Citizens came to the aid of a 12-year-old girl who witnesses said was attacked, punched and choked near the corner of 93rd Street and 69th Avenue in Oak Lawn on Aug. 29, according to a police report.
Michael T. Kelly, 54, of the 9400 block of South Nordica Avenue, was charged with two felony counts of aggravated battery. said Kelly intentionally crashed his bike into the 12-year-old girl, then punched and choked her.
A woman passing by the scene told police she saw the girl and her bike fall to the ground and saw a man standing over the girl when the woman passed the corner around 6:40 p.m. The woman said she “felt like something was wrong” and drove her car back for a closer look, police reports said.
Neighbors who came to the girl's rescue told the woman what happened, and she began following Kelly in her car after he had pedaled away from the scene, police said.
The woman called 911 and described the man as wearing a black shirt, jeans and a backward baseball cap, and riding a green mountain bike as she followed him in her car.
Police said Kelly was riding up and down different streets trying to give the woman the slip. She lost sight of Kelly around West 96th Street and New England Avenue.
Another woman who saw the attack told police that Kelly and the girl were riding their bicycles toward each other from the opposite direction when Kelly crashed his bike into the girl’s. Kelly reached out and put his arm around the girl’s neck as they talked to each other, reports said.
The second woman told police that at first she thought Kelly was giving the girl a hug. When Kelly threw the child to the ground and began punching her, the woman ran over to help the girl, police said. Officers said a third witness, a man, corroborated the second woman’s account.
As neighbors came to the girl’s aid, police said Kelly got back on his bike and rode away. That’s when the first woman started following Kelly in her car and called 911, reports said.
The girl told police she was riding her bike home on the sidewalk along 93rd Street when she saw a man riding toward her from the opposite direction. When she tried to leave after Kelly crashed his bike into hers, he blocked her path, officers said.
According to the girl, Kelly said, “I haven’t seen you around my house lately.”
Police said the girl told Kelly that she didn’t know him nor had ever seen him before. When he asked the girl if she was scared, she replied, “Yes.”
Police said the girl told them that Kelly grabbed her around the neck and threw her to the ground. The girl said she could hardly breathe and couldn't scream for help because she was being strangled and punched in the head. She told the cops that Kelly’s body was “half way on top of hers,” officers said.
Kelly was spotted running southbound on New England across 96th Street. Police used a trained police dog to track him down, and he was found laying flat against a fence in a backyard on the 6800 block of West 96th Street, police said. A green mountain bike and black baseball cap were found near the yard where Kelly was apprehended.
Asked if he had any weapons, Kelly told police that he had a knife in his pocket, police said. He was handcuffed and taken into custody. The girl and the woman who followed Kelly in her car both positively identified Kelly at the scene of his arrest.
The other witnesses were able to identify Kelly in a police lineup at the Oak Lawn police station, reports said.
The girl was treated and released at Advocate Christ Medical Center.
Kelly appeared in court on Aug. 31.