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Assistant State's Attorney attacked defending gay couple
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times

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An assistant Cook County State's Attorney is recovering after he was beaten for intervening in what he believed to be anti-gay harassment, according to the State's Attorney's Chief of Staff Dan Kirk.

The victim, 31, was walking near the 200 block of West Diversey at approximately 7p.m. Sept. 13, according to Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Robert Perez.

Kirk said the prosecutor saw two men walking holding hand in hand in the park. A few minutes later he saw two teens approach the couple and begin to harass and chase them.

The prosecutor interrupted the harassment, said Kirk. "The two males who were holding hands ran away from the scene," he said.

The teens turned their attention to the intervener, beating him and stabbing him with a broken bottle, according to Perez.

Perez said the man walked to Saint Joseph Hospital. Kirk added he was transported to Advocated Illinois Masonic Medical Center and has since been released.

Kirk declined to identify the intervener, but said the State's Attorney's office is extremely proud of him.

"Our colleagues actions coming to the aid of other people that he didn't know is indicative of the character and caliber that we seek in the many men and women that work in our office," said Kirk. "This was a heroic act on the part of our assistant State's Attorney."

According to police, no one is in custody for the attack. Perez described the assailants as two White Latino males ages 16-17, approximately 5'8"-6'0." One is estimated to weigh 150-190 lbs. and was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and baggy jeans. The other weighs approximately 150-180 lbs. and was last seen wearing a turquoise baseball hat and a hooded sweatshirt. He also had long black hair, said Perez.

In addition to seeking the attackers, Kirk said his office is eager to locate the two men holding hands in the park, as they could be key witnesses down the road.

Last fall, three men accused of attacking a gay man on a CTA Red Line train were acquitted, after prosecutors struggled to prove that the victim, Daniel Hauff, was defending another gay man being harassed. Prosecutors failed to track down the witness, who defense attorneys argued was having a friendly conversation with the defendants.

Kirk, who tried that case, likened it to the Sept. 13 attack on the prosecutor. Both victims intervened on behalf of others perceived to be gay and both could benefit from those witnesses stepping forward, he said.

"The information that they could provide is crucial in the course of this investigation," said Kirk.

Anyone with information on the attack is encouraged to contact Area North detectives at 312-744-8261.

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