An Arlington Heights resident who allegedly attacked a homeless man in an underground parking garage at 35 South Evergreen Avenue has been charged with Attempted First Degree Murder.
Arlington Heights Police responded to an emergency call from a victim reporting he was being attacked by an offender armed with an axe about 6:35 a.m. Sunday, April 16, 2023. Arlington Heights police officers responded to a call generated from an emergency call box in the underground parking garage located at 35 South Evergreen Avenue in Arlington Heights. While the victim was calling for help, suspect Mitchell Nowak, age 50, allegedly put the phone handle around the victim’s neck. Through the phone connection, sounds indicative of a disturbance were heard by the 9-1-1 telecommunicator during this call, and a police response was initiated. Responding officers arrived at the municipal parking structure and located an adult male lying on the ground — the apparent victim of the reported axe attack. The victim immediately identified the offender as a person known to him and provided police officers with the offender’s description. The victim was asleep in his sleep back in the underground garage when he was suddenly awakened by the offender.
Police recognized the offender by name and description as Mitch Nowak.
The offender allegedly rode a bicycle over the victim’s legs and rammed his genitals with the front bike tire, according to police and Cook County State’s Attorneys Office statements. Mitch Nowak allegedly proceeded to strike the victim with both ends of a medium sized axe while stating his intention to kill the victim. The axe broke during the attack.
Using the blunt and the sharp side of the axe, Nowak allegedly struck the victim’s feet, legs, hips and, finally, his head, Hook said. When the axe broke, the metal part hit the ground, and then Nowak allegedly struck the victim with the wooden handle.
The victim was able to reach an emergency call box during the attack, which resulted in police being dispatched to the garage. The offender fled on his bicycle after the emergency call was placed. The victim complained of numerous injuries consistent with the manner in which he was allegedly attacked. Some of the injuries caused bleeding and bruising to his face, head, hands and feet; and included a broken tooth. Nowak allegedly swung the axe at the victim’s feet, legs and head. When the victim was hit in the head, he experienced dizziness, blurred vision and ringing ears.
Nowak allegedly walked north in the underground parking garage, while yelling. He then allegedly returned to the victim’s location, and threw a piece of broken metal from his bike at the victim, causing further injury.
The victim was evaluated at the scene by Arlington Heights Fire Department paramedics, but declined further medical treatment. Police officers familiar with Mitch Nowak, who has an extensive criminal history, checked locations where he is known to frequent. According to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, police found Nowak near his mother house, where he lives with his mother, in the block of 1200 East Woodford Place in the Stonegate neighborhood.
When police arrived near his mother’s house, Nowak ran toward his mother’s house, but he was apprehended by police officers. Nowak was arrested without incident, according to the Arlington Heights Police Department. A subsequent investigation by detectives confirmed the offender targeted the victim with an intention to kill him. Also, Nowak allegedly damaged some of the victim’s personal belongings.
The victim was able to identify Mitch Nowak from a police photo of Nowak.
Arlington Heights police detectives reviewed known case facts with prosecutors from the Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney’s Office who elected to charge the offender with one count of Attempt Murder (720 ILCS 5/8-4)
Attempt Murder – Class X Felony (6-30 years in prison if convicted).
According to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, detectives gathered information that indicated Nowak had been harassing the victim for the past two years. At some point of the investigation, detectives learned that Nowak allegedly indicated that he wanted to clear the area of homeless people — “get rid of homeless people.” At some point in the investigation, detectives also learned that Nowak made hateful statements toward the gay community and Jewish community. At some point he allegedly made a statement that the July 4 Highland Park parade mass shooting was a great thing. He also made a statement that he identified with President Abraham Lincoln as a vampire hunter.
According to court records, Mitch Nowak has a criminal history that goes back to 2010, including aggravated assault, aggravated battery to a police officer, criminal damage to property, and resisting arrest. According to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, Mitch Nowak has held jobs as a carpenter and a tree trimmer.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office was seeking denial of bail, but Nowak’s public defender reminded the court that the victim’s injuries did not involve transportation to a hospital. Judge Ellen Mandeltort ordered Mitch Nowak held on $200,000 cash bond (10% does not apply), and ordered him to stay away from the victim if he was able to post bond.
Mitch Nowak’s next court date is May 12, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. in Rolling Meadows Cook County Circuit Court Room 108.
Allegedly, Nowak is also responsible for damage to property while in downtown Arlington Heights. This aspect of the investigation is ongoing. Detectives will continue working with the State’s Attorney’s Office to ensure proper charges are brought against the offender, according to the Arlington Heights Police Department.
Firefighters and paramedics from Arlington Heights responded about 6:52 a.m. Sunday, April 16, 2023 to a report that a man living in the parking garage at 33 South Evergreen Avenue in Arlington Heights was attacked by a male offender with a hatchet.
The offender fled the scene. Paramedics were initially on the scene without police on the scene, so apparently police officers were out searching for the offender. Initially there was no confirmation from the Arlington Heights Police Department whether a suspect was in custody.
The victim appeared to have signed a medical release form for the paramedics, who left the scene without transporting the victim. The victim and his belongings were located in the southeast corner of the underground parking garage near Sigwalt Street side. The male/adult victim did not appear to have any significant injuries.
Arlington Heights police were investigating the scene in the parking garage.
According to the Arlington Heights Police Department, at approximately 6:35 a.m. Sunday, April 16, 2023, officers responded to reports of a man wielding an axe damaging property in the downtown area. The suspect in this case has been arrested, and there is no on-going threat to public safety. Investigation continues and more information will be released when the investigation is concluded.
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