The driver of a minivan fought off an assailant’s attempt to rob him near the intersection of Church Street and Darrow Avenue on Evanston’s west side this morning.

Evanston police say the incident happened about 7:50 a.m.

Cmdr. Jay Parrott says the car’s driver, a 54-year-old Evanston resident, had just dropped his son off at Evanston Township High School for final exams.

On his way back home, he was confronted by a man who blocked the intersection of Darrow Avenue and Church Street.

When the driver stopped his car, Parrott says, the offender reached through the driver’s side window and grabbed hold of the steering wheel and gearshift.

The man flashed what appeared to be a box cutter type knife, Parrott says, demanded the victim’s money, and cut the victim on the left arm, right hand and head.

When the victim still refused to hand over his money, the would-be robber fled on foot.

Parrott says the victim was taken by Fire Department paramedics to Evanston Hospital where he’s reported to be in good condition.

The assailant is described as a thin, 5-foot-11-inch tall black male, 35 to 40 years old, wearing jeans.

Parrott says detectives are actively investigating the incident — reviewing surveillance camera videos and interviewing several witnesses.

Top: The victim’s Dodge Caravan sits near the Church and Darrow intersection surrounded by police vehicles after the attack.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Not surprised!

    I was at Church and Dodge just last night and made sure all my doors were locked and windows up and constantly looking from left to right, right to left anticipating the same thing happening to me!!!  Sometimes I just roll right through the light here and at Emerson and Dodge so this doesn't happen to me.  Insane!!

  2. Not surprised either

    The area around the high school is out of control. There is already a strong police presence there but it's not working for some reason. I live in this area and my son goes to ETHS. I'm sick of my house being broken into and the constant violent offenses in the 6 block area surrounding ETHS. 

  3. Evanston Crime

    The Evanston police need to get crime under control, particularly in the area around ETHS. If Evanston residents do not feel safe dropping their kids off at school, they will start voting with their feet by moving out of Evanston. This will lead to declining property values, lower tax receipts and the inevitable downward spiral. The new stop and frisk policy is a step in the right direction, but the Evanston police need to get serious about crime and start knocking some heads.

  4. Safety near school

    Everything JSB said is correct.  Later that afternoon gunshots were fired at Church & Dodge.  The gun fight occurred just steps from the bus stop where there's usually a line of ETHS kids waiting for a bus.  I have 2 kids at ETHS.  Now the problem is – if one of my kids gets injured (or worse) by some idiot firing a gun by the high school – I'll never forgive myself for having moved to Evanston years ago & sending them to ETHS.

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