Woman sexually assaulted at River North store - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Woman sexually assaulted at River North store

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A woman working at a River North store was sexually assaulted inside the business by a man who convinced her to let him in by telling her he had forgotten something, police said.

Employees say during the day, this part of downtown is bustling with tourists, but it's a different story at night.

State and Illinois Streets are well known for their shopping and restaurant selection, but those who work in the area say people may not realize it becomes desolate.

"I usually take precautions," says Palak Shah, who works nearby. "Just like seeing if anyone is behind me or anything like that."

About 10:15 p.m. the man approached the store, which was closed, in the 0-100 block of East Illinois Street and told the 42-year-old victim he had forgotten something inside, police News Affairs Officer Ron Gaines said.

The woman let the man in, at which point he produced a knife, took her to the rear of the business and sexually assaulted her, Gaines said.

The woman was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for treatment after the attack, Gaines said.

Those who work in this part of River North couldn't believe what happened.

"I feel terrible. I mean you know, so sad," says business neighbor Saeng Chai Naegkhunthod. "Things should not be happen around here."

"It's really scary," Shah adds. "It makes me, like, nervous because I work around here and take the bus every day."

Now all they can do is hope police can catch the man before something like this happens again.

The attacker was described as a black man 30-40 with a medium complexion and afro hairstyle, 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-9 and 160-180 pounds, wearing blue jeans, brown shoes and a black T-shirt, News Affairs Officer Jose Estrada said.

Area Central detectives are investigating.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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