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Crime & Courts

Sleepy Hollow man charged with attempted murder, other felonies, in connection with stabbings

Prosecutors say Sleepy Hollow man planned ‘horrific’ attack on teens

A man charged in connection with a Sleepy Hollow home invasion, sexual assault and stabbings that seriously injured two teenagers planned the attack, the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office announced at a news conference Thursday morning. 

Fabian J. Torres was armed with a knife that was more than 3 inches long and other materials including a rope, heavy duty duct tape, pepper spray, bear repellent and items of a sexual nature, when he entered a home in the 900 block of Saratoga Parkway, authorities said.

The 32-year-old man, who lives in the same neighborhood where the attack occurred, made his first court appearance Thursday in Kane County.

Kane County prosecutors charged Torres with multiple counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, armed violence, attempted murder, home invasion, attempted aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery and aggravated restraint, Kane County State’s Attorney​​ Joe McMahon said. 

All are felony charges that could result in 74 to 245 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections if he’s convicted of all counts, McMahon said. 

Kane County Judge Keith Johnson denied Torres bail, and set the man's next court appearance for 9 a.m. April 17 at the Kane County Judicial Center. Torres remained at the Kane County jail Thursday morning.

McMahon called the facts of the case “horrific.”

"This is one of the most violent cases we have charged in my years as the state's attorney of Kane County," McMahon said. "Our job now is to go to work for the community of Sleepy Hollow, the direct and indirect victims of this violent crime and their families. These victims have been through a lot, and two of them are recovering from serious injuries."

The situation began about 12:35 p.m. Monday when Torres allegedly entered through the front door of a home in the 900 block of Saratoga Parkway, where a 19-year-old woman and her 17-year-old brother were home.

Doorbell camera footage that was played in court Thursday morning captured Torres on video moments before the attack occurred, McMahon said.

Torres had stopped in at least one hardware store Monday to purchase equipment to help him carry out the attack, prosecutors said in court Thursday. He carried the equipment in a black bag.

Once he was inside the home, Torres threatened the woman with a knife and ordered her to remove her clothes, before telling the 17-year-old boy to leave the room, McMahon said.

Torres is accused of then sexually assaulting the 19-year-old woman, and caused multiple lacerations to her hands and calf as she tried to fight him off. He also stabbed the boy multiple times in the face, head and chest when the teenager tried to come to his sister's aid, McMahon said.

The siblings remained in the hospital Thursday, McMahon said, and are expected to make a full recovery.

Torres fled the victim's home with a large knife in his right hand, but left behind his bag, cellphone and wallet, which had identification in it, McMahon said.

Torres walked north toward a home in the same neighborhood, where he entered a second house while armed with two knives, McMahon said.

Julian Riedl said he was watching TV when Torres came into his home through the garage, smoking a cigarette.

“He was this big sweaty dude and I was like wait, that’s blood all over him," Riedl said.

Torres grabbed for the 24-year-old, who jumped across the room and warned his mother to get out of the house, Riedl said. Torres got a hold of the woman, however, and demanded she drive him away from the scene in her vehicle, Riedl said.

The mother and son were able to talk down Torres, who told the pair "I'm [expletive] insane," took off toward Randall Road and Joy Street," Riedl said.

"She’s really thankful to be alive and then her heart really goes out to those two kids," Riedl said of his mother, Michele Riedl. "I don’t know, it’s like everyone's greatest fear, and we witnessed true horror."

Torres continued to approached several vehicles on the street and asked for a ride.

Officers located him a short time later, shot him with a stun gun, and took him into custody.

The situation drew a heavy police presence to the area on Monday.

Sleepy Hollow Police Chief James Linane on Thursday thanked surrounding police and fire departments, QuadCom dispatchers and Illinois State Police for assisting.

He also thanked the victims for their “bravery and courage, and reassured Sleepy Hollow residents that they still live in a safe community.

"I want to thank a 17-year-old brother who went to the aid of his sister without fear for his own safety," Linane said. "He is a hero."

It's unclear what might have motivated Torres to enter the first home.

Until Wednesday, he was listed on the Kane County jail's website as being detained on an "investigative hold." The department updated its website Wednesday evening to reflect that Torres had been charged with home invasion.

This isn't Torres' first run-in with police.

He'd returned to the area in October on parole, after completing a prison term for throwing a Molotov cocktail into a crowded Algonquin grocery store in 2011.

Torres was found fit to stand trial at the time, but ultimately pleaded guilty but mentally ill to attempted aggravated arson in 2014. The distinction means that Torres spent his sentence in an Illinois Department of Corrections prison rather than a mental health facility. 

Riedl had never met Torres before Monday, but he was familiar with the story of a man who had thrown a Molotov cocktail into a crowded Algonquin grocery store. When Riedl learned that Torres was on parole when the attack happened, he was frustrated.

"We’re just frustrated more that that family was harmed. Those poor kids," Riedl said. "That can’t be undone and we’re really frustrated with the mental health care system in general."

Torres was sentenced to 15 years in prison in connection with the incident. He was only required to serve 50% of the sentence, however, and received credit for more than two years he’d already spent awaiting trial at the McHenry County Jail on a $2 million bond.

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