CHICAGO — A DePaul University student is speaking out after being physically assaulted in broad daylight.
Cami Blechschmidt says she just left Starbucks at the intersection of Jackson and Wabash when she met someone she had never met.
“Every Tuesday I go to the Loop and DePaul to meet with a school counselor,” Blechschmidt said.
Around noon, while waiting for her Lyft ride, the student said she felt something behind her.
“I felt a hand in my pocket. I turned my head and there was a man right in front of me and he punched me right in the face,” Blechschmidt said. “We made eye contact and he just had pure hate in his eyes. Just anger, pure anger.
Blechschmidt said she was knocked to the ground as the man walked away.
“I was completely in shock and started crying,” she said.
Several nearby women rushed to Blechschmidt’s defense.
“Another girl who got punched, she came in crying,” Blechschmidt said. “She said ‘he hit me too.'”
About 15 minutes after the assault, police arrested 28-year-old William Livingston.
Blechschmidt later discovered that Livingston allegedly attacked four women in the area within 22 minutes.
“I was with the other three women. It was surreal to sit next to them. Just weird,” Blechschmidt said. “Four women in an ambulance after being assaulted by this man.”
Blechschmidt said she wanted the other young women to be as alert as possible.
“The best I can say is watch,” she said. “It’s really difficult because it happened so quickly.”
But police say this is not Livingston’s first brush with the law.
According to Chicago police records, Livingston has been arrested multiple times — including twice in 2017 for assault and battery — and he faced aggravated assault charges in 2016 and 2015.
Blechschmidt and the other victims are now wondering why he was even on the streets.
“I think he’s definitely a repeat offender,” she said. “They’re not doing anything to hold him back.”
Livingston now faces charges including four counts of aggravated battery and Blechschmidt hopes this time they stay.
“This guy has done this before,” Blechschmidt said. “Letting him go home doesn’t work.”
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