Illinois Chief Facing Attempted Murder Charges in Bizarre Attack

An Illinois deputy chief is facing serious criminal charges after a bizarre off-duty incident that occurred over the weekend.

Gary M. Swiercz, 49, of the  Chicago Ridge Fire Department, is accused of breaking into a neighbors apartment, threatening to slit her throat, and attempting to sexually assault her. Police say Swiercz was wearing a ski mask and carrying a knife, rope, zip ties, duct tape, a sexual device, and lubricant at the time.

The incident allegedly occurred early Saturday morning. Swiercz reportedly struggled with the victim, then ran out the back door where he was apprehended by the police. He is facing charges for:

  • attempted first-degree murder,
  • home invasion,
  • aggravated unlawful restraint,
  • residential burglary and
  • attempted aggravated criminal sexual assault

Chicago Ridge Fire Chief Bob Musynski has announced that Swiercz opted to retire from the department effective yesterday. Following his arrest he had been placed on administrative leave.

More on the story.

Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News 

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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