An elderly Chicago couple was brutally attacked by a stranger as they walked home from a subway stop last week in yet another instance of the city’s spiraling crime wave.
Bob Tataryn and his wife, Kathryn, were walking home from the Chicago Transit Authority Blue Line stop in the city’s upscale Irving Park neighborhood, where houses went for $5.5 to $750 thousand, last week when a man started following them.
As the man continued to stalk the couple, Bob decided to confront him, at which point the man, who has not yet been identified, started punching them before fleeing the scene – without even stealing any of the couple’s personal belongings.
Bob was left with a broken nose and severe bruises to his face in the aftermath of the attack, and Kathryn needed two surgeries to deal with broken wrists and a broken jaw. She is now unable to open her mouth, Bob told CBS 2, and she can only eat liquid food.
‘My wife and I are not doing well,’ Bob told DailyMail.com, adding that they are ‘mentally weak’ and ‘physically improving.’
But, Bob said, he is not going to let the brutal attack stop them from enjoying the city, even as its crime rates continue to soar. ‘It definitely crossed our minds but I’m hoping we get over the shock,’ Bob told DailyMail.com.
‘The city is our city. [We] can’t let the bad guys win!’
Following the attack, Bob took to Facebook to share this photo of himself with a swollen nose and gauze taped to his face
Bob Tataryn and his wife, Kathryn, were walking home from the Chicago Transit Authority Blue Line stop on February 17 when they were brutally attacked
Bob described to CBS 2 how the man stalked the couple as they walked home, and when Bob tried to confront the suspect he started attacking
The attack on the couple occurred on February 17 at 4pm as they walked home from the Chicago Transit Authority Blue Line stop in Irving Park.
The suspect, who has not yet been identified, tried to squeeze through the turnstile with Kathryn, Bob told CBS 2, and as they walked down the platform the man remained four feet away.
The Tartaryns, both 72, then decided to cross the street – but the man was still close behind them as they got to the intersection of Avondale Avenue and Irving Park Road.
At that point, Bob decided to confront the stalker, asking him: ‘Are you following us?
‘And he mumbles something and says “You got a problem?” Bob told CBS 2.
The suspect then began his brutal attack on the couple.
‘He hit her – left, right, left, right, broke her jaw and broke her wrists,’ Bob said. ‘Then he clocked me – the same procedure – I would say six, seven, eight times to the head and I went down.’
Realizing that the man was not going to stop, Bob decided to tell the man a fictional story about his wife’s health.
‘I yelled out “My wife – she’s really sick, she’s got cancer.”‘
The man then fled westbound on Irving Park Road, then southbound on Tripp Avenue, the Chicago Police Department reports.
Nobody has been arrested yet in connection with the assault.
In the aftermath, Bob took to Facebook to share a photo of himself with a swollen nose and gauze taped to his face.
‘Got mugged walking from the Blue Line. Broke Kitty’s jaw and Wrist. Fractured my nasal passage. Surgery for Kitty Sintov Tataryn tomorrow. Big mess, but we’ll get through this,’ he wrote.
He told DailyMail.com he believes the man was ‘really looking to get our car, which we were walking to, but when he realized that that wasn’t going to happen, he got violent.
‘It was snowing hard and he wanted a way to get around,’ Bob suggested.
He also said that these types of brutal attacks were not a common occurrence in the Irving Park neighborhood for the past 25 years, ‘but within the last five years it is definitely more frequent.’
Bob blamed the rise in crime on the city’s woke policies, which he said has led to ‘bad people… getting away with crime more easily.’
In fact, crime rates across the board are already above what they were at this time last year, the Chicago Police Department’s data shows.
Murders are up in the city 7 percent over the same time last year, sexual assaults are up 12 percent from last year and aggravated assaults are up 14 percent from last year.
The largest increases, however, were to the number of burglaries and thefts.
Burglaries are up 28 percent over the same time period last year, with 835 already reported in 2022, compared to 651 reported at this time last year, and thefts are up a whopping 60 percent, with 1,636 reported in 2022, compared to 1,020 reported in February 2021.
