Humboldt Park man invited a homeless woman to stay at his house, then tried to kill her with a machete, prosecutors say

A Chicago man invited a homeless woman into his home for shelter, then tried to kill her with a machete when she rebuffed his sexual advances, prosecutors said Saturday.

Joseph Crispino, 54, is charged with one count of attempted first-degree murder. Judge Charles Beach ordered him held without bail at the state’s request.

“I feel that you were preying on someone who was in a difficult position,” Beach said near the end of Crispino’s bail hearing. “You brought them to your home with what appeared to be an intent to commit a sex act or some other thing, and frankly, it just degraded from there to acts of violence.”

Joseph Crispino | CPD

Crispino invited the woman to stay at his home in the 3200 block of West Huron in Humboldt Park around 4 a.m. Friday, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Lindsey Patton.

At some point, Crispino made sexual advances on the woman, who was sitting on his couch, Patton continued. Crispino became angry and pushed his body across the woman when she told him she was not interested, according to Patton.

The woman told Crispino she was leaving, but he emerged from his bedroom with a machete and swung it at her face, cutting her chin, according to Patton.

When the victim tried to stand up, he allegedly grabbed her phone and pushed her back down.

Then, he swung the machete at her face again, Patton said. The woman raised her arm in self-defense, and the blade struck her wrist, causing a wound that bled profusely, Patton continued.

Crispino told the woman that he “did not care if she bled out” and threatened to cut her head off if she moved, Patton alleged.

She said the woman begged Crispinio to call 911, which he “eventually” did.

The machete severed ligaments and muscles in the victim’s arm and caused bone damage, Patton said. The woman remains hospitalized and will undergo multiple surgeries.

Crispino has no felony convictions, and his most recent misdemeanor conviction is a 2002 DUI, according to Patton.

His public defender said he has three children and is on disability for a traumatic brain injury.

Police did not find the machete, and Judge Beach called that a “weakness” in the state’s case.

Even so, he explained that other aspects of the case, like its random nature and the victim’s “defensive posture” during the alleged attack, convinced him to hold Crispino without bail.

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