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Rep. Berrios wants man who harassed her charged

State Rep. MariAntoni'Toni' Berrios | Provided photo

State Rep. Maria Antonia "Toni" Berrios | Provided photo

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Updated: April 8, 2014 6:33AM

State Rep. Maria Antonia “Toni” Berrios — who faces a strong challenge in the March 18 Democratic primary — said Thursday she has filed “assault charges against a man who attempted to harass and intimidate” her as she campaigned in her Northwest Side district.

In a written statement, Berrios did not detail where or when it happened, saying only that it was “this week.”

Berrios — who is the daughter of Joseph Berrios, the Cook County assessor and Democratic Party chairman — said the man “attempted to grab me and shouted inappropriate comments” but that she wasn’t hurt.

The brief statement, released by her office, said at the top: “No Woman Should Feel Afraid to Walk Down the Street.”

Berrios spokesman Manuel Galvan said she “will not be doing any interviews” and is continuing to campaign.

“We do not have the name of the offender,” Galvansaid. “He fled. Police are investigating. She’s pretty shaken.”

Galvan did not provide a copy of the complaint that Berrios said she filed with police.

A Chicago Police spokesman said Berrios filed a report on Monday, telling authorities that the incident had happened on Saturday.

Police say she told them that a man "became angry" after she and an aide came to his door while campaigning.

"According to the report, a short time later Rep. Berrios and her associate were confronted by the man, who followed them, used obscenities and put his arm around Rep. Berrios in a threatening manner," police spokesman Adam Collins said.
Berrios, 36, was first elected in 2002. She’s in a hotly contested race against Will Guzzardi, 26, who nearly unseated her two years ago despite not having the backing of any elected official in the 39th Illinois House District.

“I hadn’t heard anything about that,” Guzzardi said about Berrios’ run-in. “I’m sorry to hear that. It’s very upsetting.”

In addition to her father, Berrios has the support of House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Guzzardi has the endorsements of the Chicago Teachers Union, state Sen. Willie Delgado (D-Chicago) and aldermen including Joe Moreno (1st), Scott Waguespack (32nd) and John Arena (45th).

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