Motor vehicle thefts are also up 42 percent compared to the same time last year, with 1,571 reported in 2022 and 1,108 reported in 2021.
Crime rates are up across the board when compared to the same time period last year
Shooting incidents, meanwhile, are down 7 percent from last year – but there have already been a string of deadly shootings, with three minors killed in January.
On January 12, a pair of Chicago teenagers were shot dead just hours apart from one another.
The first shooting took place at around 4pm at the 2200 block of West Adams Street, where Javion Ivy, 14, had been standing on the sidewalk.
He was shot twice in the chest and was later taken to Stroger Hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to Chicago police.
Witnesses at the scene reported that they heard gunfire and saw two people fleeing with one of them taking something from Ivy’s backpack before running away.
The other incident happened around 8:45pm that same day in Englewood where James Sweezer, 14, was walking with his friend on the sidewalk on the 1400 block of West 73rd Street.
They had been passed by a dark-colored sedan when someone in the vehicle opened fire and shot Sweezer in the head.
He was later taken to Comer Children’s Hospital where he was also pronounced dead.
Then, just 10 days later, an eight-year-old girl who recently moved to the city from Mexico was killed when she was struck by a stray bullet during a shooting that targeted a 26-year-old gang member.
Police at the time said Melissa Ortega was walking down the street with her mother at around 2.30pm that day when someone shot at the gang member, who was leaving a nearby store.
The young girl and her mother attempted to sprint to a nearby bank, the Fifth Third Bank in the 4000 block area of West 26th Street, for safety, however it was too late and Ortega had been fatally shot as the two ran for their lives.
She was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Melissa Ortega, pictured, whose family moved to Chicago from Mexico in August, was killed when she was struck by a stray bullet on January 22
14-year-old boys Javion Ivy (left) and James Sweezer (right) were shot and killed in separate incidents in Chicago on January 12
Meanwhile, 90 people accused of murder are free on electronic monitoring ankles in Chicago thanks to woke bail reforms that have put scores of violent criminals back on the streets.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart revealed the numbers to CBS earlier this month, along with his fears that it is making communities significantly less safe.
Dart said that in his county alone, 90 people accused of murder are free along with 40 people charged with attempted murder and 852 people charged with aggravated gun possession.
In Cook County, Chicago, there are 2,300 people free on electronic ankle monitors and 75 percent are accused of violent crimes
In the year 2021, Chicago Police Department arrested 133 people for a violent crime while they were on electronic monitoring – 1 percent of the total.
Chicago’s top cops – Dart and Chicago PD Chief Superintendent David Brown – say that one percent is too high a rate and that while 99 percent may not have been arrested, it sends the wrong message to criminals.
But Chief Justice Timothy Evans, who imposed the reform in 2017, is refusing to revoke it.
‘A judge cannot hold someone pretrial without a finding that the defendant poses a real and present threat to the physical safety of any person.
‘This must be found by clear and convincing evidence and the burden of proof is on the prosecution.
‘The mayor’s proposal seems to require that defendants facing certain allegations be considered guilty until proven innocent,’ he said, shooting down Lightfoot’s request.
Now, community organizations, including the Magnificent Mile Association, which promotes business in the city’s shopping district, are taking matters into their own hands.
‘Violent crime has been up and that’s what has us concerned,’ Kimberly Bares, the president and CEO of the group, told ABC 7. ‘Carjackings, recovery of guns, some shootings – those kinds of things.’
Ideally, she said she would like to see the Cook County State Attorney’s Office prosecuting these criminals, saying: ‘When the police have put together a solid case, we want to see that prosecuted. And we want to see the judicial sentence appropriately.’
But in the meantime, she said, the Magnificent Mile Association will step up to tamper with these crimes.
‘It’s not been in our history to do a lot around public safety and advocacy, that’s not what we’re built for,’ Bares said. ‘But you have seen us respond, you have seen us step up to the challenge – we will continue to do that.’