Bystanders thwart sex assault on lakefront jogging path - New York News

Bystanders thwart sex assault on lakefront jogging path

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Donny Jones of Markham was one of three men who chased down a man who attacked a woman jogging along the lakefront on Wednesday afternoon, then held him for police. Donny Jones of Markham was one of three men who chased down a man who attacked a woman jogging along the lakefront on Wednesday afternoon, then held him for police.
Good Samaritan Michael Adams Good Samaritan Michael Adams
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Bond was set at $750,000 for a Calumet Park man accused of attacking a woman on a lakefront running path Wednesday afternoon on the South Side.

Three men who were flagged down after hearing the screams chased down Brandon Williams and held him until police arrived.

Williams, 24, of south suburban Calumet Park, was charged with one felony count of criminal sexual abuse, police said. On Friday, Judge Donald Panarese Jr. ordered Williams held on $750,000 bond, said Cook County State's Attorney's office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton.

About 1:40 p.m. Wednesday, the 36-year-old woman was running along the path near 6400 S. Promontory Dr. when she was attacked by a man who tried to sexually assault her, according to police.

She called out for help, and two men nearby came to her aid and her attacker fled.

Another man, 38-year-old Donny Jones of Markham, was driving on Lake Shore Drive when the woman "ran into the middle of Lake Shore Drive, flagging down cars," he said Thursday.

Jones stopped his car for her and the woman told him, "This guy just tried to attack me," he recalled. The woman then got into Jones's car, and when she saw the alleged attacker running away, she pointed him out to Jones.

Jones drove toward him, got out of the car and chased him along with two other men.

"We gave chase, we knocked the guy out, and we held him down" until park district police arrived. A few minutes later, Chicago Police took the suspect into custody.

Jones, who owns the Chi-Town Steak and Lemonade restaurant in Chicago Heights, was heading from a construction job to a Home Depot store at the time.

"I live in the south suburbs and wasn't even supposed to be there," he said.

In addition to his restaurant and construction work, Jones said he is a gospel music recording artist, and that aspect of his life came through as he spoke about this incident.

"It's just God's grace that led us to be able to do this like this. I'm just thankful we were able to catch this guy. [God] really was looking over her. I'm just so thankful to God that he used me and the other guys to catch the guy," he said.

He took the opportunity to reflect on violent crime, saying, "Our job on this earth as men is to be leaders and be protectors.

"It feels gratifying to know we caught someone and know we saved someone [from the psychological damage had the attacker raped her]," he said.

Jones also expressed astonishment at the brazen nature of the crime.

"This guy tries to rape her at 2 p.m. on Lake Shore Drive? Who does that in this world?"

Jones said the victim "was just out there training for a triathlon. Luckily, she was in good enough shape to get away from the guy."

Jones, awaiting a television interview, said the attention he has received "is funny, it really is. I didn't get [involved] for this."

In addition to this case, police are looking into the possibility that Williams may have been involved in other similar attacks.

Williams will be back in court March 6, according to the state's attorney's office.

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