Palatine man charged in attack on Falcon Park runner
A Palatine man who authorities say sexually abused a female runner at Falcon Park earlier this month was ordered held on $750,000 bail Thursday.
Simon Alcantar-Cruz, 28, was charged with criminal sexual abuse, attempted criminal sexual assault, unlawful restraint and aggravated battery. If convicted of the most serious charge, he faces up to seven years in prison. Probation is also an option.
Police identified Alcantar-Cruz from surveillance video which they say captured him riding a black bicycle through the park around the time of the attack, according to prosecutors.
The 19-year-old runner noticed Alcantar-Cruz riding his bike and staring at her while she ran laps the evening of July 13, according to Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Loukas Kalliantasis.
She thought he had left and continued running, eventually reaching a wooded area, where she noticed his bicycle leaning against a tree and him crouching nearby.
According to Kalliantasis, Alcantar-Cruz tackled the woman to the ground, knocked her phone out of her hands, pinned her and covered her mouth to stop her screams. The woman fought back, dislodged him and ran from the area crying and screaming, Kalliantasis said.
She encountered an eyewitness who had seen her and the defendant in the park, Kalliantasis said. The witness also saw Alcantar-Cruz exiting the wooded area and the woman running, Kalliantasis said.
That person offered to help and called police. Officers subsequently distributed a flyer that included still images from the video surveillance of a male bicyclist, according to Kalliantasis. Later, someone who saw the flyer contacted police to identify the man as Alcantar-Cruz, whom the witness knew as Simon Alcantara or Alcantaro, Kalliantasis said.
Police arrested Alcantar-Cruz on Wednesday.