By many accounts, the cluster of houses and apartments in a leafy area behind The Home Depot in Orland Park is a safe and family-friendly place.It’s a quiet community where people feel free to walk their dogs and let their children play outside without fear.Thus it came as a shock to many residents that a homeless man pushed down and allegedly sexually assaulted an 83-year-old woman Friday morning in a nearby field.Dennis D. Dodson Jr., 34, who was arrested later Friday and charged with one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault, a Class X felony, was ordered held on $1.5 million bond Monday, prosecutors said.
A preliminary hearing was set for Oct. 14.The victim previously had given the man food and money in an attempt to help him out, according to court records. Prosecutors said the man lived in the nearby wooded area.The alleged incident has left residents wary.“All the time now, you step out of the door and you start looking behind you,” said Zena Lux, who lives in a nearby condominium complex.Prosecutors said the victim met Dodson last Thursday, a day before the attack. Walking home from a nearby bank, she cut behind The Home Depot, 7300 W. 159th St., as a shortcut, according to court records.
She gave Dodson $5 and food and went home and sought help to find him a place to stay.She returned later and brought him $10 and some crackers. That evening, she reached out to both her church and the Salvation Army to find him a place to stay. Both told her to call police and request that they do a well-being check on the man, court records said.The woman returned on Friday to tell Dodson police would come to check on him. She noticed Dodson lying on the ground with beer cans around him, court records said. He became agitated that she called police and grabbed her by the shoulders.
He then began kissing her and tried to force his tongue into her mouth, court records said.He threw her to the ground and sexually assaulted her. He put his hand over her mouth during the assault as she screamed, then rode away on a bicycle, prosecutors said.The woman crawled through a fence to her home and called police. She suffered internal injuries in addition to bruises and scrapes on her back, and was taken to South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest for treatment, police said.Dodson was located by police at 9:45 p.m. Friday at 170th Street and Harlem Avenue, less than two miles away from the site of the attack, police said.Orland Park resident Sherri Kuzmar, who lives with her 79-year-old mother Shirley Ford in a complex near where the attack took place, said it was unfortunate a good Samaritan got hurt.“It’s a shame that someone out of the kindness of her heart does something for someone else and this is what happens to her,” Kuzmar said.Homeowner Jason Soldat said it has caused him and his neighbors to be on “pins and needles.”“It will definitely stop people from helping the homeless,” he said. “They’ll call the police.”Kuzmar has lived in the apartment with her mother the past seven years. She said the only reason the incident became such a big story was because it occurred in such a tranquil area.“There’s good and there’s bad,” she said. “People are going to do aggressive, abnormal, cruel things. It just happened in Orland Park.”
In: Regional News
Tags: Homeless, man, rapes, elderly, woman, who, feeds, him
Location: Indialantic, Florida, United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved
Views: 2955 | Comments: 20 | Votes: 2 | Favorites: 1 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
|Liveleak on Facebook|