Attacker ‘wanted to rob’ women in Bucktown: Getaway driver - FOX 32 News Chicago

Attacker ‘wanted to rob’ women in Bucktown: Alleged getaway driver

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Natasha McShane Natasha McShane
Heriberto Viramontes (left), Marcy Cruz (right) Heriberto Viramontes (left), Marcy Cruz (right)
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Heriberto Viramontes grabbed a wooden bat, jumped out of the car and was gone long enough for one song to play on the radio, his alleged getaway driver testified Monday.

During that time, prosecutors contend, Viramontes attacked Natasha McShane, an exchange student from Northern Ireland, and Stacy Jurich, her friend, leaving McShane unable to speak and walk, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

Marcy Cruz, the alleged getaway driver, testified Monday against Viramontes, 34, who is charged with attempted murder, armed robbery and aggravated battery in the April 23, 2010, attack.

The women were on their way to Jurich's home in Bucktown in the early morning hours after a night of celebratory drinking when Viramontes allegedly attacked them in a viaduct in the 1800 block of North Damen Avenue.

Cruz testified that she met up with Viramontes at a private club at West Division Street and North Campbell Avenue that night. They drove over near Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center at Division Street and North Western Avenue, parked and had sex, she said.

Then they drove to Bucktown, crowded with people, Cruz testified, and Viramontes allegedly told her he "wanted to rob them."

After parking on a little street next to an alley. Cruz said Viramontes told her: "I don't want you to be involved in what I'm about to do."

Viramontes grabbed a wooden bat, jumped out of the car and was gone long enough for one song to play on the radio while Cruz stayed behind and smoked marijuana, she said.

He came back carrying purses, Cruz said, and told her to "drive off."

Later, he allegedly told Cruz, "The girls were really pretty, and that he did some bogus s---."

Viramontes also later told Cruz "if anything happened, to say that he got the purses from a crackhead," she said.

The attack captured international attention, and McShane has remained at home in Northern Ireland while her parents and other relatives attend the trial in Cook County Judge Jorge Alonso's courtroom.

Cook County prosecutors have said Viramontes and Cruz took credit cards from the women's purses after the beating and began a spending spree at a gas station at West Augusta Boulevard and North Western Avenue.

Jurich, now 27, has admitted on the witness stand she "never saw a face" during the attack, though, and may have initially described the assailant as a "black man." Viramontes is Hispanic.

A store clerk from the gas station also admitted he didn't see any blood on Viramontes the morning of the attack. Viramontes' attorneys maintain that if he had hit Jurich and McShane, he would have had blood stains all over his clothes.

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