Police say that the investigation into an apparent robbery/kidnapping/home invasion in North Riverside during the early morning hours of July 21 has run into a wall after the two principal victims refused to cooperate.
Security camera footage in the vicinity of the incident, which played out at an apartment building in the 2400 block of Desplaines Avenue — a short distance from the police station – reportedly confirmed what the victims told police.
At about 3:15 a.m., a 34-year-old woman ran screaming into the lobby of the North Riverside Police Department, stating she and a man had just been held against their will at gunpoint by four men, two of whom took their keys and ransacked their apartment for about an hour – while the woman’s two children were inside.
Police observed that the woman had a zip tie around one wrist. The woman told police that she and the man had left the apartment around midnight and had driven around the West Side of Chicago for about a half hour before returning home.
They arrived home at about 1 a.m. and parked their vehicle in front of their building. When the man exited the driver’s side of vehicle, four men ran toward them. One reportedly pointed a gun in the woman’s face, punched her and ordered her into the rear of the vehicle.
Someone also pistol-whipped the male victim, leaving a gash in his forehead. Both were held inside the vehicle by two men, who repeatedly demanded to know “where the money was.” The men also took the couple’s cellphones and keys.
The two repeatedly denied they had any large sum of money and that the assailants must have mistaken them for someone else. The two other men took the apartment keys and spent an hour searching it for cash, without success.
One of the children, a teenager, inside the apartment told police he was playing videogames when two men entered the apartment. One pointed a gun at him and “told him to be quiet and be cool and they wouldn’t hurt him,” according to the police report.
They reportedly asked him where the money was three times, at one point putting him on the phone with his mother to ask her. The two reportedly left the apartment through the rear door and the two in the vehicle suddenly exited and ran between two buildings, at which point the female victim ran to the police station.
Paramedics advised the male victim to get stitches for his head wound, but the man reportedly refused medical care and said he would take care it. The victims reportedly refused investigators access to either the vehicle or apartment and both signed refusal-to-prosecute forms.
Security camera footage from a nearby building reportedly showed four men, one of the brandishing what appeared to be a handgun, rush the vehicle at 1:08 a.m.