My wife told me about this appalling local story. As reported in the Sun-Times:
A man choked an 8-year-old girl until she passed out inside the bathroom of a South Loop store last weekend, according to Chicago Police.
She was with her mother at the business in the 1200 block of South Canal when the girl went to the bathroom alone about 1:15 p.m. on May 7, according to Chicago Police.
The woman then heard a scream from her daughter and went inside to find 33-year-old Reese M. Hartstirn carrying the unconscious girl into a stall, police said. He had choked her with his hands, police allege.
Other people in the store helped restrain the man until police arrived to arrest him. The girl was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital, but police did not have information on her condition.
My immediate reaction to the story, of course, was relief that the creep hadn’t been able to go farther than he had. My second reaction was to marvel at how mild we’ve become. A couple of generations ago onlookers wouldn’t’ve stopped with restraining, at least not people of my acquaintance. Nowadays we’re lucky when people restrain miscreants until the police arrive so that eventually he can be tortured and beaten to death which we think of as the rule of law.