Sunday, December 9, 2012

Good Neighbor Stops Sexual Assault In Progress

This was the scene at Sheridan and Agatite last night around 2am.

Suspect Jason Gurneau,
earlier today
A very sad story is behind the photo:  A woman who had just moved to Uptown, someone who is described by a friend as "an amazing woman" who would never hurt anyone, was brutally attacked in front of her home on the 4400 block of Sheridan Road around 1:40am.  She was robbed, beaten, and sexually assaulted.

The suspect, Jason Gurneau, age 32, is in custody.  He allegedly was riding past on his bike when he saw the victim opening the security gate of her building with a key and attacked her.  Her screams attracted the attention of a neighbor, Tom Schabow.  He called 911 and ran to the woman's defense.  The police arrived quickly, and the suspect tried to escape on his bike.  Mr. Schabow told ABC7 News, "The guy tried taking off on his bike and he was coming in my direction and I just took him down."

Jason Gurneau gave an address on the 1000 block of Lawrence, but per several comments on Uptown Update's Facebook page, "This guy's motives were because he was homeless and 'pissed she had a home and deserved it.'"

Jason Gurneau in a
previous mug shot
Jason Gurneau has been charged with robbery, aggravated battery, aggravated criminal sexual assault and two counts of resisting a police officer.  He is a reported gang member with a history of convictions:  15 months for possession of a controlled substance in 2002; four and half years for burglary in 2004; and four years for aggravated battery with great bodily harm in 2008.  In fact, he's appeared in UU before:  for impersonating a police officer by waving a plastic sheriff's badge in the 1200 block of Wilson in 2009, for which he was sentenced to six months in Stateville.  He gave an address in the 4700 block of Sheridan then.

We have so many feelings about this:  revulsion that a woman going into her own home on a busy street was attacked; empathy; hope that she can somehow have a normal life after this; and admiration and gratitude that there are neighbors like Tom Schabow, who didn't hesitate to go the aid of a stranger in distress.  As horrible as the attack was, it could have been much worse.  Today the victim is alive and recovering in a hospital.  That may not have been the case if someone hadn't been willing to get involved.  The victim is in our prayers.

On our Facebook page, Tom Schabow posted:  "Everyone just be safe and pay attention around you. This guy attacked this woman because she had a house and he didn't.  This neighborhood is flooded with homeless people who are mentally ill. I can't stress enough that if you hear something, please don't ignore it because you could save someone's life."  Tom, we are so glad you are our neighbor. Hero, Good Samaritan, Good Guy... they all fit.

So does this:  Thank you.


  1. Jason Gurneau's Facebook page.

    From a quick web search it seems likes he's been in and out of jail for the past ten years.

    Looks like he's going back. Not the brightest bulb in Uptown, is he?

    I'll skip my congenital sarcasm and thank Tom Schabow for getting involved.

    You can't let the bastards win........ever.

    If you see something like this and don't feel comfortable getting physically involved make some noise, start yelling, get on your phone and call the cops etc.

    If you're comfortable getting directly involved you don't have to win the fight. You only need to delay the bastard till other neighbors come out to help or the cavalry, cops, arrive. Either way in this neighborhood your only talking a minute or two most likely.

    Get some orange safety paint, put it in a tupperware type container, keep it near your door, and just toss in the bastard's face. Mark him for the cops in case he tries to get away.

  2. While I'm very thankful that Tom Schabow saved the victim with his quick action and helped to capture the perp, and while I have very little mercy for the perp, Tom's comment ("This guy attacked this woman because she had a house and he didn't.") is pure speculation. While I realize you do News and Commentary, if you ever want to be taken seriously as a News Source, comments like this should not be printed on your web page. I'm not saying his comments should be censored, I'm referring to the publishing of his words on your actual web page.
    Also, to print the following is to spread fear and misinformation. "This neighborhood is flooded with homeless people who are mentally ill." Not all homeless people are mentally ill, and not all mentally ill are homeless. I'd be very careful of alluding to and spreading this kind of misinformation. Try interviewing some homeless people for your self so you can speak with more authority on the subject. It will add to your credibility and you might even learn something!

  3. Does this count in the 3 strike law? Or in his case this is like strike 8+!!

    Maybe this guy will get some serious time! With crime in the city blowing up, maybe our politicians will bring back the death penalty - some people are just a lost cause and a constant problem to society. Jason could have killed this poor women, why give him another chance in a few years when he gets out?

    @irishpirate, you are a pleasure to read, please continue.

  4. Right now, the best advice I can give to the victim is to avoid speaking to the media. Work with law enforcement officials only and avoid speaking to reporters.

  5. Great job Tommy, Lisa and I are proud of you!

  6. I think the point is weather this guy was crazy, homeless both or neither, he ATTACKED a women as she tried to get in hee house. He was caught & charged. That's the whole point. So what your talking about? Is irrelevant.

