Firefighter, son accused in South Side beating
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Criminal Courts Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org November 29, 2011 7:42AM
Eduardo Castro Sr. (left) and his son, Eduardo Castro Jr.
Updated: January 1, 2012 8:10AM
A 20-year Chicago Fire Department veteran allegedly pushed his nemesis and then grabbed the young man’s arm so his son could repeatedly pummel the man’s face, prosecutors alleged Tuesday.
Then, Eduardo Castro Sr., 48, and his namesake son continued punching and kicking the 20-year-old man, who only moments before was pushing a stroller with a friend’s baby inside, prosecutors said.
Saturday’s beating stemmed from an ongoing feud between the victim and Castro’s son, according to attorney, Richard Friedman, who is representing both Castros.
The elder Castro was only trying to stop the fight, Friedman told Judge Israel Desierto Tuesday.
But Assistant State’s Attorney Erin Antonietti said the middle-aged firefighter chauffeured his son to find the man and eagerly participated in the attack in the 3200 block of South Aberdeen.
The victim had been walking with a group of friends and was pushing a child in a stroller when the Castros and another person approached around 3:30 p.m., Antonietti said.
The targeted man, who recognized the car’s occupants from the neighborhood, said Castro Sr. first addressed him by speaking to him in an “aggressive” manner, Antonietti said.
The person who was with the Castros then told the man’s friends to cross the street with the baby and kept an eye on the group to ensure they stayed put, Antonietti said.
Castro Sr. allegedly shoved the man before the man pushed him back and tried to run away. Castro Jr. then started throwing punches. Soon, both Castros were assaulting the man, who was eventually thrown to the ground, Antonietti said.
During the assault, the man’s North Face jacket came off. Before jumping back in the car and fleeing the scene, the younger Castro took the jacket that contained cash, a wallet and cell phone, Antonietti said.
The victim, who drove himself to the hospital, suffered a broken nose. He also had bruising, swelling and scratches on his back, according to a police report.
Desierto ordered both men held in lieu of $75,000 bail for robbery and aggravated battery. Castro Sr. was also charged with resisting arrest because he started “flailing his arms” and pushed away when officers tried to take him into custody, Antonietti said.
The elder Castro has had “multiple interactions” with the police, but he only has two convictions for failure to appear in court for battery and indecent exposure charges from the late 1980s, Antonietti said.
The younger Castro, who Friedman said works for a catering company, has a prior conviction for unlawful use of a weapon. He completed probation unsatisfactorily in that case in 2009, Antonietti said. Castro Jr., of the 280 block of South Eleanor, also has three misdemeanor convictions, which include cannabis and disorderly conduct charges.
Castro Sr. is listed in a City of Chicago online database as a firefighter earning a yearly salary of $79,926.
The firefighter is currently on furlough and is not expected back until mid-December, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said.
Unless he’s cleared of all charges, the Fire Department will also initiate an investigation and Castro Sr. would not be able to return to work, Langford said.
After Tuesday’s hearing, the Castros’ relatives yelled at reporters covering the case. Friedman would not elaborate on the ongoing conflict between Castro Jr. and the victim. Moments earlier in court, he said the fight centered on “damage to property.”