Teacher at Park Ridge school charged with battery, hate crime in Niles
A fourth-grade teacher at a Park Ridge school has been put on paid administrative leave after being charged with battery and committing a hate crime after, police say, she struck an 87-year-old woman in Niles and called her an "(expletive) Nazi."
Nancy Sweeney, 45, of the 7000 block of Touhy Avenue in Niles, was charged Feb. 28 with one count of aggravated battery to a person over 60 years old and one count of a hate crime.
Niles police say officers responded to a call of a reported battery in a parking lot on the 7000 block of West Touhy Avenue at 7:47 p.m. Feb. 20.
Officers arrived to find the suspect had fled the scene after she hit the 87-year-old woman of German descent in the face with a purse, causing her to fall to the ground and suffer facial lacerations and bruises to her body, according to police.
The woman told officers she believed the suspect was upset she had been exercising in an indoor parking garage of the building in which both reside, police said.
Paramedics treated the victim at the scene, and she refused further medical services including transport to a hospital.
Sweeney's next court appearance is scheduled for May 11 at the Cook County courthouse in Skokie.
Sweeney, a fourth-grade teacher at Franklin Elementary School in Park Ridge, has been on paid administrative leave since March 4 while Park Ridge-Niles School District 64 conducts an internal investigation, district spokesman Peter Gill said.
That administrative leave began the day after district officials learned of the charges against Sweeney on March 3, he added.