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Father, son charged with beating man to death with baseball bats

Mark A. Ballard | Will County Sheriff's office

Mark A. Ballard | Will County Sheriff's office

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Updated: September 13, 2014 6:11AM

A father and son were charged with beating a man to death with baseball bats in southwest suburban Romeoville, officials said.

Mark Ballard, 42, and his son, Adam Ballard, 15, were charged with the first-degree murder of Richard Pollack, who was found outside his home in the 400 block of Tallman Avenue about 2 a.m. Sunday, officials said. Bail was set at $5 million for Mark Ballard, 300 block of Healy Avenue in Romeoville, and at $1 million for his son.

As many as seven other people might have been involved in the attack, police said. It is unclear whether any other charges will be filed.

Pollack was beaten to death after confronting a group of teens for allegedly stealing his son’s skateboard several days earlier, officials said.

“The whole thing stems from an unreported theft a few days before the incident. That unreported theft is the catalyst where Pollack gets hit with a baseball bat,” Romeoville Police Cmdr. Ken Kroll said.

According to neighbor and police accounts, a large party at Pollack’s home continued into the night before the violence broke out.

At around midnight, Pollack confronted several teens in front of his home about stealing his 17-year-old son’s skateboard days earlier, police said. The group left but later returned.

Two people chased Pollack down the street, knocking him over the head with a bat and savagely beating him, according to one neighbor.

Susan Mireles, who lives down the street from the attack, was the first to find Pollack lying bloody and injured at about 2 a.m. She’s had nightmares since finding her neighbor in the street.

“I just started screaming and ran across the street,” said Mireles, 47.

Pollack was taken to Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital and pronounced dead at 3:05 a.m., according to the Will County Coroner’s office.

Mireles’ husband, Jose Mireles, 50, who has lived in the usually quiet neighborhood for 46 years, said this is the first such attack he’s ever seen on his street.

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