The suspect seen punching a female security guard in surveillance video from a River North condominium building is “very remorseful” for what he did, a representative said Tuesday as the man was questioned by police.
“He is so remorseful. He’s very remorseful. I mean, when I got out of the car and he approached me, his body language told me how remorseful, how sorry he was,” crisis responder Dawn Valenti told reporters outside the Chicago Police Department’s Area Central headquarters.
Valenti — a familiar figure at crime scenes who helps victims and their families — says she was speaking on the unnamed suspect’s behalf. She says she knows the man’s family through a mutual friend and agreed to go to the police station when he turned himself in.
Valenti stressed the suspect has not been in trouble in the past.
“He knew he did something he shouldn’t have done, under the influence of alcohol. He wasn’t in his right mind. He hit a woman, which he doesn’t do. He doesn’t have a background. He’s never been arrested. He’s an all-around good guy. He made a very wrong decision under the influence of alcohol,” Valenti said.
Sources tell CBS 2 the suspect is currently in the military. Originally from the North Side, he reportedly was visiting Chicago for a celebration.
Video of the “sucker punch” attack drew wide notice over the weekend. In it, a female security guard is seen trying to help a man who has vomited on the sidewalk in front of 630 North Franklin condominium. She gets a mop and bucket to clean up after him. As the man walks away, he turns, throws a water bottle at the guard and then strikes her in the face. He and his apparent companions walk off.
The guard, Zoa Stigler, sustained injuries to an eye socket and her nose. A condominium association leader launched an online fundraiser for her.
Valenti says the suspect, who is in his 20s, would like to apologize to Stigler, but cannot approach her during the investigation.
Stigler was at the police station on Tuesday. She appeared unmoved by Valenti’s comments that the suspect is sorry but said she would forgive him because it’s the Christian thing to do.
“He hit me, and he walked away confidently,” Stigler says.
Stigler noted the man’s companions, who seemed sober, also showed little reaction to her getting punched.
The incident occurred early Sunday.