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A night of celebration that ended in tragedy

Mug shots of Heriberto Viramontes and Marcy Cruz by Chicago Police Department

It has been just over a year since Natasha McShane and Stacy Jurich were attacked from behind by a bat-wielding thug. He didn’t bother to threaten them with the bat in order to get their valuables; he just snuck up from behind and hit both of them in the head.

Natasha McShane had come to Chicago as part of a study abroad program. On April 23, she and Jurich were celebrating an internship that would allow McShane to extend her time here. They were walking home at 3:30 a.m. when they were struck by a mugger with a baseball bat.

Within a week, police arrested Heriberto Viramontes, 32, a reputed gang member, and Marcy Cruz, 26, who allegedly waited in a van and smoked a marijuana-stuffed cigar during the attack.

The two suspects remain in jail awaiting trial. Each faces 25 felony counts, including attempted murder and armed robbery. Meanwhile Natasha McShane languishes back home in Ireland, unable to walk or speak.

Lets hope justice prevails, and these alleged assailants will stay in jail. Unfortunately there are plenty of predators just like them stalking the city and suburbs looking for their next victim.

What can we do to prevent this type of crime from happening to us, or our loved one’s? Click here to read more.

Ed Kress
For over 35 years Ed Kress has been an instructor and student at the Degerberg Academy of Martial Arts, named "Best Overall Martial Arts School” worldwide by Black Belt Magazine. Master Fred Degerberg awarded Ed his 7th degree Black Belt in 2015. Growing up on Chicago’s Southside, Ed learned early in life to pay attention to his surroundings in order to avoid potentially dangerous people and situations. Along with local law enforcement officers and directors of campus security, Ed has developed a program which focuses on teaching personal safety on the streets, and as it relates to the high school and college experience. Ed has trained thousands of adult men and women as well as high school and college students to improve their personal and situational awareness and, when necessary, how to physically defend themselves using their brains as well as their bodies. Ed began his martial arts career when he started wrestling in 8th grade, taking 1st place in the Chicago Park District City Championships. He later wrestled varsity at Mendel Catholic High School where he was a Chicago Catholic League Conference Champion. During his college career at North Park University he was a Conference Champion and 2-time NCAA Div 3 national qualifier. He was on his way to qualifying for the 3rd time when a neck injury ended his college career. His record that year was 17 - 0. He continues to wrestle as Head Freshman Wrestling Coach at Loyola Academy. A position he has held since 2004.

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