A former University of Chicago student accused of stabbing his roommate with a butcher knife as he slept last month was scheduled to undergo a full psychiatric evaluation the day after the attack.
After hearing that Ross Jacobs had suffered a mental breakdown before the attack, a Cook County judge ordered the 27-year-old be held without bail.
“I believe he presents a danger to himself and to others at this junction,” Judge Adam Bourgeois said.
Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Sarah Karr said Jacobs broke down his roommate’s door, who was asleep at the time at their Hyde Park apartment, and sliced off his right ear and slashed his neck, torso, face and hands. Court records, however, state Jacobs bit off the man’s ear.
Karr said the attack was unprovoked.
According to a motion filed by Jacobs’ attorney seeking bail, Jacobs suffered from mental illness and was scheduled to undergo a full psychiatric evaluation the day after the attack to address recent paranoid and delusional behavior and a deteriorating mental condition. The motion said Jacobs was without medication.
After the attack, the roommate, a 27-year-old man who was attending the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, ran screaming from the apartment pleading for someone from the building — largely occupied by U of C grad students and professors — to call 911.
Jacobs ran off, spurring a manhunt.
Two surgeries at Northwestern Memorial Hospital were required to re-attach the man’s ear and doctors put in 25 staples to close the wound on his neck, Karr said.
The attack took place about 3 a.m. March 13 in the 5400 block of South Hyde Park Boulevard, according to Chicago Police.
Jacobs left the state after the stabbing, but was arrested in Dallas five days later, according to police.
The roommate has since been released from the hospital.
Jacobs was charged with one count each of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, police said.
According to court records, Jacobs’ father tracked his son’s location by keeping an eye on where and when he used his debit card, and relayed the information to Chicago police.
Jacobs first went to Tennessee and later to Texas. His father went to Texas, found his son in Dallas and notified local police. He was arrested and extradited to Chicago.
Jacobs graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka in 2006. He graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, in 2010. He then enrolled at a U of C master’s program.
Jacobs was “provisionally diagnosed” with bipolar disorder in 2010 after experiencing a psychotic episode “characterized by agitated and disordered thoughts,” according to the motion filed by Jacobs’ attorney.
Jacobs’ mother, who lives in Wilmette, was in court but did not comment after the hearing.