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Chicago Deputy Fire Chief Arrested on with Multiple Charges

Posted on in Criminal Defense

A Chicago Ridge deputy fire chief has been charged with attempted murder, home invasion, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated attempted criminal sexual assault and residential burglary after he allegedly broke into a neighbor's home wearing a ski mask and carrying a knife.

Gary Swiercz, 49, who has been with the department for over twenty years, was placed on paid leave right after his arrest, but retired the following day.

According to reports in the Chicago Tribune, prosecutors say Swiercz broke into the home of a woman in his condo building while wearing a ski mask and carrying a folding knife. He also had duct tape, rope, a sex toy and lubricant. He put his hand on the woman's mouth while she was sleeping, then put a 3-inch blade to her throat and threatened to slash it. He held her hands together and forced her into the kitchen, where he pushed her against a cabinet, and then he threw her to the ground, grabbed her by the hair and slammed her to the ground multiple times. The victim suffered a swollen lip and a knot to the back on her head.

When Swiercz ran out of the back door of the woman’s condo, she ran upstairs to his apartment – not realizing that he was the man who had just attacked her because of the mask. She knew that Swiercz was a firefighter and thought he would be able to help her.

In the meantime, Swiercz was outside in the parking lot, throwing items in the dumpster, according to eye-witness reports. When police arrived, an officer who was questioning Swiercz noticed black makeup around his eyes. According to police reports, the defendant told police he had donned a mask and gloves and entered the woman's apartment, covered her mouth with his hand and held a knife to her throat. The two struggled. He also allegedly told police "he realized in the middle of the home invasion that he was a public servant and he should not be doing this, and that's when he ran out."

Swiercz is free on $150,000 bond and was ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device. If you have been arrested and charged with a violent crime, you need to hire an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney to make sure your rights as a defendant are protected in the courtroom.

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