DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick announced today that Judge Joshua Dieden granted the State’s motion to deny pre-trial release for an unincorporated Willowbrook man accused of breaking into a woman’s apartment and beating her. Abelardo Zapata, 33 (d.o.b. 1/22/1990) of the 16W500 block of 91st Street, appeared at First Appearance Court this morning charged with one count of Home Invasion (Class X Felony), one count of Robbery – Victim 60 Years or Older (Class 1 Felony) and one count of Aggravated Battery Great Bodily Harm – Victim 60 Years or Older (Class 2 Felony).
On November 12, 2023, at approximately 8:03 a.m., Willowbrook police officers responded to the victim’s apartment for a call of a man, later identified as Zapata, who allegedly broke into the woman’s residence and beat her. Upon their arrival, officers found the victim, who is more than sixty-years-old, with visible red marks and blood on her face. She was transported to a local hospital for medical attention where she received eight stiches to the top of her head. An investigation into the matter found that Zapata was allegedly at the apartment complex walking with another tenant to her apartment when he kicked in the door to the victim’s apartment and entered. It is alleged that once inside the victim’s residence, Zapata attacked the woman, striking her in the face. It is further alleged that after striking the woman, Zapata grabbed the woman’s head and slammed it against a cabinet. It is alleged that Zapata took her cell phone and then fled the scene. It is alleged that after Zapata fled, the victim called 9-1-1 from another phone. Police took Zapata into custody without incident a short time later from a McDonalds approximately one block away.
“The allegations that for no apparent reason, Mr. Zapata kicked in the front door of an innocent woman’s apartment and then severely beat her are shocking,” Berlin said. “A person’s home is their sanctuary and people have every right to feel safe in their homes. Mr. Zapata’s alleged actions destroyed this victim’s feeling of safety and security. I sincerely hope that the victim in this case has a speedy recovery from her physical injuries and I wish her the best as she is now forced to cope with the psychological harm allegedly caused by Mr. Zapata. I thank the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office for their quick response to this incident and for the quick apprehension of the defendant in this case. I also thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Alexandria Levan and Eric Vincent for their efforts in preparing a strong case against the Mr. Zapata.”
“In DuPage County, we have absolutely no tolerance for the type of violent crime alleged in this case,” Mendrick said. “I commend our deputies for their prompt work in resolving this matter safely, as well as State’s Attorney Bob Berlin and his team for their legal guidance and assistance.”
Zapata’s next court appearance is scheduled for December 11, 2023, for arraignment in front of Judge Michael Reidy.
Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendant’s guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.