TINLEY PARK - A mob of 18 black-hooded men with metal police bats in hand rushed into a Tinley Park restaurant Saturday. Upon entry, they beat a targeted group of patrons, turning over tables and breaking dishes. Ten people at the Ashford House on 159th Street were injured and three hospitalized.
Within hours of the event, an anarchist group calling itself Southside Chicago Anti-Racist Action (ARA) identified itself by giving its version of what happened before mainstream media accounts identified any motive for the attack.
The Southside Chicago ARA applauded the attack on Ashford House patrons, commending the attackers for "successfully ending the meeting," and accusing the victims of being white supremacists.
According to Southside Chicago ARA's comments, they believe vigilante mob attacks are justified. They write on their website four "points of unity" that they take on groups organizing in public with whom they disagree, and they admit they judge, prosecute and enact punishment as they see fit. "We don't rely on cops or courts," they say.
And finally, they are especially strident about their pro-abortion stance. They insist they are adamantly opposed to against "racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia." The website does not indicate if they support more attacks on other groups that hold views different from theirs.
As the three carloads of attackers left the scene, Tinley Park police stopped one of the cars with five hooded men, arrested them and took them into custody. Mayor Ed Zabrocki is saying the village is unsure as to whether the attack was associated with the NATO protests 20 miles northeast, in downtown Chicago.
UPDATE : Sun-Times reports the following on Monday at noon:
Five Indiana men have been charged with felony mob action, aggravated battery and criminal damage to property for their roles in an attack Saturday on a group dining at a Tinley Park restaurant, a spokeswoman for the Cook County State’s Attorney said Monday morning.
Bails ranging from $175,000 to $250,000 were set for the five men at the Bridgeview courthouse.
Charges have been filed against John Tucker, 26, of Martinsville, Ind.; Cody Sutherland, 23, of Bloomington, Ind.; Dylan Sutherland, 20, and Jason Sutherland, 33, both of Gosport, Ind.; and Alex Stuck, 22, of Bloomington, Ind., Cook County State’s Attorney spokeswoman Sally Daly said.
UPDATE: Tinley Park police added some more information Monday afternoon. The five above were charged with felony aggravated battery, felony mob action, and felony criminal damage to property.
The group attacked at the restaurant identified themsevles as part of the Illinois European Heritage Association. At this point, no link between either group and the NATO Summit has been confirmed.
Tinley Park police report that in addition to detaining and charging the five attackers from Indiana, they also arrested and charged two individuals from the group attacked - Stephen Speer of Grand Forks North Dakota, who had an outstanding warrant for possession of child pornography, and Francis John Gilroy of Palm Beach Florida, who was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon.
The Tinley Park police say that the investigation continues as they pursue 13 other individuals that escaped the village law enforcement's pursuit.