Assault victim fears elderly woman’s murder could have been prevented

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Near the intersection of Thorndale and Glenwood in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood, just across the street from Senn High School we heard Maurice La Bonte’s account of being attacked.

Just weeks ago, Maurice was attacked, allegedly at the hands of 63-year-old Mordecai Faskowitz.

“And before I knew it he was on me. He spit at me, he punched me,” Maurice said he was dragged across the street and yelled for help.

Police quickly arrived.

“It took five officers to bring that guy down,” Maurice said, “He really meant to hurt– I could see it in his eyes I knew immediately he wasn’t well.  I could tell that he had some sort of psychotic break.”

Faskowitz was taken into custody and to the hospital, but according to Maurice, that’s where his story ends.

“One of those six responding officers could have taken a minute to ask me how I was. I asked, please take my statement and they told me, not necessary.”

It’s a moment that haunts him today.

“I can’t help but think it might have been prevented.”

Knowing that just this week– just feet from where his attack happened, Faskowitz was arrested.  This time for murdering 70-year-old Marjorie Ivy, inside the apartment the long-time friends once shared.

Police said Faskowitz admitted to the crime for which he’s now charged.

“I sort of fell to the floor in a puddle because I couldn’t help but think maybe, just maybe, if the information about my assault had been given to the healthcare professionals, just maybe they wouldn’t have released him so soon. And I thought maybe this woman would be alive.”

Maurice said despite his alderman’s office getting involved in his case before Ivy’s murder, he has yet to hear from Chicago Police himself.

In a statement, 48th Ward Alderman Harry Osterman said:

“I have asked the Chicago Police Department to investigate every aspect of this case, including what has transpired from the assault in September up to Wednesday’s tragedy.”

When we contacted Chicago Police about the assault case, we were told that the offender was taken to Lakeshore Hospital, involuntarily admitted and kept under supervision.

As is standard procedure, they wrote, the victim of the battery was informed of his options to pursue the case should he wish.

Maurice said that’s not how he remembers it and is simply worried that a breakdown in communication may have allowed this suspect back into the public to commit another crime.

“I just couldn’t get that thought out of my mind.  Could we have prevented this incident?”


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