July 10, 2015 – Woman allegedly attacked by group near U of C campus with kids in car.
“They were walking around both sides of the vehicle – in the front, in the back – and as they were walking across, they were hitting my car, using racial slurs and telling me that I didn’t belong in their neighborhood because I was white,”
CHICAGO — Her car damaged, her nerves shaken, the victim of an alleged group attack near the University of Chicago campus spoke exclusively with ABC7 Eyewitness News.
Police say two people were arrested and charged, but Susan Pedersen says several dozen people were involved in the attack that left her two children covered in broken glass. They were in the back seat of the vehicle, which was left dented with the rear glass shattered.
“I’m very scared, very anxious, nervous. Just fearful,” she said.
Broken glass littered the pavement at 60th and King Drive across from Washington Park, where the attack took place around 9 p.m. Thursday night. Pedersen says she had just dropped off a friend at the University of Chicago when she stopped at a red light and found her car surrounded by several dozen young people.
“They were walking around both sides of the vehicle – in the front, in the back – and as they were walking across, they were hitting my car, using racial slurs and telling me that I didn’t belong in their neighborhood because I was white,” Pedersen said.
The group, all African-American, she says, kicked the vehicle and shook it violently. Her children were screaming from the back of the vehicle.
Pedersen said one person was on a bicycle, which the group used it as a battering ram to shatter the back window. The broken glass left cuts on her 3-year-old son, Benjamin.
Pedersen said a police car, which happened to be nearby, arrived and the group scattered.
Two juveniles were arrested, police said. They were charged with misdemeanor criminal damage to property – a very minor offense.
Pedersen says the crime damaged more than her property. She would like more serious charges filed.
“This is something that’s going to stay with me for the rest of my life,” she said.
But though Pedersen appears to have been targeted because of her race, there has been no talk of hate crime charges.