Sheriff: Man killed child, stabbed woman over their Muslim faith

Authorities say a 71-year-old Plainfield man fatally stabbed a 6-year-old boy and inflicted serious wounds on a 32-year-old woman at their home Saturday, targeting them because of their Muslim faith and the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Joseph M. Czuba is charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, two counts of hate crime and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, Will County sheriff’s police said Sunday.

Czuba was in custody Sunday at the Will County jail awaiting his first court appearance.

Sheriff’s police said deputies were sent to the residence near the 16200 block of South Lincoln Highway in Plainfield Township at approximately 11:38 a.m. Saturday after the woman called 911 saying her landlord had attacked her with a knife.

Deputies found the boy and the woman in a bedroom, both suffering from stab wounds to their chest, torso and upper extremities, according to the sheriff’s office.

The boy, who authorities said was stabbed 26 times, was taken to a hospital in critical condition and later died from his injuries. During an autopsy Sunday, a forensic pathologist removed a serrated military-style knife with a seven-inch blade from the boy’s abdomen, authorities said.

The woman, who said she made the 911 call from a bathroom as she fought off her attacker, was taken in serious condition to a hospital with more than a dozen stab wounds. She is expected to recover, sheriff’s police said



Authorities said they located Czuba near the driveway of the victims’ home, sitting upright with a laceration to his forehead. He was treated at a hospital before being taken to the Will County Sheriff’s Office Public Safety Complex, according to the sheriff’s office.

Czuba did not make any statements regarding his involvement in the attack, sheriff’s police said. However, the sheriff’s office said enough information had been gathered through interviews and evidence to charge Czuba.

The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement Sunday evening saying the organization is “disgusted and horrified” by the boy’s slaying.

“We are in the process of reaching out to leaders of the Muslim community in Plainfield and surrounding communities to express our horror and condolences, offer any assistance needed, and make clear that we categorically reject anti-Muslim hate in any form,” the statement reads.

Will County Executive also issued a statement asking residents to remain alert and inform law enforcement if they become aware of anyone threatening others.

Words can’t express how reprehensible this act of violence is,” the statement reads. “My heart breaks for the victims and their family.”


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