Thursday, September 5, 2013

Investigation Continues Into the Attack On Chicago Cyclist, Jana Kinsman

The media fury has died down, but the affects of being attacked by persons in an SUV while biking in the Logan Square neighborhood linger for Chicago cyclist, Jana Kinsman.  The 27 year old owner of Bike A Bee was the victim of what police are calling an aggravated battery as she rode her bike north, near the intersection of North Kimball Avenue and West Wrightwood Avenue , just after midnight on August 20th. 

The driver and passengers that attacked Jana are still being sought.  The vehicle involved was a maroon colored Chevy Tahoe, or similar vehicle.  A witness at the scene identified the vehicle as a Tahoe specifically. There are a lot a maroon Tahoes in Chicago (start looking for them and you'll notice).  However, the vehicle involved as some distinguishing characteristics.  It has thin, gold pin striping just under the side windows.  It does not have a roof rack.  It has four doors.  Its vintage is not known, but it appears to have rounded features, suggesting that it is not a very old vehicle.  Here are stills taken from two known videos of the SUV:

The maroon SUV at the intersection of Kimball, Diversey
and Milwaukee shortly after the attack.
The vehicle just north of Kimball and Wrightwood fleeing the
scene, courtesy DNAInfo
The bottom photograph is from video taken by a security camera attached to the outside of a pre-school at the intersection where the attack occurred.  Jana was pulled to the ground by a passenger in the rear of the truck who had grabbed her messenger bag as she rode north on the right side of Kimball.  The top photograph is a still from video shot by the red light camera several block north.  In it, the vehicle is seen making a right turn onto either West Diversey Avenue or North Milwaukee Avenue.  Because it did not run the red light at that intersection, the red light camera did not photograph the vehicle's license plate.  Jana has confirmed that the vehicle shown in both screen captures above are the vehicle involved in the attack.

Chicago police seem to be taking this matter seriously.  They are treating this matter as an aggravated battery rather than a simple hit and run.  As a result, the CPD has assigned two detectives to investigate the matter. Jana and I met with them on August 23rd.  We looked at the red light camera footage together.  After Jana identified the vehicle in the video, the detectives told us they would obtain additional footage from other cameras, essentially following the vehicle through the city to the driver's eventual destination.  The hope is that once the vehicle is found, we will have the driver.

A few days after the incident, we thought we had identified and located the driver.  A friend of Jana's photographed a maroon Tahoe parked near the site.  We ran the plates and obtained the name and address of the vehicle's owner.  Police questioned the man and ruled him out as a suspect.  Also, his vehicle had a roof rack, a feature which appears to be absent on the vehicle involved.

Many people have sent us emails inquiring about the possibility that there is a link between the attack on Jana and a hit and run fatality that took place in the Rogers Park neighborhood several hours earlier.  On August 19th at around 6:20 p.m. an 83 year old man was struck and killed by the driver of a maroon SUV which may have been a Chevy Tahoe or Suburban.  The driver fled the scene and has not yet been located.  There is no reason I am aware of to believe that the two incidents involved the same vehicle or driver other than the fact that both vehicles involved were maroon SUVs.  Here is a photo of that vehicle taken from a red light camera near Rockwell Street and Peterson Avenue:

Photo of the vehicle involved in the Rogers Park incident.
Courtesy The Chicago Tribune
While we would appreciate any tips that can be offered by the general public, please bear in mind that the persons responsible for the attack on Jana may be dangerous.  Do not put yourself at risk.  If you have a tip, we can be reached at 312.629.1901 or via email at

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