The search is on for a masacked attker who attempted to mug a pizza deliveryman last week. And so far Forest Park police have few leads in the case.
A delivery driver from McGaffer’s Saloon, 7737 Roosevelt Rd, attempted to deliver five pizzas to a home on the 7600 block of Yuba St. on April 3. Mark, who asked that his last name not be used, said he was struck over the head with an electric drill by an offender – now known to be male. The assault was part of a robbery attempt. Police believe the drill was used as a prop for a gun.
“He ran up to me…and demanded that I give him my money two or three times,” Mark said, describing the incident while in the backroom at McGaffer’s. “I just told him, ‘No, you’re not getting my money.'”
That’s when he was hit with the drill. A scuffle followed, and Mark – a well-built man – defended himself and fought off his foe.
“I just chucked him to the ground,” Mark said, cracking a smile. “Then he ran away.”
However, the cuts and bruises that Mark suffered in the fight are still visible, including a black and blue “O” shaped mark on the left side of his neck, where the aggressor sunk his teeth in.
At this point Forest Park police have few leads, said Det. Jarlath Heveran, who is handling the case.
“The offender may have been injured, as well,” said Heveran. “I’m checking the hospitals to see if anyone came in for broken ribs” or for injuries that might have been the result of a physical altercation. The detective later said the hospital calls had failed to produce any leads.
“Right now we’re looking to see if any of our usual local suspects are injured in any way,” said Heveran. “That’s about as much as we can do.” The detective has also canvassed the area where Mark was attacked.
Leading to the incident, a woman called McGaffer’s and ordered five pizzas costing $75. Mark said some of his co-workers found it odd that she wasn’t interested in the price, and he admitted initially thinking the order was a prank.
“Usually customers ask for the total with an order that big,” he said. “Worst case scenario I thought we’d make the pizzas and then be … out of luck.”
When he arrived at the address provided by the caller, he noticed the house was empty – no lights and, according to Mark, a sign that stated the water had been turned off in October 2009. He then phoned the caller’s number and double-checked the address. It was correct, she said, informing him that she had been showering and would be right down.
Mark opted to go back to his car – curbed in front of the house, but still running – to await her arrival. After a few minutes he became suspicious: he was in front of a house that appeared vacant and there was no sign of the caller to suggest otherwise. It was then that the offender swooped around the side of the house and ordered the surrender of all of Mark’s money.
When Mark refused, the two men began to wrestle and fight, and eventually the attacker fled to a nearby alley. When he rose from the skirmish, Mark spotted a girl in the same alley.
Pat Malone, the owner of McGaffer’s, feels the girl was an accomplice, based on Mark’s account of the sequence of events. “It was definitely a set-up,” Malone said. “Find out where the [girl’s] cell phone is and you’ll have your man.”
Heveran said a subpoena is necessary for him to seize the phone and scrutinize the stored telephone numbers and its call history.
Before Mark made his way back to the pizzeria, though, he reportedly stopped the girl and looked through her phone. He claimed there was no record of any calls placed to him or to McGaffer’s.
“There’s a lot of unanswered questions,” said Heveran.
While Mark removed the assailant’s mask during the scuffle, he could not recall any distinctive features other than the offender’s shoulder length, straightened black hair, some of which was found at the scene of the crime by the responding police officer.
Although Mark was in good spirits when he spoke with the Review, the incident has left him rattled and angry. “I’ve never been in that situation before, so I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. He then raised his eyebrows and added: “I was pissed.”