Man who stabbed woman, threatened her boyfriend with a hammer was supposed to be in court facing charges of attacking another victim with a knife and hammer, officials say

Allen Erenburg (Chicago Police Department)

CHICAGO — Allen Erenberg was supposed to be in court on Wednesday morning. A grand jury had returned a true bill charging him with seven felonies, including attempted murder, for allegedly stabbing and hitting a stranger with a hammer on Christmas Day.

He didn’t show up. Instead, prosecutors say, he was on the street that morning, stabbing a woman and threatening her boyfriend with a hammer.

Erenberg, 44, is now charged with attempted murder in two cases. He won’t have to worry about making it to court, at least not right now. Two judges ordered him detained as a public safety threat, and the sheriff’s office will make sure he gets a ride to the courthouse.

Christmas Day attack

As Santa was making his rounds at 1 a.m. on Christmas Day, Erenberg was in the 6000 block of West Fullerton, knocking a man off a bicycle, prosecutors said during a detention hearing Friday. He allegedly struck the man in the head with a hammer and stabbed him repeatedly with a knife. Then he got away.

Five days later, Chicago police arrested Erenberg after an incident in Roscoe Village. A 49-year-old woman reported that she was sitting in her car in the 2300 block of West Belmont when a man started shouting at her, then pulled out a knife and slashed one of her tires, according to a CPD report. The man broke out her rear window and fled.

Cops arrested Erenberg a few minutes later in the 2800 block of North Leavitt after the woman identified him as the offender, the report said. He was charged with misdemeanor criminal damage to property, and Judge William Fahy released him the next day.

Grand jury case

In Cook County, felony cases usually begin with prosecutors filing an initial set of charges after a person is arrested. Within a couple of weeks, they take a more comprehensive list of charges to a grand jury to secure a true bill.

That’s not what happened in the Christmas Day attack Erenberg is accused of committing. According to court records, prosecutors took the case to a grand jury first. The panel returned a true bill against Erenberg on January 17: one count of attempted murder and six counts of aggravated battery.

But he was never arrested to face the charges and failed to show up for his arraignment on January 31. The judge rescheduled the hearing for February 14 and instructed the clerk of court to send Erenberg a postcard with the new date.

There is conflicting information about which judge issued the postcard order, but their handwritten notes say Erenberg was never notified of the January 31 date because he was in custody for a misdemeanor when the indictment came down. We could not locate any court or law enforcement records showing Erenberg was in custody at that time.

Erenberg didn’t show up for the rescheduled hearing, either.

Another attack alleged

Around 11 a.m. on Valentine’s Day, two hours after he was supposed to be in court getting charged with attempted murder, a couple walked past Erenberg as he stood at a bus stop in the 2800 block of West Diversey.

Prosecutor says Erenberg took the 28-year-old man’s skateboard. The man snatched it back.

The situation escalated. Erenberg allegedly pulled out a hammer and a knife. He pretended to stab the woman and used the knife to cut the strap of her purse, officials said.

When the woman, 25, responded by throwing a cup at Erenberg, he stabbed her for real, prosecutors said in a detention petition. The blade entered her chest and punctured her right lung.

Both victims ran to a gas station and called 911.

Chicago cops stopped Erenberg nearby. They found “several knives” in his clothing pockets, according to the report they filed. Investigators also found CTA surveillance video that showed Erenberg tossing a hammer in a trash can, officials said. CPD officers recovered the hammer and three knives from the bin.

CPD’s arrest report said Erenberg is affiliated with the Insane Deuces street gang.

Prosecutors charged him with attempted first-degree murder, attempted armed robbery, attempted robbery, and aggravated battery causing great bodily harm.

Judge Kelly McCarthy detained Erenberg at the state’s request. To support her decision, she cited the evidence against Erenberg and noted that he has “several” convictions for assaults and batteries and “several” failures to appear in court.

The next day, Friday, Erenberg was taken to court to face the December attempted murder case that he twice failed to appear for.

Judge William Gamboney detained him in that case, too, noting that Erenberg “appears to show a pattern of violent attacks on individuals he didn’t even know.”

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About Tim Hecke 252 Articles
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. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com