The community is raising money for an Uber driver, who is a father of seven, who was brutally attacked and injured by four suspects who carjacked him in Beach Park on Thursday.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded around 12:10 a.m. Thursday to the 39800 block of Stoneywood Drive in Beach Park for a report of a man who had been battered.
Sheriff’s deputies arrived and located the victim, a 56-year-old man from Tukwila, Washington.
Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said the man was driving for Uber when he was requested to an address on Elizabeth Avenue in Zion to pick up a rider.
When he arrived at the location on Elizabeth Avenue, four men entered his car.
The Uber app instructed the driver to drop off the four riders at the Stoneywood Drive address, Covelli said.
As soon as they arrived on Stonewood Drive, the four men began beating the driver and shoved him out of his car.
They stole his grey 2010 Mercedes-Benz 350 and drove away in it, Covelli said.
The Uber driver had to call 911 from a local gas station because his cell phone was left in the vehicle.
Covelli said deputies located an approximate location of the victim’s phone near Green Bay Road and 33rd Street in Beach Park.
Lake County Sheriff’s Canine Axel searched the area and located the phone on the side of Green Bay Road.
It had been discarded by the offenders, whose physical descriptions were not known.
The Uber driver was transported by ambulance to a local hospital with numerous facial injuries, Covelli said.
The stolen Mercedes-Benz has an Illinois license plate of DW27466.
Covelli said it is not believed the residents who live at the Stonewood Drive drop-off address were involved in the incident. Sheriff’s detectives are investigating.
Joseph Kirin said his friend and colleague, Vasilije Stankovic, was the victim in the attack and carjacking.
Kirin said Stankovic was “brutally attacked, beaten and robbed” and suffered multiple injuries. Stankovic, a father of seven, is unable to work while he is recovering.
A GoFundMe account has raised over $6,600 for Stankovic thanks to almost 60 donors.
“They now have numerous new expenses in addition to the current and they could use our help to get them through this time,” Kirin said.
Mary Cole, a candidate for Lake County state’s attorney, said in a statement she was “heartbroken” after hearing Stankovic’s story.
“I am heartbroken after hearing the story of Vasilije Stankovic, and I pray for his speedy recovery,” Cole said.
“People in Lake County should never fear for their safety while at work. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for hundreds of workers in Lake and Cook counties because of the soft on crime stances by their county state’s attorneys,” Cole added.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division at 847-377-4000.
Earlier this month, two Uber drivers were robbed in Zion, according to the Zion Police Department.
Police said one of those Uber drivers was robbed by four suspects, who fired shots. Hours after the first robbery, the suspects forcefully carjacked a second Uber driver of her car and belongings in Zion.
It is unclear whether the suspects in the two robberies earlier this month were the same as the suspects in Thursday morning’s carjacking in Beach Park.