Prosecutors: Witness held man accused of attacking woman outside tavern until police arrived

RACINE -- A Racine man is facing attempted kidnapping and attempted sexual assault charges in an attack on a woman outside a tavern on Friday, Nov. 2.

It happened outside Tommy's near DeKoven Avenue and Jay Eye See Avenue.

In addition to the attempted kidnapping and attempted sexual assault charges, Larry Gillespie, 60, also faces one count of misdemeanor battery and one count of disorderly conduct.

A criminal complaint notes he has a criminal history dating back to 1989, with convictions for robbery, theft, criminal damage and burglary.

According to the complaint, police spoke with the victim, who said she was at Tommy's when she stepped outside to smoke a cigarette. She said when she turned to go back inside, a male suspect put his arm around her neck from behind, placing her in a choke-hold, squeezing her neck and pulling her backward. She said the suspect pulled her back outside and grabbed the front of her shirt -- ripping it open so violently three buttons were torn off.

A witness who was inside the bar said he heard the victim scream for help, and witness the male pull her back out the front door. He said he ran to help the victim, and the suspect tried running down the sidewalk. The witness said he prevented the suspect from escaping -- keeping him there until police arrived.

The complaint says when Gillespie was interviewed by police, he said he "was not taking his medications." When asked why he ripped off the woman's shirt, he said "he was a sex offender." When asked if he was trying to have sex with the woman, he "wouldn't provide an audible answer." He then mentioned a lawyer, and questioning was stopped.

Gillespie made his initial appearance in court on Nov. 5. Probable cause was found for further proceedings, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for Nov. 14.

Cash bond was set at $5,000.