Riverside police continue their search for a Chicago man accused of hitting a relative over the head with a beer bottle during an altercation at an alcohol-fueled child’s birthday party at a home in the 500 block of Byrd Road in Riverside early on the morning of Aug. 3.
However, on Monday Riverside police arrested a 31-year-old Chicago man at the home and charged him with misdemeanor battery for allegedly punching another 31-year-old man who intervened to protect the victim. He has since posted bond and has been uncooperative with police, said Police Chief Thomas Weitzel.
The victim, a 45-year-old Berwyn man was treated for lacerations to his head and puncture wounds to his chest, which may have been caused by someone stabbing him with a broken bottle. However, the chest wounds could also have been caused when the victim, who was knocked unconscious by the blow to the head, fell to the ground on top of other broken glass.
And police still aren’t sure exactly what transpired, because almost everyone who was at the party and may have witnessed the incident has clammed up.
“Everyone has been extremely uncooperative except for the victim and the woman who took him to the hospital,” said Weitzel.
The victim was treated and released from MacNeal Hospital, said Weitzel, and Riverside police interviewed him again on Monday, where he revealed his true identity. The man initially told police he was 31 years old and lived in Chicago. He reportedly told police that his attacker was his cousin.
Police are actively searching for the suspect, against whom they intend to seek an aggravated battery charge.
The victim was taken to the hospital at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday morning by his wife, say police. A hospital employee called police to notify them of the incident, which occurred in the backyard of the house. Decorations still undisturbed in the backyard early Sunday afternoon indicated it was birthday party for a child.
No one at the party called police when the incident occurred, and police received no prior complaints from neighbors about the party. When police responded to the 500 block of Byrd Road, the 20 to 25 people still on the scene were “all extremely intoxicated and belligerent,” according to Weitzel.
North Riverside police were called in to assist in securing the scene and ensuring Riverside police could collect evidence. While police interviewed subjects at the house, Weitzel said it was difficult to piece together a clear picture of what happened, because the people they interviewed were intoxicated. The homeowner reportedly also was uncooperative with police.
“People were so drunk we couldn’t make out what happened,” Weitzel said.