October 24, 2021

Suspect being questioned in Sleepy Hollow stabbings, sexual assault

No charges yet in Sleepy Hollow stabbings, sexual assault

Police investigating a Monday afternoon stabbing and sexual assault in Sleepy Hollow are questioning a 32-year-old man with a history of mental illness, who previously served time in prison for throwing a Molotov cocktail into a crowded Algonquin grocery store in 2011.

Fabian J. Torres remained at the Kane County jail Tuesday evening in connection with the stabbing, which seriously injured a 17-year-old boy.

The Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office had not charged Torres with a crime as of Tuesday evening. State’s attorney’s office spokesman Christopher Nelson would not confirm Tuesday whether Torres was in police custody.

Investigators are not searching for additional suspects, Kane County Sheriff’s Public Information Officer Patrick Gengler said. Gengler also declined to say whether Torres was the man whom police were questioning. He referred questions about the investigation to the Sleepy Hollow Police Department.

There were no functioning phone numbers publicly listed under Torres’ name or the names of his family members Tuesday evening.

Court documents cite Torres as living in the 900 block of Saratoga Parkway, Sleepy Hollow, where the situation occurred Monday.

Sleepy Hollow Police Chief James Linane has said a suspect entered a home in that area through an unlocked front door before allegedly sexually assaulting and stabbing a 19-year-old woman. The woman’s 17-year-old brother, who came to his sister’s defense, also was stabbed. Both escaped the house and notified neighbors.

After stabbing the teenagers, the suspect fled the home and went into a neighboring house, where he threatened two other people with the knives, Linane said. It was one of at least six scenes police investigated Monday afternoon, Linane said.

Torres had been out on parole since Oct. 19, 2018, after serving time during a prison sentence for throwing a Molotov cocktail into a crowded Algonquin grocery store in 2011, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections.

In 2014, Torres pleaded guilty but mentally ill to attempted aggravated arson. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison in connection with the incident at Joe Caputo and Sons Fruit Market, where Torres formerly was employed.

He was only required to serve 50% of the sentence, however, and received credit for more than two years he’d already spent awaiting trial at the McHenry County Jail on a $2 million bond.

After Torres threw a lit incendiary device, customers – including an off-duty Carpentersville police officer – chased him out of Joe Caputo and Sons Fruit Market and detained him in the parking lot until police arrived, authorities have said. No one was seriously injured.

Torres had been fired from or quit the grocery store about a month before the Aug. 21, 2011, incident, prosecutors said at the time.

Before Torres accepted the plea deal in the 2011 arson case, attorneys had him evaluated by a mental health professional to determine whether he was fit to stand trial.

A psychologist’s report found that Torres was mentally ill when he threw the lit glass bottle filled with flammable liquid toward shoppers and store employees.

Prosecutors said at the time that everyone involved agreed Torres acted, in part, because of mental illness. The judge determined, however, that Torres was psychologically competent enough to stand trial.

William Bligh, Torres’ special public defender in the 2011 case, asked for funds to have Torres evaluated by a second psychologist, and the judge granted that request.

The case was continued several times for a status on the new evaluation. Attorneys ultimately agreed to stipulate to the findings of the original mental health evaluation, and Torres accepted the state’s plea deal. He served his sentence at Jacksonville Correctional Center, although it wasn’t immediately clear if he received mental health treatment during his stay.

When a person is sentenced to prison, they are first taken to an Illinois Department of Corrections “receiving center,” before a decision is made in regard to their placement.

Receiving centers have their own screening procedures, which can include mental health evaluations, Jacksonville Correctional Center Warden Randy Plunk said.

Plunk said he did not have access to files that would show whether Torres received mental health treatment at the prison.