EVANSTON (Sun-Times Media Wire) - A 63-year-old man has been charged in four recent knife-related crimes, including stabbing a dog and threatening to stab a woman and her cat in north suburban Evanston.
James Collins, of Evanston, was charged with felony counts of armed robbery, aggravated battery and animal cruelty, according to a statement from Evanston police.
Collins was arrested Friday evening following an attempted robbery in the 800 block of Church Street, the same block where he allegedly stabbed a dog in November, police said. The knife-wielding Collins allegedly approached a 51-year-old woman and demanded her purse and duffle bag.
When the woman refused and said her service cat was inside the bag, Collins threatened to stab both the woman and the cat, according to police. Witnesses called 911, and officers arrested Collins. No one was injured.
Collins was also charged in an attempted slashing the day before at the Davis Street Purple Line station, police said. Collins allegedly grabbed a 68-year-old woman’s hand and tried to cut her wrist, which stayed protected under her clothing.
Collins caught the public’s attention when he allegedly stabbed a dog outside a Target store in the 800 block of Church Street. Collins allegedly approached an elderly couple on Nov. 23 and asked to pet their dog, according to police. Instead of petting the dog, he took out a knife and stabbed the dog’s leg. The dog recovered at a an animal hospital.
In a Facebook post, a woman identifying herself as the couple’s daughter said the dog was “out of surgery and stable,” calling the attacker “clearly mentally unstable.”
Collins was also charged in a Dec. 19 battery at a Burger King in the 1700 block of Orrington Avenue, police said. Collins allegedly approached the 19-year-old man and rubbed a knife of his arm, poking him several times. Collins left and the man was uninjured.
He was being held without bail at the Cook County Department of Corrections, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.
He was scheduled to appear in court Thursday in north suburban Skokie.