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College student attacked with crowbar in attempted Brighton Park carjacking: ‘I still can’t believe I’m alive’

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CHICAGO (WLS) — A 21-year-old college student home in Chicago for winter break was hit with a crowbar Monday during an attempted carjacking in Brighton Park.

The would-be carjacker hit her in the head as she entered her parked car at 12:20 p.m. in the 2400 block of West 42nd Street, Chicago police said.

The attack left her bruised and battered, but Isabel Cruz easily could’ve been killed.

“I still can’t even believe that I’m alive right now,” she said. “And I just have a black eye.”

Cruz had just left a food mart in the Brighton Park neighborhood and was about to get in her car when she saw a woman approach.

“I unlocked my car door, and it was maybe an inch open,” Cruz said. “That’s when she ran up and hit me in the face with a crowbar. And all I felt was just blood coming down. I thought that my eye was completely gone.”

As the woman tried to pull open her car door, Cruz said she somehow fought her off, got in the car and hit the locks.

Cruz said the attacker took more swings with the crowbar, scraping the window and shattering the side mirror before running off.

“Pure terror. I’m pretty sure the whole ride coming back I was screaming,” Cruz said.

Carjackings in Chicago have been on the rise, more than doubling in 2020 from the year before. Last month, Chicago police held a virtual town hall to talk about solutions.

“I feel like now people have to be more on guard, even just walking to your car,” Cruz said.

Last year, all 22 Chicago Police districts saw an increase in carjackings, with those thefts happening in the city at the rate of four per day.

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