Community Church, 5318 W. Diversey Ave.

-Chicago Tribune reporting

Police continue to patrol the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood looking for the person who assaulted a teenage girl yesterday morning.

Sheriff’s police scoured the area with a k9 unit today and neighbors handed out flyers to spread the word.

Mike Klockowski found the girl yesterday morning, lying in the cold, semi-consciousness and hypothermic in his backyard in the 2400 block of North Long Avenue.  She was badly beaten and sexually assaulted. It looked from the bloodstains like she’d been trying to ring his back doorbell for help.

“I certainly don’t want to see this happen again,” Klockowski said.

The victim remains in the hospital, in critical condition, with severe head injuries. So far, she has been unable to talk to investigators.

Police are asking anyone with information to give them a call at 312-744-8261.

Chicago police are hoping to hear from anyone with information that could help track down the attacker who beat and sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl less than a block from a CPS “Safe Passage” route on the Northwest Side.

There are unanswered questions about whether there was anyone patrolling that route at the time of the attack. The Guardian Angels did not wait for answers.  They took it into their own hands to make sure that route was protected this morning.

Chicago police say the victim was walking in the 2400 block of North Long Avenue around 6 a.m. yesterday, heading to the bus stop, on her way to school, when she was hit in the head and dragged into the back yard of a nearby home and sexually assaulted.

Michael Klockowski found the giel at his back door about two hours later.  She was barely conscious, bleeding from her head, with no pants or shoes on.

The victim’s condition reportedly took a turn for the worse yesterday.  She was last listed in critical condition with severe head injuries.

Early this morning, detectives from the Area North Violent Crimes Division were out near Long and Fullerton, along with the Guardian Angels and community activist Andrew Holmes, handing out flyers looking for any information.

Police do not have a description of the attacker because they have not been able to talk to the victim due to the severity of her injuries.  They have been out collecting surveillance video from cameras in the area, hoping to get a glimpse of the suspect.

They are also asking anyone with information to give them a call at 312-744-8261.

A 15-year-old girl is in critical condition at the hospital after she was grabbed off the street on her way to school this morning brutally beaten and sexually assaulted.

The girl was walking to catch her bus to a charter school, just 50 yards off a public school Safe Passage route, when she was grabbed and dragged into a back yard around 6 a.m.

She was found when Mike Klockowski opened his back door at his home in the 2400 block of N. Long Ave. about two hours later.

“She was conscious, but barely moving,” said Mike Klockowski, who found the victim.  “I opened up the door and found this poor young lady lying.  I didn’t see her face.  I didn’t know how old she was or anything. And I immediately ran for the phone. The fire department was here in three or four minutes.”

Blood smears suggest she’d been trying to ring the doorbell for help, but was slipping in and out of consciousness. Her shoes and pants had been removed.

Police continue to investigate.  No one is in custody.

Police are asking anyone with any information to call Area North Detectives at 312-744-8261.

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