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Chicago Ridge Deputy Fire Chief Charged With Attempted Murder

Deputy fire chief faces multiple charges after police say he attacked a woman in a Tinley Park home invasion.

A Tinley Park woman was attacked in her home in the early morning hours of Saturday by a man wielding a knife. Police arrested a man matching the description of the attacker in the condominium parking lot who they identifed as Gary M. Swiercz. 

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Swiercz, a 49-year-old Chicago Ridge deputy fire chief, was taken into custody and charged with attempted murder, home invasion, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated attempted criminal sexual assault and residential burglary, police said.

Swiercz appeared in Cook County Circuit Court on Sunday where assistant state's attorney Dan Calandriello said that the deputy fire chief broke into his neighbor's home in his Tinley Park condo building in the 8100 block of West 168th Place early Saturday. Swiercz was wearing a ski mask and possessing a folding knife, duct tape, an 8-inch sexual device and lubricant, the Chicago Tribune reported.

According to the Tinley Park police report, the woman said a man entered her condominium home about 2:35 a., forced her to the floor and beat her. The two struggled and the man fled the scene.

She was treated at the scene for minor injuries, police said.

Firefighters close to Swiercz expressed shock that he would be accused of such acts, saying they seldom saw him get angry in 20-plus years of fire service.

His attorney, Colleen McSweeney Moore, also told the Chicago Tribune that the incident was out of character for her client. Swiercz was placed on indefinite administrative leave pending the investigation, Chicago Ridge fire officials said.

Swiercz is being held at Cook County jail, where records indicate that bond is in process. He's due back in court Jan. 8 in Bridgeview.

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IPFWGK1 January 08, 2013 at 02:00 AM
Were you raised to believe your guilty until proven innocent?
Jeeter Gerasi January 08, 2013 at 02:00 AM
Another one, Mary. Whether You wish to admit it or not, just stating the obvious.. As wren says: "it's uneducated, narrow-minded bigots making broad assumptions."
Jeeter Gerasi January 08, 2013 at 02:02 AM
leonard, Congratulations, you've just joined Mary's club!!
Mary January 08, 2013 at 02:59 AM
You are correct. So I take my comments back he is innocent until proven guilty. But if he is guilty then he deserves to be punished. The only point I was trying to make was that everyone should be treated fairly. That they shouldn't be judged on their race and only on the actions they commit. In a perfect world we would not see color. Goodnight.
Traci Summers January 09, 2013 at 06:33 PM
Lets all try to remember that this is "alleged".....We live in this country that is supposed to support innocent until proven guilty. My heart goes out to the victim, and also to the family of the accused----If this man is found guilty, he will pay his due punishment....if not, such a tragedy to "convict" a person based on what you hear or see in the news......there can be damage done that you can never repair...It IS an outrage that this terrible incident can happen in our own community...so close to home for us....but please lets try to refrain from making this racial, or political, or anything else. It is what it is- a terrible crime. Let our justice system do its job everyone.

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