7-time felon attacked Loop hotel worker with a knife for no apparent reason, prosecutors say

A longtime Loop hotel employee was critically injured when a man viciously attacked him with a kitchen knife while he worked over the weekend at Allegro Royal Sonesta Hotel, 171 West Randolph, prosecutors said.

Details of the attack were revealed during a bail hearing for Gregory Bell on Tuesday afternoon. The 42-year-old is charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery. Judge Charles Beach ordered him held without bond.

Gregory Bell and the Allegro Royal Sonesta Hotel. | CPD; Google

A 56-year-old man who has worked at the hotel for 20 years was arranging bedding materials in a service area when an elevator opened behind him around 1 a.m. Sunday.

Bell was inside the elevator. He was talking, but the victim had trouble understanding him and thought Bell was trying to find a room on the fifth floor, Assistant State’s Attorney Sean Kelly said.

The victim took Bell to the fifth floor and was directing him to the guest hallway when he suddenly felt a sharp pain as Bell began stabbing him repeatedly in the back and head, according to Kelly. He fought with Bell for control of the knife until three hotel guests came out of a room and saw Bell choking the victim while standing in the hallway with a bloody knife, Kelly continued.

The victim yelled for help in Spanish and told the guests that he was being attacked. They returned to their room for safety and called for help.

Meanwhile, the victim managed to return to the service area and closed the door that connects it with the guest hallway.

Police found Bell covered in blood and sitting on a couch near the fifth floor elevators with a bloody kitchen knife next to him, Kelly said. As cops were detaining Bell, the victim crawled out of the service area and collapsed in the guest hallway covered in blood.

He remains in critical condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Kelly said one of the hotel’s front desk agents recognized Bell because he tried to rent a room by paying cash without identification earlier in the night. The agent turned him away.

Bell has seven felony convictions, all for narcotics, and has an outstanding felony arrest warrant from Atlanta, according to Kelly, who said he did not know the reason for the warrant.

Assistant Public Defender Suzin Farber said Bell is homeless.

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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