A Tinley Park woman was attacked in her home in the early morning hours of Saturday by a man wielding a knife. Police arrested a man matching the description of the attacker in the condominium parking lot who they identifed as Gary M. Swiercz.
Swiercz, a 49-year-old Chicago Ridge deputy fire chief, was taken into custody and charged with attempted murder, home invasion, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated attempted criminal sexual assault and residential burglary, police said.
Swiercz appeared in Cook County Circuit Court on Sunday where assistant state's attorney Dan Calandriello said that the deputy fire chief broke into his neighbor's home in his Tinley Park condo building in the 8100 block of West 168th Place early Saturday. Swiercz was wearing a ski mask and possessing a folding knife, duct tape, an 8-inch sexual device and lubricant, the Chicago Tribune reported.
According to the Tinley Park police report, the woman said a man entered her condominium home about 2:35 a., forced her to the floor and beat her. The two struggled and the man fled the scene.
She was treated at the scene for minor injuries, police said.
Firefighters close to Swiercz expressed shock that he would be accused of such acts, saying they seldom saw him get angry in 20-plus years of fire service.
His attorney, Colleen McSweeney Moore, also told the Chicago Tribune that the incident was out of character for her client. Swiercz was placed on indefinite administrative leave pending the investigation, Chicago Ridge fire officials said.
Swiercz is being held at Cook County jail, where records indicate that bond is in process. He's due back in court Jan. 8 in Bridgeview.
By Ann C. Piasecki
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