  7. After all those charges & lockups, why why why was this guy on the streets? We need a three strikes & out in Illinois.

  8. To Un-bias: The "point" is WILL HE GET OUT AGAIN TO TERRORIZE THE NEIGHBORHOOD. He should be locked up after 3 or 5 strikes, for life. We need a 3 strikes or out law in Illinois.

    1. My apologies if if wasn't clear enough, my post was directed at Mr. Clayton.

  9. Eric Clayton, I AM SO TIRED OF THE APOLOGISTS....there is a REAL threat of crime from all the homeless and mentally deranged people living in Uptown. To say otherwise is dishonest and WAY to over the top in terms of trying to pretend a real safety issue does not exist in Uptown.

    We are overrun with SROs. Methadone clinics. Homeless Shelters and an acquiencent apologetic group of people always running to the defense of those that should not be living here.

    UPTOWN must not become an "Escape from New York" sub-neighbor of Chicago. This woman will deal with this nightmare the rest of her life. The rest of the populace in Uptown will be afraid.

    TIME FOR UPTOWN to demand that we are no longer the epicenter for dangerous people that live on the northside of Chicago. The previous aldermanic administration created this monster. We, as a group of caring - and frightened - residents of Uptown must stop it. I dont care if the vast majority are harmless. The minority that are not TERRORIZE the rest of us living here!

    STOP CONCENTRATING the human detritus in Uptown. Close down these magnets of violence. Please!

  10. Tom,
    I wanted to send my thanks.As a married father with a young daughter and wife I really appreciate your actions. The neighborhood needs more guys like you.

  11. "We are overrun with SROs. Methadone clinics. Homeless Shelters"...Although I agree that Shiller's admin was a pure waste of our taxpayer money, as well a disgrace, if you look at history, Uptown actually has one of the highest concentration of homeless people due to Reagan shutting down mental health clinics during his administration.
    If you read the blog more closely, you will see that the perpetrator was actually a gang member, which is the real threat to uptown (far and above the homeless/mentally ill)
    Thank you to the wonderful gentleman who got involved and saved this young lady!

  12. The suspect looks a little beat up. Maybe he fell down on the way to the mug shot?

  13. Emily, Shiller encouraged the concentration of homeless shelters, clinics, SRO's , etc to Uptown. Reagon, and a Democratic Congress I might add, was the macro issue. Shiller was the micro and again, welcomed and encouraged. FYI, to your amusing suggestion I read the blog, I have been on here for years. Condescension, emily, can only work when you get your facts straight. Try that in your next post.. but moving on..

    When you have tons of addicts, you have an easy and available market for drug dealers/gangs. If your customers disappear, you move on too. The beauty of capitalism. Move out the addicts, the ganga will have no reason to fight over territory. These are no separate issues at all. To the contrary, they are as entertwined in a sick eco-system.

    Clear out the dregs of society and the bottom feeders that supply them will move out too.. Capitalism at it's best.

  14. Oh Americanlt, you wild poodle owner you.

    Gurneau also resisted arrest and one of the responding cops was injured detaining him.

    In other words, Jason fought the law, and once again the law one.

  15. The law WON.

    Not one.

    Although, in fairness I guess it could be

    The LAW 5

    Jason Gurneau 0

    I should proofread B4 I hit the publish button.

  16. This piece of trash needs to be charged with not only the sexual assault, but with attempted murder!

    From the Chicago Tribune: "After his arrest, Gurneau told authorities he should have "finished the [expletive] off" and also said he "should have beaten the [expletive] out of her," according to Assistant State's Attorney Jamie Dickler."

    The next time this a-hole gets out he's going to make sure his next victim does not survive.

  17. Good job on all on sides.

    I was just thinking last night after seeing one of these guys out on the street just waiting to attack his next victim......there's got to be something put in place that makes going back to jail not so enticing for them.

    Maybe the social workers can chime in.

  18. Thank you to Tom Schabow, what a great man he was, how sad for the victim. Crime is random, we must remember that a concealed weapon in this case would not have helped this woman, because as with all crimes, she was attacked from behind. I wish men would stop with the gun carry as a method of safety. Having a gun is like having a car, it won't necessarily keep you safe because its the criminal who is in control of the crime, the time and location, the victim doesn't get a text message saying "i'm going to attack you." A gun is a symbol of safety not a tool for safety. A big dog is the only method for safety, but telling someone after a crime that they could have protect themself if only they had a gun, is insulting to say the least and we can seee that the man would have used it on the woman, she not on him.

  19. It will be a shame when he's back in Uptown in 5-10 years...this neighborhood has been made far too welcoming to his type.

  20. There's no reason to believe that he did this because he was homeless. He's been a violent criminal for many years and probably hasn't been homeless all that time. Homeless people are many times more likely to be victims than people with homes, and paranoia about homeless people isn't going to help anything. It's just important to remember that criminal, homeless, and mentally ill are 3 very different things.