State Briefs 4/25/08
Man charged in random attacks in downtown Chicago
BERWYN -- A Berwyn resident was charged Friday with a number of pedestrian attacks in downtown Chicago, which sent numerous people, some elderly, to the hospital.
Gregory Perdue, 29, of Berwyn, was charged with three counts of aggravated battery to senior citizens and three counts of aggravated battery in a public place.
The six victims included ABC 7 news anchor Cheryl Burton, according to the station’s Web site.
Victims were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and were treated for minor injuries, according to a spokeswomen for the Chicago Police Department.
Perdue will return to court Saturday morning for a bond hearing, the spokeswoman said.
Jury rules baby's death was homicide
PEORIA -- Neglected for eight straight days, 5-month-old Benjamin Sargent died from a combination of dehydration, starvation and sepsis, a toxic infection that was caused by "sitting (for days) in his own waste material," Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll told a coroner's jury Thursday.
An autopsy also showed the presence of the E. coli bacteria in the infant's bloodstream.
The jury took five minutes to rule the infant's death was a homicide.
His parents, Tracy Hermann, 21, and James Sargent, 23, have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and are awaiting trial. Prosecutors allege the couple provided neither food nor water to their infant son for eight consecutive days. He was 5 months, 16 days old when he died.
After a 911 call Feb. 12, the infant was found dead in a car seat placed inside a crib wearing a snowsuit saturated by urine and feces, the jury was told Thursday.
Trial is scheduled for May 12.
Peoria Journal Star
Fifth-grader found with ‘hit list,’ police say
ROSCOE — A fifth-grade girl faces disorderly conduct charges after officials at her school discovered a list of students’ names scribbled in her notebook under the title “My Hit List,” officials said.
School leaders called Roscoe police about 1 p.m. Thursday after they spotted an unrelated drawing in the girl’s notebook that prompted them to search some of her possessions, uncovering the list, Cpl. Sam Hawley said.
“After our investigation, it was found that there was no immediate threat or future threat of any type of violence toward any of the students,” Hawley said.
Classes were uninterrupted Thursday, and officials contacted the parents of the students whose names appeared on the list, Superintendent Robert Lauber said.
There were about a dozen names on the list, Hawley said, including some of the girl’s friends.
Officials won’t release the girl’s name because she is a juvenile, protected by privacy laws.
Lauber described the drawing as an “unflattering picture of another student.” The girl, he said, faces disciplinary action, though he wouldn’t disclose her punishment.
Rockford Register Star
Police say they had to kill dog
VILLA PARK -- Villa Park police said they were justified in shooting a pit bull that was biting the foot of a 13-year-old girl.
Police said the girl and her brother were riding bikes on a sidewalk when a pit bull started chasing them. Police said the dog got a hold of the girl’s bike and was able to bite her on the shoulder.
The girl apparently fell of her bike and started running toward a rec center, but the dog grabbed her foot before she was able to do so, police said. The girl’s brother was able to get inside, they said.
Police Lt. Mike Lay said several 911 calls requesting assistance were received, and when officers responded, the dog was still biting the girl’s foot and a person was gripping the dog’s collar in an attempt to get it to stop biting, he said.
“They had no choice but to shoot the dog to get it to let go,” Lay said, adding that the dog was shot once.
After being shot, the dog limped to a grassy area at the front of the rec center, police said. Lay said he believes the dog died on the way to the DuPage Animal Hospital.
Lay said the girl was taken to Elmhurst Memorial Hospital for stitches and was released shortly thereafter.