Woman allegedly attacked near Chicago college campus with kids in car

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The victim of an alleged group attack near the University of Chicago campus with her children in the back seat of her car talked exclusively with ABC7 Eyewitness News (WLS)

Her car damaged, her nerves shaken, the victim of an alleged group attack near the University of Chicago campus with her children in the back seat of her car talked exclusively with ABC7 Eyewitness News about the incident Friday night.

Police say two people were arrested and charged, but Susan Pedersen says several dozen people were involved in the incident that left her two kids covered in broken glass.

The encounter left several dents in the vehicle and shattered the back window.

"I'm very scared, very anxious, nervous. Just fearful," she said.

Broken glass littered the pavement at 60th and King Drive across from Washington Park, where the attack took place around 9 p.m. Thursday night.

Pedersen says she had just dropped off a friend at the University of Chicago with her daughter and son in the back seat. She said she stopped at a red light and found herself surrounded by several dozen young people.

"They were walking around both sides of the vehicle - in the front, in the back - and as they were walking across, they were hitting my car, using racial slurs and telling me that I didn't belong in their neighborhood because I was white," Pedersen said.

The group, all African-American, she says, kicked the vehicle and shook it violently. Her children were in the back screaming.

Pedersen said one person was on a bicycle - the group used it as a battering ram, shattering the back window, with glass flying into the third-row seat where 3-year-old Benjamin was seated. The broken glass left cuts on the boy.

Pedersen said a police car, which happened to be nearby, arrived and the group scattered.

Police say two juveniles were arrested. Pedersen, however, is still unnerved.

"This is something that's going to stay with me for the rest of my life," she said.

Police say the two juveniles have been charged with misdemeanor criminal damage to property, but Pedersen says this was more than a property crime and she would like more serious charges filed.
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