CHICAGO — A Cook County judge set bail at $800,000 for a Jefferson Park woman who’s accused of randomly attacking women, sometimes with a baseball bat, this week. Judge Maryam Ahmad said she viewed Denise Solorzano’s bail amount as “$100,000 for each victim… to protect women and children in the community.”
Solorzano must post 10% of the bail amount to get out of jail on electronic monitoring while her case is pending.
The attacks began around 3 p.m. Sunday when Solorzano pulled up next to a 33-year-old woman in the 4200 block of North Richmond and began yelling at her about “beating her ass,” said Assistant State’s Attorney Sarah Dale-Schmidt during Solorzano’s bail hearing.
Solorzano allegedly got out of the car and punched the woman several times in the head and face until the woman fell to the ground. She grabbed the woman by her hair and dragged her down the street, but she fled when a witness intervened, Dale-Schmidt said. The victim suffered swelling, bruises, and cuts.
Solorzano approached a 19-year-old woman in the 4000 block of West Lawrence about an hour later.
“What would you do if I punched you in the face?” she allegedly asked the woman before grabbing her by the hair, slugging her in the head and face three times, and pushing her to the ground.
Solorzano stood over the woman and punched her a few more times until a witness tried to stop her, Dale-Schmidt said. Solorzano allegedly pulled the witness by her hair, tearing out a chunk as she fell to the ground. Dale-Schmidt said the woman covered her face as Solorzano tried to punch her in the face and slam her head into the sidewalk.
Chicago police officers arrived as the attack was underway. They briefly chased Solorzano’s car but terminated their efforts after she ran a stop sign, Dale-Schmidt said.
The attacks resumed on Tuesday. This time, Dale-Schmidt said, Solorzano brought a baseball bat.
“What would you do if I beat you with this bat?” Solorzano allegedly asked a woman standing with her sister and a 6-month-old baby in a stroller on the 4500 block of North Mozart around 11:27 a.m.
She stepped out of the car and attacked both women, hitting them in their hands and arms as they tried to protect themselves, according to Dale-Schmidt. A neighbor recorded part of the attack on video. Those victims, ages 27 and 31, experienced bruising and swelling.
While police were talking with the victims, a 34-year-old woman reported that a white sedan lurched toward her as she crossed the street with her dog near the 3000 block of West Cullom. A short time later, she passed Solorzano, who was standing on the sidewalk with a bat.
“What would happen if I bashed you with this bat?” Solorzano allegedly asked. She struck the woman on the back, shoulder, and arms as she tried to get past her, Dale-Schmidt said. Solorzano fled in her car when a witness approached.
Police soon learned of another attack in the 3000 block of West Belle Plaine.
A woman claimed that a white car almost hit her as she crossed an intersection before the driver lurched and reversed toward her about four times, forcing her to jump out of the way. Solorzano yelled about the woman’s ethnicity as the victim ran to another woman who was walking a dog nearby, Dale-Schmidt said.
Solorzano pulled her car into a nearby alley and threatened the women with her bat, striking one on the arm and head, according to the allegations. Both women ran away but noticed a pink bumper sticker shaped like a crown on the back of Solorzano’s car.
Chicago police later traced the car’s license plate to Solorzano’s parents and found it parked in front of the family’s home on the 4900 block of West Lawrence with a pink, crown-shaped bumper sticker. Her parents told authorities that the car belonged to Solorzano, Dale-Schmidt said.
Officers arrested Solorzano. When a family member brought the car to the police, the bumper sticker was missing, Dale-Schmidt said, but a crown-shaped outline was still visible on the vehicle. Cops recovered a short black and yellow baseball bat from inside the car.
Solorzano’s defense attorney said she has “significant mental health issues” that she is working through.
Prosecutors charged her with three counts of aggravated battery in a public place, four counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and aggravated assault with a motor vehicle.
She has never been arrested before, officials said.