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“Robbed, brutally beaten and left for dead.” Family shares story after finding father in coma after carjacking – NBC Chicago

When his father went missing in Chicago last week, Alford Lew felt helpless living 2,000 miles away on the West Coast.

He created a Facebook page to publicize his father, Jin Yut Lew, seeking information on the 61-year-old man who was last seen driving from his other son’s South Loop home.

Over the weekend, people who viewed the page helped the family find Lew at Stroger Hospital, where he had been admitted as ‘John Doe’ following a brutal beating near Chinatown .

Jin Lew had been “hijacked, robbed, brutally beaten and left for dead,” his son wrote online.

Lew was “incoherent and bleeding from the head” when he was found in the 2500 block of South Princeton Avenue last Thursday morning, police say.

Lew was taken in critical condition to Stroger, where he remains in a coma with possible brain damage, said Alford Lew, 35.

“It might be weeks or months, or not at all, in terms of waking up,” he said. “I want the person responsible caught.”

Police said they were investigating the attack as a carjacking, but did not report any suspects in custody.

Jin Lew raised his family near 24th and Canal streets in Chinatown and became a well-known and respected chef. His son said he was worried his father could no longer cook.

“He was well known in Chicago restaurant circles,” the son said. “He got so many jobs and trained so many.”

‘It’s okay?’

Tommy Duddleston was removing street sweeping signs shortly after 6am last Thursday when he found Lew slumped against a building on a sidewalk.

“As I go to get the sign, I was surprised…I was like, ‘Are you okay, mate?’ And he turned around and I saw blood on his face,” said Duddleston, a neighborhood superintendent who works for the Department of Streets and Sanitation.

When Lew did not respond, Duddleston ran to his vehicle and radioed the police and an ambulance. Duddleston didn’t realize Lew had been the victim of a carjacking until two days later when the news broke. “It’s really disturbing,” he said.

Carjackings have risen sharply over the past year – from 3 to 16 – in the Armor Square community area, which stretches from Chinatown to Guaranteed Rate Field, according to police statistics. In 2020, there were only two carjackings reported in the same area during the same period, from January 1 to April 7.

The recent violent attacks in Chinatown have rekindled concerns in the neighborhood.

In December, 71-year-old Woom Sing Tse was shot dead in a seemingly random attack as he walked through his building to buy a newspaper. A 23-year-old man was arrested a day later, but prosecutors could not provide a reason other than to say “sometimes individuals just do bad things.”

“Everyone is scared, and it doesn’t look like it’s getting better,” Lew’s son said. “We need to wake up and the city needs to get this under control. I grew up here. I know how it was 30 years ago. The city is almost unrecognizable now.

“He doesn’t deserve this.”

Lew immigrated to the United States in the early 1980s and “worked tirelessly” to support his family here and in China, his son said.

When his parents separated, Alford Lew recalled looking forward to the Mondays he would spend with his father after school. Jin Lew didn’t often cook at home, but when he did, it was his father’s lobster that he enjoyed the most.

“As a father, he provided everything he could to ensure that my brother and I received a good education,” Alford Lew said in an online post.

Jin Lew was a chef for about 30 years at Chi Tung, a Chinese restaurant in suburban Evergreen Park, working his way up to become a head chef. “He helped Chi Tung develop a successful business,” said chief executive Peggy Wu.

“Everyone respects him. He has high standards,” she said. a boss, he was involved.”

Lew has helped train dozens of chefs who have gone cooking elsewhere. “He has mentored so many Chinese restaurant chefs. Many of his students have gone on to become chefs at other restaurants,” Wu said.

Wu and his colleagues are devastated by the attack.

“We sincerely hope he fights through this,” she said. “He doesn’t deserve this. He worked hard all his life. He worked full time at the restaurant. He is 61 years old and still working hard. Cooking is his passion. And then, my God, it happened.

An online fundraiser to pay Lew’s medical bills surpassed its goal of $50,000 on Thursday. Wu said it showed Lew’s mark on the community. “You see these outpourings. There are a lot of people he has helped,” she said. “And now we just want to help out a bit and hopefully he can survive first and then recover.”

NBC Chicago

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