Less than three hours after a woman accused LaJuan Tucker of following her into her North Side business, telling her he wanted to have sex with her, and then calling her business phone repeatedly with lewd harassment, he walked out of the Rogers Park (24th) District police station on a recognizance bond.
The next day, Tucker allegedly raped a different woman and tried to rape another in separate attacks on the North Side, prosecutors said Monday. The first assault allegedly occurred just nine hours after he left the police station.
“He was, for lack of a better term, out prowling to find women upon which to commit sexual acts,” Judge Susana Ortiz summarized after hearing the allegations on Monday.
Tucker, 40, is now being held without bail.
On June 19, more than five weeks after the attacks, police released surveillance images of the man who allegedly raped the first victim. The police officers who arrested Tucker on May 10 for harassing the business owner immediately recognized him from the photographs, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said. So did the second victim.
By the time the images were released, Tucker was already in the Cook County jail for allegedly robbing a woman outside the Roosevelt CTA station one week after the sexual assaults occurred.
2 hours, 57 minutes
On the morning of May 10, a business owner and her family called 911 because a man who followed her into her store, saying he wanted to do inappropriate things to her, was outside. The same man, the callers said, had been calling the woman’s business line with sexual messages.
Police arrested LaJuan Tucker in the 2900 block of West Peterson, not far from the woman’s business.
He was charged with two counts of lewd telephone harassment and criminal trespass. According to CPD records, officers arrested Tucker at 12:03 p.m., and he walked out of the station on a recognizance bond at 3 o’clock sharp.
At 12:13 a.m. on May 11, about nine hours after Tucker left the police station, a woman exited her vehicle on the 6800 block of North Wayne and began walking toward her apartment building.
She noticed a man was following her, and she decided to confront him, Murphy said. The man assured her that he was not following her, but he then grabbed her breast, private area, and buttocks.
The woman, 28, ran to the door of her building and tried to get someone to buzz her into the building, Murphy said, but the man closed the door every time it opened.
“You should not be dressed that way if you don’t want this to happen,” the man allegedly told the woman.
“I just want some p*ssy,” he continued.
The man grabbed the woman by her pants so forcefully that the garment ripped. He told her he lives nearby and he would pay her to come over for sex, Murphy said.
She swung at him and managed to get inside and call the police. The man walked away.
The Chicago Police Department recorded the incident as a “simple battery,” according to records.
Laundry room attack
The same day, at 4:45 p.m., a man with a broken right arm followed a resident into their apartment building on the 6900 block of North Greenview, just two blocks from the first attack.
Murphy said the man walked around and made his way to the laundry room, where a 49-year-old woman was washing clothes.
The man initiated a conversation with the woman and claimed to be the building’s new maintenance worker. He invited her into the adjacent maintenance room.
Murphy stated that when she declined, the man smacked her on the butt and tried to reach up her romper. He dragged her into the maintenance room and shoved her to the floor, causing her to land on her arm and fracture her wrist.
The woman ran to the door and yelled for help, but no one responded. The man shoved her against a shelf and then onto a chair.
Murphy said he made derogatory remarks to the woman and ordered her to perform a sex act.
Suddenly, the attacker heard a loud noise and he pushed the woman away. Murphy said she ran out the fire exit to a neighboring building, where she pressed all the door panel buttons until someone let her in to call for help.
EMS took the woman to a hospital to treat bruises across her body and the broken wrist.
On May 19, police arrested Tucker in the Loop after a woman identified him as the man who took her phone at a bus stop near the Roosevelt CTA station.
She told police the robber had his arm in a sling, and cops found Tucker nearby with the woman’s phone in his possession, prosecutors said during a bail hearing the next day.
Tucker was already on bail for the phone harassment case and an earlier shoplifting case. Ortiz, the same judge who would later hear the criminal sexual assault allegations, set his bail at $10,000, which would require a $1,000 deposit.
She also held him without bail for violating the terms of probation that he received for aggravated battery of a police officer. Tucker has been in jail ever since.
Chicago police detectives released surveillance images of a suspect in the laundry room attack to the public on June 19. Murphy said cops who arrested Tucker the day before the assaults immediately recognized him as the guy who allegedly followed and harassed the business owner.
The woman who was attacked as she walked home from her car also saw the bulletin and recognized the man as the same person who assaulted her, Murphy said. Parts of that attack were also captured on video, he added.
According to Murphy, Tucker has ten misdemeanor convictions and three felony convictions on his record, in addition to being on probation for a felony and on bail for two misdemeanors.
Tucker’s public defender said he has six children and worked as a drywaller and laborer.
He is charged with Class X aggravated criminal sexual assault, attempted criminal sexual assault by force, and criminal sexual abuse.