A man charged with punching a River North security guard in a brutal attack that was caught on camera over the weekend appeared in court Wednesday for a bond hearing.
Matthew De Leon, 23, of the 4900 block of West Eddy Street in Chicago, was charged late Tuesday with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, aggravated battery in a public place and aggravated battery a peace officer. He was held in lieu of $250,000.
De Leon's attorney, Richard Fenbert, said the Army soldier who had served a nine-month tour in Afghanistan. He was scheduled to return to his military post in Hawaii but will now stay in jail. Fenbert said he did not believe De Leon would be posting bail.
"I do not know if the family is going to be able to do that," he told NBC 5.
Community activist Dawn Valenti, who claims to also be a family friend of the man, said De Leon only vaguely remembers what happened after a night out drinking.
"He's very sorry for what he did," Valenti said. "He is very remorseful. He turned himself in because he knew that was the right thing to do."
In the video, security guard Zoa Stigler is shown being punched in the face. The guard says she now requires surgery after the attack.
“He fractured a bone right below my eye,” Stigler, a guard at the Six30 condo complex, told NBC 5. “He punched me and threw his water bottle all at the same time. I was expecting the water, not a punch.”
According to Stigler, she found the unidentified man nearly passed out and vomiting in front of the complex around 2 a.m., and when she asked him and his friends to move along, he allegedly punched her in the face without warning.
“He didn’t show any remorse. He didn’t say anything, and he just punched me,” she said.
The condo complex Stigler works at recently installed security cameras, citing an increase in foot traffic around the area’s bar scene, and the incident was caught on tape.
Stigler said she is still upset, but also relieved that the accused man has been caught.
Stigler still faces a long road to recovery. She will also be off of work until her injuries heal.
A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help Stigler in her recovery.
“Unfortunately this neighborhood deals with these kinds of quality of life concerns on a pretty regular basis,” Ald. Brendan Reilly told NBC 5.
With a number of late-night bars in the area, the 42nd Ward’s alderman says he’s concerned with patrons in the area being overserved and will meet with the Department of Business Affairs and Licensing to map out a strategy.
“A liquor license is a privilege and when you abuse that privilege it gets taken away,” Reilly said.
De Leon is due back in court Tuesday morning.