Prosecutors: Twice-convicted robbery offender beat a handicapped woman with her own cane. Then, he stole the cane.

Michael Duffy | CPD

A twice-convicted robbery offender beat a handicapped woman with her own cane, then stole it from her in Rogers Park this week, prosecutors said. The man was busted when the robbery victim recognized him in the emergency room after police took him for treatment following a separate incident.

Police responded to the 7200 block of North Sheridan shortly before midnight on Monday after workers at a convalescent home spotted 42-year-old Michael Duffy nearby. They said he punched a 56-year-old woman in the face, pushed her down, and then kicked and stomped her as she lay on the ground.

Duffy charged at responding officers and ignored their verbal commands, police said. Officers tazed him twice without any noticeable effect, according to a CPD report, and cops used an “emergency takedown” maneuver to get him into custody.

An ambulance transported Duffy to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston for treatment.

While he was in the emergency room, another patient asked to speak with police.

The woman, 54, told officers that Duffy was the man who took her cane, beat her in the head and body with it, then stole it from her on the 900 block of West Thorndale earlier in the evening. She was at the hospital receiving treatment for her injuries, she said.

Prosecutors said the woman has a degenerative disease that forces her to use a cane.

Authorities charged Duffy with felony robbery of a handicapped person; felony aggravated battery, and five misdemeanors. Judge Arthur Willis ordered him held without bail.

Duffy was convicted in 2016 of trying to rob a woman in Edgewater. Prosecutors said at the time that Duffy struck the woman, pushed her to the ground, and tried to steal her groceries outside Mariano’s at 5201 North Sheridan. Passers-by and store security detained Duffy for police.

He received a four-year sentence and was paroled two years later in January 2018, according to state records.

Duffy previously received a three-year sentence for robbery in 2009 and another three-year sentence for burglary in 2011.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is