A man sexually assaulted a woman as she was closing a Near North store, then fled when her husband started chasing him with a baseball bat, police said.
The attacker had been in the store in the 0-100 block of East Illinois Street earlier in the evening Tuesday and returned around 10 p.m. saying he had left something in the restroom, according to a police report. The woman let him in and the man pulled a knife and forced her into the restroom in back of the store, police said.
He trapped her in a stall, smoked crack cocaine and assaulted her, at one point stopping her from escaping, according to the police report. The woman then heard her husband walking around inside the store and screamed for help, police said. The husband went to the back of the store and began fighting with the attacker, suffering cuts to his head, police said.
The attacker ran to the front of the store but found the door locked. The husband grabbed a bat and started chasing the attacker, but the attacker was finally able to grab keys off the counter and unlock the front door and flee east on Illinois Street, police said.
The woman was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
The attacker was described as a black man with a medium complexion, 30 to 40, 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-9, and weighing between 160 to 180 pounds, according to Police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli. He had an Afro type hairstyle and was wearing a black T-shirt, blue jeans, and brown shoes, Mirabelli said.
“Detectives are combing the area to see if any witnesses can help provide information,’’ Mirabelli said.
Police were checking private surveillance cameras.