Deputy Fire Chief in Deep Doo-Doo
Update: Dep. Chief has retired from department. Scroll down.
THE DEPUTY FIRE CHIEF IN CHICAGO RIDGE, Illinois Gary Swiercz, 49, is in jail this morning after being charged last night (Sunday) with attempted murder, home invasion, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated attempted criminal sexual assault and residential burglary.
Swiercz allegedly broke into the home of a woman in his condo building early Saturday while wearing a ski mask and carrying a folding knife. He also had duct tape, rope, a sex toy and lubricant, Assistant State's Attorney Dan Calandriello said in court.
Prosecutors alleged during a bond hearing that Swiercz put his hand on the woman's mouth while she was sleeping, then put a 3-inch blade to her throat and threatened to slash it. He held her hands together and forced her into the kitchen, where he pushed her against a cabinet, Calandriello said.
He threw her to the ground, grabbed her by the hair and slammed her to the ground multiple times, authorities allege. She suffered a swollen lip and a knot to the back on her head, Calandriello said.
Swiercz fled through the rear door of the home, and witnesses saw him throwing items into a Dumpster, Calandriello said.
People who know him are saying that this is so out-of-character for him that they do not understand what happened. Swiercz was put on paid leave yesterday by Mayor Gene Siegel who added: "There was never anything in his history that would make you think something like this would happen. I don't think there was any indication that something was wrong … It's really weird and hard to believe that this happened. That he could have done something like this."
Swiercz was formerly the Fire Chief in Worth, Illinois, until 2008 when he was hired on as Deputy Chief in Chicago Ridge. He is being held on 150,000 bond with an order that he will be required to wear a monitoring device if he posts his bail.
Chicago NBC News filed this video report:
View more videos at: http://nbcchicago.com.
The Chicago Sun-Times has MORE.
Chicago Ridge Fire Station (Google Street View)
Chicago Ridge Fire Department WEBSITE.
Update, Tuesday AM:
Swiercz has voluntarily retired from the FD Monday. His immediate departure was announced in a statement released by the Chicago Ridge Fire Department. He was released on bond Monday morning and transported to his parents' house in Worth where the deputy sheriffs attached a court-ordered monitoring device. He is scheduled for a preliminary court appearance Tuesday. More details HERE.
Hat tip: Tom P.
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