The Forest Park police officers that played a role in the apprehension of Paul Cruikshank, the alleged “Wrigleyville Rapist,” were recognized at the village council meeting on Monday.
Chief of Police Jim Ryan summarized the events that transpired on New Year’s Eve in Forest Park and the combined heroic actions of the honorees.
On Dec. 31, approximately 11 p.m., a woman unfamiliar with Forest Park was sexually assaulted near Lexington and Beloit.
Fighting for her life, the woman repelled her attacker and managed to call 911.
Dispatcher Michael O’Rourke received the call, proceeded to calm the victim down and coached her to find street signs. Through his coaching officers were able to locate the victim.
With O’Rourke’s information, Officer Tom Hall located the victim and quickly obtained a description of the assailant.
The description led to the apprehension of Paul Cruikshank, the suspected assailant in the Forest Park case, who was spotted on a Metra bus.
The Forest Park Police broadcast the assailant’s description on their broadband, shared with the Oak Park Police Department.
The combined teamwork of Oak Park and Forest Park Police officers resulted in Cruikshank’s apprehension on the Metra bus. Officers Kenneth Gross and Michael O’Connor were among those who took custody of Cruikshank.
Gross, the primary evidence technician, then recovered forensic evidence, including the assault weapon.
According to Ryan, it was Sergeant Steve Zanoni who noted Cruikshank matched the description of the “Wrigleyville Rapist” that evening, helping bring closure, not only to the Forest Park case, but to two outstanding assault cases in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood.
During interrogation by Detectives Peter Morrissette and Scott Frey, Cruikshank allegedly confessed to the attack in Forest Park and to the attacks in Chicago.
Ryan also singled out Dispatcher Katherine Mullin as a local heroine for going “above and beyond” the call of duty by accompanying the victim ” who had recently moved to Chicago and has no family in the area ” to the hospital and helping her get medicine the next day.
After Ryan spoke Mayor Anthony Calderone expressed his appreciation and noted that the City of Chicago and its police department should be thankful to the officers being recognized.