For the first time, we’re hearing the chilling 9-1-1 call from the woman who was the victim of an attempted rape in Tinley Park. Former Chicago Ridge firefighter, Gary Swiercz, is accused of carrying out this horrific attack on the woman, who was a neighbor.
Listen to the tape, and you hear her terrified voice in the background.
“I was sleeping on the couch,” the victim can be heard saying. “I woke up and someone was there. He had a mask on and smelled like liquor.”
Investigators say the woman was brutalized at the hands of Gary Swiercz early Saturday morning. The attack took place at Ridge Firefighter who lived in the same building on the 81-hundredd block of 168th Place. Struggling to control her emotions, the victim gives dispatchers the details, describing how a masked intruder dressed in black held a knife to her throat, threatening to kill her, bashing her head against the floor when she resisted.
“He slammed my head on the floor as hard as he could several times. There`s a big bump on my head.”
The intruder held his hand over her mouth, the victim told detectives, dragging her into the kitchen. But before he could complete the assault, the firefighter fled out the apartment door, police say. When the investigation quickly led to Swiercz, prosecutors say he confessed to the crime, telling police he realized during the attack what he was doing was wrong.
In the minutes before police arrived, Swiercz apparently removed his mask and black clothing and went to the victim, who was on the phone in another neighbor’s apartment, talking to 911.
“Gary! I went up to you but you weren`t there,” she tells the alleged attacker.
Prosecutors say you can hear Swiercz voice on the tape. “I just came home,” he says. “What happened?”
“Somebody tried to rape me,” the victim responds, not knowing she’s talking to the man who allegedly attacked her. The Cook County State’s attorney office says the victim unwittingly viewed the firefighter as a trusted neighbor.