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Chicago Ridge Deputy Fire Chief Charged With Attempted Murder

Deputy fire chief faces multiple charges after police say he attacked a woman in a Tinley Park home invasion.

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. 

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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.

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Mary January 07, 2013 at 03:30 PM
Such a shame. Why are the people not in outrage? For any other crime commited by a minority we read all the racist ignorant comments? Now that its a white man...... nothing? Just saying a criminal is a criminal doesnt matter the color.
ann paris January 07, 2013 at 05:11 PM
Mary, what makes you think people are not ouraged? This is a one time criminal act committed by a person who's gone off the deep end. What would you have an outraged people do...lynch him? This was not gang related. This was not a drive by shooting. This criminal act had nothing to do with race, so you shouldn't feel the need to play the race card.
Mary January 07, 2013 at 07:34 PM
Definetly not, never beleive in violence. I am a professional, educated minority but also frustrated by some of the comments I see on some stories. I just wanted to bring up that I have seen many stories that are very similiar to this one and it is overflowed with comments about race. How "those people" should stay out of OL. I was raised to believe that bad comes in all colors. While I dont think he is any better than the common criminal. He is a criminal, he commited a heinous crime and should be punished. Just the same if a hispanic or african american commited the same crime. Some and definetly not all of Oak Lawn residents need to realize we need to not only complain about ALL criminals but do something about it.
mj January 07, 2013 at 08:30 PM
Anytime I hear or see a comment made of "those people" I assume people are referring to criminals, delinquents and gangbangers...not a race. Just saying.
leonard hamilton January 07, 2013 at 08:50 PM
The man attacked a neighbor in the middle of the night, there should not have been a bond at all. What good will electronic monitoring do if he posts bail? And yes, if the accused was black or hispanic, the comments would be overflowing right now.
Mary January 07, 2013 at 10:26 PM
Correct MJ. But, anytime they say those people that love chicken or illegals. I'm almost positive that's about race. Just stating the odvios, whether you wish to admit it or not.
Lorraine Swanson (Editor) January 07, 2013 at 10:28 PM
Please note that these are accusations. Mr. Swiercz has not yet been convicted of a crime.
wren January 07, 2013 at 10:45 PM
give me a flippin' break. this isn't about race. give it a rest already. hope the victim finds peace and healing. praying that this predator doesn't get off on some legal technicality. what an embarrassment and horror to know that this p.o.s. not only walked among us unrecognized, but was a high level fire official as well. awful. simply awful.
wren January 07, 2013 at 10:48 PM
yes, that is what we all should assume. but the reality is, it's uneducated, narrow-minded bigots making broad assumptions. i get angry when i see "those people" in print.
wren January 07, 2013 at 10:50 PM
mr. swiercz? that's more respect than what's due. i understand that no conviction has taken place, but please.
Jo b January 07, 2013 at 11:28 PM
Ipfwgk1 your insensitive joke regarding an assault is truely disgusting. Please troll elsewhere
anonymous January 08, 2013 at 12:23 AM
IPFWGK1, WHAT IF THIS WAS YOUR DAUGHTER, YOUR SISTER, YOUR WIFE, WOULD YOU SAY THE SAME THING? IT SEEMS YOU HAVE MENTAL PROBLEMS OR ARE DISBURSED IN SO MANY WAYS. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT DOES TO A PERSON? DO YOU KNOW WHAT UNSAFE THEY FEEL THEY WILL LIVE IN , YOUR A SICK PERSON. IF THAT WAS MY WIFE,DAUGHTER,SISTER,MOTHER WHAT EVER HE WOULD NOT NEED A COURTROOM. IT WOULD BE LIKE "LAW ABIDING CITIZEN IN MY EYES" THERE IS A SAYING "EYE FOR AN EYE" TOOTH FOR A TOOTH" YOU NEED PRO HELP. i FEEL BAD FOR THIS YOUNG WOMAN......
Patti Shipanik January 08, 2013 at 12:38 AM
I attended Junior High School with Gary. He was always a great person. I'm very shocked to hear that he would do something like this. I am really shocked quite frankly. I hope and pray that they have arrested the wrong guy. He is innocent until proven guilty. As for the victim, I hope you have a quick recovery and my prayers go out to you. Patti Shipanik
IPFWGK1 January 08, 2013 at 01:28 AM
thank god we are in a public forum in a country that allows freedom of speech. would you like my gun too? turn off the caps and increase your fiber intake. If that was my daughter sister or wife, I'd be pretty upset that something like that was reported detail for detail. The comment serves as some sort of humor in this sick sick world we live in full of rapists, murders and, wait for it, people like yourself who need to turn the dial wayyyyyyy up. Its ok though. as myself, your entitled to your opinion but I wont insult you. Take the high road sometime anonymous. you'll live happier
Jeeter Gerasi January 08, 2013 at 01:50 AM
Well Mary, now you're the one making those racist comments. Congratulations, you're the first one on here!!!!!
Jeeter Gerasi January 08, 2013 at 01:52 AM
and another one.
IPFWGK1 January 08, 2013 at 02:00 AM
Were you raised to believe your guilty until proven innocent?
Jeeter Gerasi January 08, 2013 at 02:00 AM
Another one, Mary. Whether You wish to admit it or not, just stating the obvious.. As wren says: "it's uneducated, narrow-minded bigots making broad assumptions."
Jeeter Gerasi January 08, 2013 at 02:02 AM
leonard, Congratulations, you've just joined Mary's club!!
Mary January 08, 2013 at 02:59 AM
You are correct. So I take my comments back he is innocent until proven guilty. But if he is guilty then he deserves to be punished. The only point I was trying to make was that everyone should be treated fairly. That they shouldn't be judged on their race and only on the actions they commit. In a perfect world we would not see color. Goodnight.
Traci Summers January 09, 2013 at 06:33 PM
Lets all try to remember that this is "alleged".....We live in this country that is supposed to support innocent until proven guilty. My heart goes out to the victim, and also to the family of the accused----If this man is found guilty, he will pay his due punishment....if not, such a tragedy to "convict" a person based on what you hear or see in the news......there can be damage done that you can never repair...It IS an outrage that this terrible incident can happen in our own community...so close to home for us....but please lets try to refrain from making this racial, or political, or anything else. It is what it is- a terrible crime. Let our justice system do its job everyone.

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