Man donned catcher’s mask, stabbed woman with chef’s knife in Grant Park: prosecutors

CHICAGO — After being called a pedophile by a woman at the Grant Park skate park on Saturday, Joshua Shaw walked to his nearby home, fetched three large kitchen knives, and returned to the park wearing a baseball catcher’s mask, officials say.

When the woman engaged him in another argument, Shaw pulled out two of the chef’s knives and stabbed the woman once in her chest, leaving her in critical condition, prosecutors alleged during a bail hearing Tuesday afternoon.

“This is a horrendous crime that’s committed in the park for an incident that should have been over with just words exchanged,” Judge William Fahy said before holding Shaw in lieu of $500,000 bail. Shaw must post 10% of the bail amount to go home on electronic monitoring.

Shaw, 43, and the 25-year-old woman are regulars at the skate park, but they got into a “verbal back and forth” on Friday when the woman saw Shaw talking with a younger person, Assistant State’s Attorney Victor Aberdeen told the judge.

Believing that Shaw was bothering the younger person, the woman told Shaw to leave them alone.

The two locked horns again when they both showed up at the skate park, 1135 South Michigan, on Saturday evening, according to Aberdeen. He said Shaw confronted the woman about the previous day’s incident, and the woman accused him of being a pedophile and told him to leave.

Joshua Shaw and the Grant Park skate park. | Chicago Police Department; Paul R. Burley

Shaw walked to his home in the 800 block of South Financial Place, put three large knives in a black backpack, then returned to the park while wearing a red catcher’s mask, Aberdeen said.

“Like a baseball catcher’s mask?” the judge inquired.

“Correct,” Aberdeen confirmed.

With a large knife in each hand, Shaw got into an argument with the woman and stabbed her once in the chest, according to Aberdeen. The woman fell backward onto a skate ramp, bleeding badly. She remains in critical condition.

Aberdeen claimed that the woman did not have any weapons, a statement that caused Shaw to speak up in court. His public defender later pointed out that the Chicago police report did not say that the woman was unarmed, only that police did not find any weapons when they arrived.

The case “might be an issue of self-defense,” the lawyer continued.

Chicago cops found Shaw on a CTA bus on Michigan Avenue. He had the catcher’s mask and a backpack containing three chef’s knives, one covered with blood, Aberdeen said.

Shaw has two prior felony convictions: felony retail theft and manufacture-delivery of marijuana.

He lives with his wife and two kids in the Loop.

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