In the "spirit of the season," Judge Kathleen Burke on Monday commuted the sentence of a grandmother accused of spitting on an off-duty Oak Lawn police officer.
Livier Torres had been sentenced to 200 days in Cook County's maximum security women's unit after being charged with misdemeanor battery for the Jan. 10 incident at a Hooters restaurant.
After more than a month behind bars, Torres' sentence was commuted to 94 days. Burke gave her good time credit and credit for the 47 days served, shaving 106 days from the original sentence.
"I just don't understand what justice was served that I was sentenced to 200 days in here," a sobbing Torres said shortly after walking out of the facility Monday evening.
The judge's decision came as a shock to Torres' family members.
"To be honest with you, I thought it was -- that they were going to give her more time the way that they were talking about the situation and what-not," said Livier Torres' son, Marc Torres. "I couldn't be happier and I'm just glad that my mother's going to be with her family for Christmas."
Surveillance video from the eatery captured Torres' tussle with Officer Joseph Schmidt, who was acting as a security guard at the restaurant. In the video, Torres can be seen approaching the counter to dispute a charge on her bill.
After discussing the matter for several minutes, Torres ultimately puts her credit card down to pay but still seems incensed. Then, according to Torres' daughter, Schmidt made a remark that dramatically changes the dynamic.
"He was telling her, 'All you people are the same,' and I didn't understand what he meant by that," she explained. "She was like, 'What do you mean all the people are the same? Are you saying a prejudice remark because I'm Mexican?'"
Just as the manager returns to have Torres sign the credit card receipt, Schmidt swings his arm around Torres' neck and at one point appears to push her head to the counter.
The Village of Oak Lawn said last month that it had launched an internal investigation, but Torres' lawyer, David Peilet, said he was unaware of any progress.
When asked if there should be an investigation, Peilet was terse.
"Take a look at the tape and I'll let you come to your own conclusion," he said.
Police are not commenting on the incident because Peilet and Torres have filed a civil suit.