- Post 19 November 2012
Authorities have charged a Chicago resident with attempted murder in connection with a stabbing Saturday evening at a North Michigan Avenue hotel, police announced early Monday.
Jimmy Harris, 56, has been charged with one count of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated battery with intent to do great bodily harm and one count of aggravated unlawful restraint.
The charges stem from an attempted robbery Saturday evening in which a 67-year-old man was stabbed in the neck Saturday evening near the front of the Westin Hotel, authorities and witnesses said.
Stabbing victim's relative: 'I started screaming' Stabbing victim's relative: 'I started screaming'
Shootings wound two Sunday night Shootings wound two Sunday night
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Jimmy Harris, 56, of Chicago. Jimmy Harris, 56, of Chicago.
Scene of stabbing Scene of stabbing
909 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
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A second man was cut trying to stop the assailant from fleeing, police said.
The incident began shortly before 8 p.m. when the 67-year-old man was stabbed during an attempted robbery, Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Amina Greer said, citing preliminary information.
A 35-year-old man was cut in the chest as he tried to capture the assailant, Greer said.
Police took Harris into custody following the incident. A weapon was also recovered, Greer said.
The 67-year-old was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where his condition was stabilized, Greer said. The 35-year-old was taken to Northwestern in good condition.
According to the niece of the 67-year-old man, Jameela Ali, 28, of Lincoln Park, she and her uncle were part of a group of seven dining in a restaurant inside the Westin when her uncle was attacked inside a bathroom. She first heard a commotion inside the bathroom, then saw her uncle, badly injured, struggling with another man outside the bathroom.
"His left eye was bruised, totally swollen shut," Ali said. "There was blood gushing from his neck, blood all over his clothes. He looked like he had been punched in the face several times. I started screaming. I didn't know what to do."
Ali's uncle remained at Northwestern as of 1:30 am. Ali said he suffered a laceration to his external jugular vein and received exploratory surgery to ensure there was no further damage.
By 8:30 p.m., crime scene tape surrounded the entrance to the Westin Hotel on Delaware Street and Michigan Avenue with patches of blood visible on the pavement, and two police cars blocked the street.
Managers at the Westin declined to comment late Saturday and early Sunday.
Olivia Morrow, 18, said she and her friend were returning to the hotel around 8 p.m. to meet their parents when they saw police on the scene.
Morrow said shortly after that she saw about five hotel officials running out of the building toward the stairs leading to the Hancock Tower and the neighboring The Cheesecake Factory Restaurant.
"They had radios and phones in their hands, saying that (the attacker) was last seen running down the stairs," Morrow said.
Genevieve Waldron of Michigan City, Ind., was among the crowd waiting for a table outside when she and her mother saw dozens of officers sprinting toward the restaurant from every direction.
"They were obviously looking for somebody and we were trying to stay out of the way," Waldron said.
A few minutes later, two officers came back up the stairs, flanking a man who was handcuffed, and loaded him into the back of a marked car.
Neither The Cheesecake Factory nor the hotel were evacuated, as guests on the south-facing side of the building peered out of the windows to get a view of the scene. There appeared to be little commotion at the restaurant, where diners poured out into the hallways waiting for a table.
Tribune reporter Liam Ford contributed.