River North

Judge Denies Motion to Allow Soldier in Security Guard Punching Case to Return to Military Base

“I want him to stay here for justice to be served,” Zoa Stigler, the security guard, said.

A U.S. Army soldier left a North Side court building Tuesday after making his second appearance in front of a Cook County Judge to face charges of viciously punching a River North security guard outside of a condo building.

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 but bonded out Friday.

De Leon’s attorney filed a motion asking a judge to allow his client to return to his military post in Hawaii to avoid facing severe penalties from the U.S. Army. But prosecutors argued against the motion saying that when De Leon delivered that punch "he left her on the ground like a piece of garbage." The judge denied the motion Tuesday.

“I want him to stay here for justice to be served,” Zoa Stigler, the security guard, said.

With her lawyers by her side, Stigler talked about still suffering pain, after undergoing surgery last week.

“After the surgery all this is numb even from the head,” she said, gesturing to where she was struck.

Her attorney talked about the possibility of filing a civil suit against De Leon.

“We are going to work with Zoa to get her better as quickly as possible," Larry Coven of the Coven Law Group told reporters.

De Leon's attorneys would not comment on the case.

A GoFundMe page has raised more than $35,000. She says she has been out of work since the incident happened.

Stigler credits condo board president Asad Khan with starting the fundraiser and releasing the video. Kahn says he hopes it brings change to his River North area that he says has a lot problems with the sometimes unruly late night bar crowd.

“I’m hoping that over time they try to put more better controls in place…so the crowd is not hanging out in front of our building,” Khan said.

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