Police, Others Step Up Search for Attacker $10,000 Reward for Man Who Preys on Asian Women
Buck, Graham, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Cook County Sheriff's Police are blanketing communities in unincorporated Maine and Northfield townships with wanted posters showing a sketch of a man sought in a series of sexual assaults targeting Asian women.
The increased police presence spearheads an intensifying search for the man who has sexually assaulted one woman in Niles and one in Northfield Township, and gotten into homes and threatened women in Chicago, Mount Prospect, Niles, Skokie and Northfield Township.
In each incident, the man gained entry to a home by impersonating a police officer, an FBI agent or a U.S. Census worker.
Sheriff's police focused their efforts Thursday on areas around the apartment complexes where the man tried Tuesday to enter at least two homes on the eastern edge of Des Plaines by posing as a police officer and an employee from a phone company.
Police handed out fliers, in English and Chinese, advising residents to keep their doors locked and, if a police officer comes to the door, ask him to identify himself and then call 911 to verify.
A sense of alarm has grown in Asian communities across the suburbs as the series of assaults and attempted assaults, which began April 7, has picked up.
"There is a lunatic out and about and I do feel nervous," said Mohina Ahluwalia Sands, president of the South Asian Women's Society of America.
Two Chinese businessmen from Chicago are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the man's arrest.
As the attacks continue, many Asian-American women have adjusted their daily routines, Sands said. Many won't venture out alone and are keeping their doors bolted.
Sands, whose Skokie-based group helps Asian women settle into their communities, thinks the man may be targeting Asian women because they can be easy prey.
"Asian women are very submissive, demure - all good qualities in life, but easy to attack," Sands said. "Asian women are not too exposed to the harshness of this culture."
Police say no one can speculate on the motives behind the attacks.
"When you have an individual targeting a specific group of people at a specific time of day, you've got a sicko on your hands," sheriff's police Chief Thomas Fitzgerald said. …