Chicago man abducted 16-year-old girl, tried to sexually assault woman during home invasion: prosecutors

CHICAGO — Prosecutors have charged a Chicago man with randomly attacking two females since 2022, abducting and choking a 16-year-old girl from a Northwest Side street, and later attacking and trying to sexually assault a pregnant woman during a home invasion.

Cook County Judge William Fahy twice cited “excellent investigative work” by the Chicago Police Department as he ordered Denzel Tyree, 29, detained to await trial.

“To characterize [the allegations] as absolutely horrifying is an understatement,” Fahy said. “Thankfully, because [the women] were brave enough to resist the defendant’s efforts, they survived.”

Assistant State’s Attorney Alexandra Rafajko told Fahy the first attack occurred around 9:30 a.m. on June 26, 2022, in the 5500 block of West Wellington.

The teenager was walking toward a park when Tyree, wearing a mask, confronted her with a pocket knife, grabbed her, and ordered her to get into the back of his SUV, Rafajko said, according to a transcript of the detention proceeding.

Denzel Tyree (Chicago Police Department)

She said the girl struggled and kicked Tyree, but he managed to get her into the vehicle. When the girl took out her phone to call for help, he ripped it away and tossed it somewhere inside the car, Rafajko alleged.

Tyree climbed on top of the girl, strangling her with both hands until she could not speak or breathe, Rafajko continued. She said the girl lost her vision momentarily as Tyree ordered her to stop resisting.

Rafajko said the girl received several cuts on her elbow, side, hands, and thigh during the struggle. One of the injuries required stitches.

She explained that Tyree stopped choking the girl, climbed behind the wheel of the vehicle, and drove away with the victim still in the back of the SUV. The teen was finally able to open one of the rear doors. She bailed out, screaming, and received help from a nearby resident, according to the transcript.

Using footage from a series of city and private surveillance cameras, Chicago police officers tracked the SUV from the moment the girl escaped until Tyree pulled into a carwash a few minutes later, said Rafajko. A camera business captured footage of Tyree’s face when he rolled down his window to pay for the carwash.

Police executed a search warrant on Tyree’s silver Jeep Grand Cherokee and recovered the victim’s DNA on a swab of its interior, Rafajko said. He would later tell investigators that his Jeep had been stolen on the day of the attack, but Rafajko said CPD found no record of a report being filed.

Rafajko did not explain why charges were not approved in the case before now.

Meanwhile, the second woman, who was six months pregnant, was attacked in the 2600 block of North Lavergne on January 26 of this year. Rafajko said the woman was home alone around 9:30 a.m. after her partner and one of his relatives left for work.

She was in and out of sleep until she heard her bedroom door open. She pulled out her phone to shine a light on the intruder. It was Tyree, dressed entirely in black, Rafajko said.

He climbed into her bed, kneeled at her side, and began choking her with both hands as she screamed, Rafajko alleged. She said Tyree didn’t say anything other than telling her to be quiet and “shushing” her.

When the woman asked if he wanted money, he responded by “shushing” her again, Rafajko continued.

This story is made possible by contributions to the Cook County Courtroom Transparency Fund.

After removing his hands from her neck, he pulled down his pants and reached for his groin, Rafajko said. The victim got up and ran to the front door. He cut her off, pushed her onto a couch, and began punching her in the head and choking her again, according to the allegations.

He again pulled down his pants and removed his privates, but then noticed that she was pregnant and stopped, Rafajko stated. He ran out the door after trying, but failing, to hit the woman with a vase.

DNA testing found Tyree’s genetic profile on the t-shirt the victim wore during the attack, Rafajko claimed. She said surveillance video showed him running up the street and fleeing in a rental car that Chicago cops traced back to Tyree. The victim picked him out in a photo line-up about ten days after the attack.

Assistant Public Defender Joseph Crawford argued against putting Tyree in jail, pointing out that the first victim could not “confidently” identify him.

While Tyree admitted to being at the second victim’s building on the day of the attack, Crawford said that he “adamantly” denies that he’s the perpetrator. Tyree claims he only went to the building to sell some weed, according to Crawford. 

The charges against Tyree include home invasion, attempted criminal sexual assault during the commission of a felony, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, and aggravated battery by strangulation.

About Tim Hecke 378 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