Arrest made in stabbing of Oak Brook doctor
A 56-year-old man is charged with attempted murder in connection with a weekend stabbing of an Oak Brook doctor inside a Chicago hotel.
Authorities said officers captured the suspect, Jimmy Harris, near Michigan Avenue and Delaware Place after he stabbed two people inside the Westin Hotel.
Prosecutors say Harris was out on parole for less than a week when he stabbed Oak Brook oncologist Mir Jafar Shah in the neck and face inside a bathroom at the hotel Saturday night. As Shah screamed for help, Harris punched him in the face, according to prosecutors. Shah defended himself and broke free.
Harris was caught across the street at the Cheesecake Factory. A bloody knife was recovered.
Family members said Sunday that Shah and some relatives had come downtown for the lights festival and dinner. Shah was released from the hospital. ABC 7 Chicago was told he was resting at home Monday.
"His wounds were very serious — coming within less than an inch of being fatal — but miraculously missing the critical arteries and areas. We're very lucky," wrote Shah's son-in-law Mahin Samadani in an email Sunday night.
Police said there was no apparent motive for the stabbing.
The incident happened as hundreds of thousands of people were in the area for the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, which had wrapped up just a short time before the stabbing.
Harris faces the following felony charges: one count of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated battery/great bodily harm and one count of aggravated unlawful restraint in the stabbing attack.
He appeared in bond court Monday and was held without bail.
Prosecutors say Harris was on a parole after serving half of a sentence for the 2007 slashing of a grocery store clerk. In all, Harris has nine felony convictions on his record. Harris was released a few days ago. He gave police a homeless shelter as his address.
The arrest came as police also were searching for the people who robbed a clothing store Sunday night not far away.
Approximately one block away from the hotel, an officer responded to an American Apparel that was being robbed. The suspect tried to run down the officer when he fled. The officer fired shots at the car, but the suspect got away.
A Chicago Police Department spokesman said officers would not be stepping up patrols in the area, despite the fact there were two incidents over the weekend. Police say there are enough patrols in the Streeterville and Gold Coast areas.
Chicago's police superintendent and the mayor say crime is dropping.
"This is something that happened, it's something we addressed and unfortunately these things happen in a large city like Chicago," said Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. "We are experiencing a 30-year low in crime in this area."
In both incidents, Chicago police say they responded quickly, showing there is a strong police presence in area.
"I definitely think the police do a great job. I think they have done a great job — especially in this area — of keeping it pretty safe. I'd think it might be a coincidence that in the past couple of days, things have happened in the area," said area resident Emily Smith.
Some business owners said off-camera they were more concerned. They said the area needs more police patrols, and there concern was amplified because of the holiday shopping season.
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