4 years for Chicago man accused of attacking homeless woman with a machete

CHICAGO — A Humboldt Park man who was accused of trying to kill a homeless person he invited to stay in his home with a machete has been sentenced to four years, according to court records.

During an initial bail hearing for Joseph Crispino last summer, prosecutors said he invited a homeless woman into his home for shelter, then tried to kill her with a machete when she rebuffed his sexual advances.

Crispino invited the woman to stay at his home in the 3200 block of West Huron in Humboldt Park, then made sexual advances on the woman, who rebuffed him, a prosecutor alleged. 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, officials said.

When he swung the machete at her face again, the woman raised her arm in self-defense, and the blade struck her wrist, causing a wound that bled profusely, an assistant state’s attorney said after the incident last July.

Officials said Crispino told the woman that he “did not care if she bled out” and threatened to cut her head off if she moved. The woman begged Crispinio to call 911, and he eventually did.


The machete severed ligaments and muscles in the victim’s arm and caused bone damage. Officials said she would need multiple surgeries to repair the wounds.

Crispino has never been convicted of a felony before. His defense attorney last year said he was on disability for a traumatic brain injury.

But police never found the machete, and the judge who heard the state’s initial allegations against Crispino identified that as a “weakness” in the case.

Prosecutors struck a plea deal with Crispino, allowing him to plead guilty to aggravated battery causing great bodily harm in exchange for a four-year sentence from Judge James Obbish.

Crispino’s sentence will be reduced by 50% for good behavior and by another 468 days for credits earned in the county jail, according to court records. His parole date has not been announced.

Several felonies were dropped in his plea deal, including attempted first-degree murder, robbery, and multiple counts of kidnapping and aggravated battery.

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Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. He can be reached at tim@cwbchicago.com