Man attacked female joggers on Old Plank Road Trail: Officials

Karen Sorensen | 9/30/2014, 11:11 a.m.
The suspect was riding a bike when he knocked the two women to the ground, seriously injuring one of them, ...
Victor Hermida-Cortez

A New Lenox man who attacked two women jogging on the Old Plank Road Trail in New Lenox Monday night was arrested shortly after being hit by a car as he fled on a bike, Will County Forest Preserve District spokeswoman Cindy Cain said.

Victor I. Hermida-Cortez, 25, of 1021 Stone Gate, who also lists a Franklin Park address, was charged with two counts of aggravated battery in connection with the assaults.

The first occurred at about 6:30 p.m. when a 25-year-old woman was knocked to the ground by Hermida-Cortez as he rode his bike past her in an area where the trail intersects Bluestone Bay Drive, Cain said. The victim was able to get up and run from the suspect, she said.

About 15 minutes later, Hermida-Cortez approached a 19-year-old woman and attempted to give her a high-five as he rode past near the trail intersection at Constitution Road, Cain said. When she didn't respond, he came up from behind her, knocked her to the ground and told her he was going to assault her, she said.

The woman was seriously injured and lost several teeth in the attack, but managed to free herself and get away, Cain said. She was treated at Silver Cross Medical Center in New Lenox.

Hermida-Cortez then fled the area, but was struck by a car as he tried to cross Lake Road a few blocks away, she said. New Lenox police found him walking on the trail with his damaged bicycle and took him into custody, she said.

"It's very bad that this happened, but we're glad (the suspect) was apprehended so quickly," Cain said.

Hermida-Cortez is being held in the Will County jail pending a bond hearing.

Cain said the forest preserve district urges trail patrons to take precautions when walking or jogging. Always carry a cell phone, be aware of your surroundings and make sure someone is aware of where you're at, she said. When possible, bring a companion rather than going alone, she said.

Contact Karen Sorensen at Karen@TheTimesWeekly.com.