Evelyn O’Connor reported that she was punched in the face by an unknown man on Thursday, adding that she was not the only victim.
While O’Connor reports that she is physically recovering, the entire ordeal has been traumatic.
“They arrive in waves,” O’Connor stated. “I am thinking that I have a family and that my children are surrounding me with love. I was born and raised in Chicago. It’s terrifying to be a victim of a crime of this magnitude.”
During her lunch break, O’Connor decided to visit Marshall’s at the intersection of N. Rush Street and E. Ontario Street. As she walked across Rush Street at 1:45 p.m. after leaving the store, she noticed a man standing still.
O’Connor stated, “I had a gut feeling that something wasn’t quite right. He was perfectly still at the conclusion, as if I were to meet him there. I thought, ‘I don’t recognize this person.'”
O’Connor claims that as she approached the end of the crosswalk, she attempted to step around the man when he suddenly struck her, causing her vision to blur and catching her off guard.
“For a split second, I was able to turn my head and he punched me in the side of the face,” O’Connor said. “I flew into a tree, gathered myself, and let out a string of expletives, and he walked away as if nothing had happened.”
O’Connor stated that the offender then crossed the street and assaulted another woman.
“After I yelled at him, he yelled back at me, and then he assaulted another woman on the opposite side of the street by taking her belongings, throwing them to the ground, and pushing her. The further he walked, the more screams could be heard coming down the street, and we were just sitting there waiting for a police officer to arrive,” O’Connor said.
She added that bystanders assisted her and police were summoned, but after twenty minutes of waiting, she decided to leave the area out of fear that the man would return. She filed a police report at a local police station on Friday.
“I’m doing this in the hopes that others, as I did today, will file a police report once they regain their composure. Keep reporting. The more you continue to report, the more action will be taken,” O’Connor said.
Though shaken by the incident, O’Connor expressed gratitude for the friends and family who have inquired about her well-being, including her brother Dan Butterworth, who took to social media to discuss the assault and his concerns.
“This was not an isolated occurrence. Two women were affected at a single intersection and corner. Obviously, it could occur again. I wanted to help spread the word, get a description, and hold them accountable,” said Butterworth.
Although Butterworth is running for a position on one of the newly created police district councils, he told WGN that his message is not political; rather, it is intended to raise awareness.
Butterworth stated, “I think what struck me the most was the likelihood that this occurs far more frequently than we are willing to admit, or even can based on data, due to the fact that it is not reported. I wanted to encourage her to do that because if you don’t submit that report, it won’t appear in the data. Numerous individuals believe calling 911 is illegal. Calling 911 is not equivalent to committing a crime. It is merely a request for service. In order for this to be logged, an officer must present themselves and issue a report number.”
O’Connor stated that she was fully aware of her surroundings at the time of the alleged assault, but that it still occurred; therefore, she encourages others to be vigilant and to report suspicious activity if they observe it.
The Los Angeles Police Department has confirmed that Area Three Detectives are investigating the alleged assault. It is unclear whether the other alleged victim of the assault that O’Connor witnessed called the police.
O’Connor described the alleged assailant as a man approximately 6 feet tall and wearing a jacket.