Family wants justice for man severely injured in baseball bat attack
BY MARY MITCHELL email@example.com June 24, 2013 8:54PM
Michael Davis was severely beaten at a Rogers Park bar on Father's Day.
Updated: July 26, 2013 6:28AM
Michael Davis, a 44-year-old North Side black man, paid a high price for being a stand-up guy.
In the waning hours of Father’s Day, two unidentified black men wearing dreadlocks brutally attacked Davis with a baseball bat and cut his face with a knife after he intervened in a fight between his alleged attackers and a white patron at a neighborhood bar.
“He was trying to do the right thing, and unfortunately he is still in the ICU,” said his niece, Alicia Webb.
“He was violently beaten. His teeth were knocked out and doctors had to insert a feeding tube. He suffered blows to the head and his jaw was broken on both sides,” Webb said. “It is just terrible. The thing that bothers us is he is such a nice person and was only trying to stop a bad situation.”
Davis had six hours of reconstructive surgery. He is still unable to move the right side of his body.
Davis, a waiter, is one of the regulars at the Poitin Stil, an Irish pub in the 1500 block of West Jarvis. When the two black men got into an argument with the regulars over whose turn it was to play pool, a scuffle broke out.
“These two guys were African American and my uncle is African American. The men pushed a white patron off the bar stool, and my uncle stepped in and tried to defuse the situation,” Webb said witnesses told her.
“The black guys called him an ‘Uncle Tom’ and accused him of sticking up for a white person. I couldn’t believe that we are still living in those days and times,” she said.
Davis, who sometimes fills in at the bar, and a couple of other regulars asked the black guys to leave.
Witnesses said the pair claimed they were being kicked out because of their race. The police were called, but by the time officers arrived, the troublemakers were gone and everybody thought the incident was over.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
Davis was ambushed on the street.
“Michael walks everywhere, and he was walking a young lady home. He got her home and was walking home himself when he was brutally attacked. They left him for dead,” Webb said.
“Someone did call 911, and an ambulance got him to the emergency room,” his niece said. “What he was sticking up for was right over wrong.”
There was some coverage of the horrible incident, but the tragedy was largely overshadowed by a particularly violent Father’s Day weekend.
Seven people were fatally shot and 26 others were wounded in shooting incidents from Friday to Sunday.
Davis’ friends and family don’t want what happened to him to be forgotten. They want the two men brought to justice.
“So often these things go unreported,” Webb said. “These victims have family. They have names. Michael didn’t have a wife, but he had a slew of friends in Rogers Park.”
The last high-profile victim of a baseball attack in Chicago was Natasha McShane, a graduate student from Northern Ireland.
On April 23, 2010, McShane and her friend Stacy Jurich were walking home from a night out when they were attacked in Bucktown. The assailant, later identified as Heriberto Viramontes, 34, bashed both women’s heads and snatched their purses.
McShane, 26, got the worst of it, and can no longer talk or walk.
It didn’t take long for the Chicago police to arrest Viramontes, and his accomplice, Marcy Cruz, whom police claimed waited in a van during the brutal assault. They are still in Cook County Jail awaiting trial.
Hopefully, Chicago police will quickly locate the perpetrators of this latest baseball bat attack. Frankly, it sickens me to think that these men may be somewhere high-fiving each other.
Davis dared stand up for a man who happened to be white, and if witnesses are being truthful, that made him the target of black men who are no better than Ku Klux Klansmen.
What these attackers are accused of doing is not just brutal and vicious. It is a hate crime and should be treated like one.