Man Accused Of Punching River North Security Guard ‘Horrified’ By His Actions
CHICAGO, IL A man accused of punching a River North condo security guard who she tried to help over the weekend has been charged after he turned himself in to Chicago police Tuesday. Matthew De Leon, 23, of the 4900 block of West Eddy Street, Chicago, was charged with three counts of felony aggravated battery stemming from the incident Sunday, which was caught on security camera video. His bail was set at $250,000 Wednesday.
De Leon, an active-duty soldier who is scheduled to report to a Hawaiian base in three weeks, was driven to the Area Central police station, where he surrendered to police Tuesday. Dawn Valenti a victims’ advocate who knows the man through a friend of the family and drove him to the station told the Chicago Tribune that the man was apologetic and knew his actions had consequences.
“He knew what he did was wrong,” she told the Tribune. “I can’t tell you how sorry he is. He hit a woman. That’s not what he does.”
Security camera video of the man attacking Zoa Stigler, a guard at the condo building in the 600 block of of Franklin Street, after video at around 2 a.m. Sunday surfaced over the weekend. Footage shows Stigler approaching the man and offering him help after he sits down outside the complex. Later, the man is joined by three other people, and he then throws up on the sidewalk. Stigler rolls out a mop and bucket to clean up the man’s vomit, and that’s when the footage shows the man throwing water from a plastic bottle at Stigler before he punches her in the face.
During his bail hearing Wednesday, De Leon, who prosecutors say was drunk during the incident, was remorseful over his action and said he was “horrified” while watching the video of the attack, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
“He s going to make this right for the victim and her family,” his lawyer, Richard Fenbert, said during the hearing, according to the Sun-Times. Fenbert had asked for bail to be set at $150,000, but Cook County Judge Donald Panarese Jr. rejected the request, a decision that elicited a gasp from one of De Leon’s relatives who was in the gallery for the hearing.
De Leon’s blow fractured her right eye socket and the the bridge of her nose, according to Asad Khan, the board president of the condo complex where Stigler works who started a GoFundMe campaign for the guard. He said she will be having surgery on her eye Wednesday.
“The outpouring of all the love and support for Zoa is amazing,” Khan wrote on the page. “I spoke with her tonight [Monday] and she is in good spirits and is overwhelmed with all the generosity being showered upon her with your contributions.”
The fundraiser originally had a goal of $5,000, and it reached half of that within four hours. The goal was then raised to $20,000, and after two days, it was finally raised to $30,000. So far, the campaign has earned more than $27,000 as of Wednesday night.
Stigler was at the Area Central police station Tuesday afternoon to identify the man who hit her from a photo lineup, the Tribune reports.
WATCH: Security guard Zoa Stigler is punched by a man she tried to help Sunday in front of a River North residential building:
UPDATED (10:58 p.m. Wednesday, May 17)
Matthew De Leon, 23 (photo via Cook County Sheriff’s Office)
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