Police seeking two robber-rapists, and shooter

Police seeking two robber-rapists, and shooter

By Joe Baker and Shellie Berg

By Joe Baker

Senior Editor

Rockford police are continuing to seek two men who attacked and robbed employees of a Wendy’s restaurant at 6300 E. State St. Saturday morning. Police also seek any information concerning the shooting directed at a patrol officer at Alpine Park, early Tuesday morning.

In the Wendy’s incident, officers are looking for two, heavy-set, black men. One was described as about 30 years old, 6 feet, 2 inches tall, weighing 240-250 pounds and wearing a blue, hooded jacket and black ski mask. The second man was about 6 feet tall, 200-230 pounds with some type of birthmark or scar over one eye. He wore a black, hooded jacket and had his face covered with cloth.

Deputy Police Chief Dominic Iasparro said the pair entered the restaurant shortly before 10:30 a.m. Saturday. He said seven employees were in the restaurant.

The larger of the two men was armed with a chrome-plated, large handgun, Iasparro said.

He said the two intruders demanded money and struck one of the employees, but did not cause an injury. The two men were given the money from the registers and the safe.

Iasparro said the robbers also took jewelry and other items from the workers, and then forced them to the rear of the store and

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into a cooler.

A 17-year-old girl was taken aside and raped by both men. That aspect of the crime increased the anxiety of investigators.

“It was a brutal attack. We’re very concerned,” Iasparro said.

After the robbery, the two men fled out the back door of the place and were last seen on foot, running away. Iasparro said just before the robbery, an older, gray Oldsmobile Delta 88, four-door sedan was seen in the immediate area.

Police indicated the crime was somewhat unusual in that it was a daylight attack, and a sexual assault was part of the incident.

Anyone with any knowledge of the described vehicle or the two robbery suspects is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 963-7867 or the Rockford Police Department at 987-5824.

Shooter fires at officer

The Rockford Police Department also seeks any information concerning the shooting directed at patrol officer, Mark Sorensen, early Tuesday morning at Alpine Park on Alpine Road.

Sorensen was parked in a squad car on Alpine Road, facing north, up against the park’s sign. He was writing reports and using his radar. Police Chief Jeff Nielsen stated that particular area is common for officers on night shifts to run radar and write reports.

An unknown individual shot at four-year Rockford officer Sorensen, 30, six times and fled on foot at 3 a.m. “The officer saw nothing,” Nielsen noted. “He heard gunshots.”

One bullet entered the car and passed right in front of the officer. Nielsen said the shooter had to be about 15 feet away and used a 9 mm handgun.

After being shot at, Sorensen accelerated and ran into a telephone pole. He got out of the car and called for help.

He was taken to St. Anthony Medical Center, was treated for minor injuries and was released Tuesday morning.

Nielsen said he is unaware of problems, including possible drug activity, in the area. “Not much goes on there,” Nielsen noted. He also indicated he doesn’t know whether the shooting was random.

“I can’t tell you if he was targeted,” he said. “We don’t have a clue. We are sure we have an attempted killer on the loose.”

Nielsen urges anyone who has information to call Crime Stoppers at 963-7867 or the Rockford Police Department at 987-5824.

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