A woman’s social media post alleging that a male motorcyclist sexually abused her and knocked her husband unconscious in one of Noble Square’s busiest intersections has stirred alarm throughout the neighborhood, with some residents recalling similar incidents.
The 33-year-old woman, who asked to remain anonymous, posted in a private neighborhood Facebook group that the motorcyclist groped her buttocks at 4 p.m. Saturday on the southeastern corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Division Street while she and her husband were riding their bicycles.
She said the man, who was traveling with another male motorcyclist, reached for her in a “disgusting, sexual way.”
When her 35-year-old husband chased after the assailant on his bicycle, she says the man punched and kicked him until her husband was “splayed out on the street and unresponsive.”
“It was such a horrific and terrifying incident that I’m determined to prevent this from happening in future,” she wrote in the Facebook post.
In an email to the Chicago Sun-Times, the woman said response to her post suggests the two motorcyclists have drawn attention before.
“The police and comments on the [Facebook] page lead me to believe that this motorcyclist and his friends are ongoing problems in the neighborhood,” she wrote. “I’d like to recommend that everyone keep an eye out for them.”
Chicago police said they received the couple’s incident report and are investigating.
The East Village couple was biking north on Milwaukee when the woman said the motorcyclist duo weaved through traffic toward them. As they all crossed the bridge over the Kennedy Expressway just south of Milwaukee and Augusta Boulevard, the woman said her husband extended his arm sideways to signal an upcoming left turn.
One of the motorcyclists allegedly reached for his hand, which he retracted, she said. The motorcyclists then slowed down, and the couple continued biking until they stopped at a red light at Milwaukee and Augusta, waiting to turn left.
When the light turned green, the motorcyclists abruptly zoomed forward and caught up with them, she said. One of them allegedly grabbed her right buttock with what she said was “a large, aggressive, open-handed movement.” He and the other motorcyclist sped away.
“It was humiliatingand completely unprovoked,” the woman said.
Her husband chased them half a mile on his bicycle, with her following behind, she said. Once her husband and the bikers approached Milwaukee and Division, they stopped at a red light.
Her husband told her he yelled at the man on the green motorcycle for “assaulting and demeaning a woman,” she said. In response, the motorcyclist allegedly punched her husband on the side of his head.
The man was wearing gloves with plastic or carbon knuckles, which knocked her husband unconscious, she said. When she caught up to them, he was lying on the pavement.
A crowd amassed around them and roused her husband awake, she said. At first,he could not stand or speak coherently, and two people carried him to the sidewalk until he recovered and officers arrived. Police said her husband refused medical attention.
Some bystanders snapped pictures of the man on the motorcycle and later texted them to her, she said.
The suspects were described by her as two white men in their 20s or 30s, of medium height and slightly heavy builds.
The man who allegedly attacked the woman and her husband wore jeans, a black hoodie with “legalize wheelies” printed on the back, black sneakers with white soles and a helmet decorated with stickers. He rode a small lime green motorcycle.
The other man, riding a small black and yellow motorcycle, was wearing a gray sweatshirt, jeans and a red helmet.
The woman’s husband suffered a concussion and swelling to the face as a result of the attack, she said. His helmet was shattered from his fall to the ground. Later that evening, she drove him to the hospital.
The woman said she has been a Chicago resident for about 15 years and has biked for the past five.
“We bike everywhere,” she said. “Nothing like this has ever happened to us in all our lives. Today, I couldn’t bring myself to take out my bike and I think it may be a while before I do, unfortunately.”