North Side school janitor tried to sexually assault woman at Bridgeport gas station, prosecutors say: “I want the girl!”

Andrew Arciniega | CPD

A man who reportedly works as a janitor at a North Side private school tried to sexually assault a woman in front of her two-year-old son at a Bridgeport gas station this week, prosecutors said.

Andrew Arciniega, 39, is charged with attempted criminal sexual assault in connection with the alleged attack at VP Racing Fuel, 659 West 31st Street, around 11:36 a.m. Monday.

The 27-year-old woman was buckling her young son into a car seat when Arciniega approached her from behind, grabbed her by the neck, and forced her into the car, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said Tuesday. The woman does not know Arciniega, according to Murphy.

The force of the attack caused the woman’s son to fall to the floor of her car as Arciniega — who stands 6’2″ tall and weighs 350 pounds — used his body weight to force himself onto the woman, Murphy said,

According to the allegations, Arciniega grabbed the woman’s chest, forced his face into her breasts, and fondled her private areas.

Murphy said the woman screamed for help and pleaded for Arciniega to take her wherever he wanted but to leave her child alone. Bystanders intervened in the attack. Some detained Arciniega while others helped her to the safety of a nearby store, Murphy said.

Witnesses told police Arciniega repeatedly said, “I want the girl” as they waited for CPD to arrive, according to Murphy.

Private defense attorney Adam Shepard said Arciniega works as a janitor at a private elementary school on the North Side. CWBChicago is not identifying the school by name because we could not confirm Arciniega’s status as an employee.

Judge Charles Beach noted that state law does not allow him to hold Arciniega without bail because the crime he’s charged with could result in a sentence of probation.

“This court cannot order no bail on its own,” Beach said as he set bail at $350,000. Arciniega will need to post $35,000 to get out of jail on electronic monitoring under Beach’s order.

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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 news@cwbchicago.com