Just one day after attending a meeting to reintroduce felons into their communities, a recent parolee with a decades-long rap sheet and history of violence stabbed an Oak Brook doctor during an attempted holdup at a Gold Coast restaurant over the weekend.
Jimmy Harris, 56, had been freed from prison just eight days earlier.
Harris, who has past gang ties, has at least 60 arrests and nine felony
convictions dating to the late 1970s
Harris, who was living at the Pacific Garden Mission homeless shelter since
his release from prison, was charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery
and unlawful restraint for the attack on Dr. Mir Jafar Shah and a bartender
Saturday night after the Lights Festival attended by tens of thousands along the
After an evening out with family to watch the festival, Shah, a suburban
oncologist, went into the bathroom inside the Chicago Westin's Grill on the
Alley restaurant, where Harris approached him from behind and announced a
robbery. Harris stabbed the doctor in the
right side of his neck and face, Scaduto said, and as the victim turned and
started screaming for help, Harris punched him in the eye.
Shah tried to grab Harris' arms to "prevent him from cutting" him any
further and tried to pull Harris out of the bathroom so his cries
for help could be heard. Shah was finally able to break free and run back into
Moments later, witnesses saw Harris leaving the hotel with blood on his hands
and clothes and holding a knife. The bartender at the restaurant
chased Harris out the door and tried to stop him on the street, but Harris
turned and stabbed him once in the chest.
Harris was arrested in a bathroom at the nearby Cheesecake Factory
restaurant, where police recovered a bloody knife.
Shah remained in Northwestern Memorial Hospital on Monday with what
prosecutors said were stab wounds to the neck and face and blurry vision from
the punch to the eye. The bartender was released from the hospital after
receiving stitches for the chest wound.
Harris' latest arrest came a day after he attended the Summit of Hope event
at Malcolm X College, where social service officials offer assistance to former
offenders in an attempt to help them "reintegrate safely into society,"
according to the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Harris was released from prison Nov. 9 after a 2007 armed robbery in which
authorities said Harris stole and later broke several bottles of rum from a Near
West Side grocery. While trying to escape, according to court records, Harris
used the glass shards to cut a store security guard.