Eric A. Caine, who was exonerated of a 1986 murder after spending 25 years behind bars, has been charged with two counts of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm for his role in what police described as an alcohol-fueled brawl at the Riverside resident’s home on Easter Sunday.
According to police, Caine, 50, severely beat two men at his home in the 400 block of North Delaplaine Road on March 27 just before 11 p.m. The victims called police to report the incident.
When police arrived, they found the two victims, a 42-year-old man and a 49-year-old man, both of Chicago, standing outside Caine’s home “battered and bleeding heavily.” The victims were taken to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, where they were treated for their injuries and later released.
The 42-year-old victim sustained a broken collarbone and facial bruises, while the 49-year-old suffered multiple facial fractures, including a right orbital blowout fracture, according to police.
Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said that one of the victims was a cousin of Caine who worked in a restaurant Caine owns in the South Loop neighborhood of Chicago. In June 2015, Caine opened Wingers USA at 606 S. Wabash Ave.
Police said Caine and the two men traveled from the restaurant to Riverside on March 27 and that a verbal altercation escalated into a physical fight. Alcohol played “a major role” in the incident, according to police.
On Tuesday, Caine was ordered held without bond at Cook County Jail awaiting a March 30 hearing. At the time of his arrest, Caine was on probation for felony traffic offenses in River Forest and North Riverside, according to police.
In June 2014, Caine pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated driving under the influence related to a Dec. 31, 2013 incident in which he sideswiped two vehicles and crashed into a bus stop near the corner of 31st Street and Desplaines Avenue in North Riverside.
At the time he was sentenced to two years’ probation and ordered to attend a Cook County substance abuse program and get treatment for post-traumatic stress.
Caine was released from prison in 2011 after a judge ruled he had been falsely imprisoned for the 1986 murder of an elderly Chicago couple. Sentenced to life in prison, Caine was freed after 25 years when a judge determined he had been tortured into a confession under the direction of former Chicago Police Detective John Burge.
In 2013, a jury awarded Caine $10 million to settle a lawsuit he filed against the city of Chicago. After his release, Caine moved to Oak Park and later to an apartment in River Forest, where he had several run-ins with police.
Caine claimed River Forest police were deliberately targeting him. Between March and July 2013, River Forest police arrested Caine twice and pulled his vehicle over several times for various reasons.
In September 2013 he paid $630,000 in cash for the Riverside home. Since the New Year’s Eve 2013 DUI incident, according to Weitzel, Riverside police have had no contact with Caine.
The Delaplaine Road home is listed for sale at $799,000, according to an online real estate listing.