Chicago Ridge deputy fire chief charged with attempted murder - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Deputy fire chief accused of violent attack released to home confinement

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TINLEY PARK, Ill. (FOX 32 News) -

The former Chicago Ridge deputy fire chief accused of a terrifying attack appeared in court Tuesday. Details on what happened when he broke into his neighbor's apartment came out during proceedings.

Gary Swiercz, 49, appeared in court Tuesday.

An assistant state's attorney asked the judge to reconsider that bond, saying the former Chicago Ridge Fire Department is a threat to public safety. The judge did not change bond Tuesday.

Swiercz stood in line outside the courthouse Tuesday morning, to go through security. He was alone, without legal counsel, police escort of family.

He is charged with attempted murder, home invasion, attempted criminal sexual assault, and burglary. Since he has no criminal background and bond was already set, he was released to home confinement.

His defense attorney got him a police escort out of the building and he had no comment.

Prosecutors said in court Tuesday that Swiercz broke into his neighbor's home Saturday, in the same Tinley Park building where he lived. They said he wore a ski mask and brought a knife, rope, and sexual device.

Police said Swiercz told them that while beating the woman, he realized he was a public servant and he shouldn't be doing that - so he ran out.

Prosecutors also said the victim didn't see his face because he was wearing a mask. After she got free, she actually ran to his door because she remembered her neighbor was a firefighter – and thought he could help her. She didn't find out until later that he was her alleged attacker.

Police said he was outside depositing evidence into a garbage can - evidence police said they later recovered.

After Gary Swiercz posted $150,000 dollars bond Monday morning, and he was escorted to his parent's suburban home where he will be electronically monitored. However, no one came to the door to make any comment Monday night.

One neighbor off camera told FOX 32 News that she heard the screams early Saturday morning coming from the victim's apartment located on the 8100 block of West 168th Place and called for help.

Inside, prosecutors said Swiercz slammed the victim to the ground multiple times. After a struggle, he allegedly ran out the back door. Police found him in the condo's parking lot.

Frank Katula lives nearby and said he never felt comfortable around Swiercz.

"He was just kind of creepy, didn't look, weird, rude, wouldn't wave back, odd," Katula said. "[He] seemed like an odd guy."

According to Chief Bob Musynski of the Chicago Ridge Fire Department, 24-year veteran Swiercz retired from the department effective Monday.

Chicago Ridge Mayor Gene Siegel, who is out of town, told FOX 32 over the phone, that there had never been any complaints about Swiercz during the 24 years he was with the department. He added all potential hires are given a psychological exam.

Neighbors expressed shock that a man who also once served as fire chief for the worth fire department could be charged with such a violent crime.

"I would never have expected it to be in my neighborhood ever, so this is freaking me out totally," Kathleen Rees says. "I cannot believe couple doors down could have happened that bad."

The victim in this attack suffered minor injuries and was treated on the scene.

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