Waiter robbed, stabbed near hotel

August 14, 2006

BY ERIC HERMAN Staff Reporter

A waiter suffered stab wounds Sunday morning after being robbed near the downtown hotel where he worked, police said.

Two men attacked Cesar Garcia, 30, down the street from Swissotel Chicago at 323 E. Wacker Dr., authorities said. Garcia was in stable condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital on Sunday afternoon.

"Some guys come to my truck, and they stabbed me," Garcia said.

Arriving at Swissotel at 5:30 a.m., Garcia parked on the north side of East Wacker Drive, across and down the street a bit from Swissotel. Two men then pulled up in a dark sport-utility vehicle, possibly a Cadillac Escalade, said Central District Police Lt. James Sazama.

Wallet, cell phone stolen

One of the attackers punched Garcia in the face, while the other stabbed him in the left forearm and the inner thigh and outside of the right leg, Sazama said.

The assailants stole Garcia's cell phone, dropped during the attack, as well as his wallet, Sazama said.

Bleeding copiously, Garcia staggered across Wacker to the front entrance of the hotel, employees said. "They had to power-wash the whole driveway," one hotel staffer said.

On Sunday afternoon, bloodstains remained on the east and west sides of Swissotel's circular driveway. Blood stains were also visible on the asphalt next to Garcia's car.

Garcia, who co-workers said is from Mexico, had worked at Swissotel for only a matter of months. He worked in the hotel's basement at a breakfast restaurant called Geneva, employees said.

No arrests had been made as of Sunday afternoon, police said.