Wife of Ald. Ricardo Munoz said she fears husband’s ‘connections’ with gangs

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Ricardo Munoz’s wife Betty Torres-Munoz leaving courthouse on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. | Brian Rich for the Sun-Times

In a petition seeking an order of protection, the wife of Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd) claims she feared not only physical abuse at the hands of her husband but threats from gang members connected to him.

“Ricardo has connections (with) local gangs (and) individuals with criminal pasts who … have threatened my family in the past,” Betty Torres-Munoz wrote on the form she filled out Wednesday, seeking a court order barring the Munoz from having contact with her, the couple’s 16-year-old dog, or visiting the Little Village home they shared.

Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd). | Sun-Times

Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd). | Sun-Times

That order was granted by a Cook County judge on Thursday, a day after Munoz was arrested at his ward office on a misdemeanor domestic battery charge stemming from an alleged New Year’s Eve altercation.

Munoz, who announced this summer that he would not seek another term, pleaded not guilty and is free on bond. As he left the courthouse Thursday, Munoz told reporters he would “talk tomorrow,” but did not return calls from the Chicago Sun-Times on Friday.

In her petition, Torres-Munoz said she and her husband “engaged in a [heated] argument” and that Munoz “forcibly” grabbed her and pushed her backward, causing her to hit her back and head, and twist her arm. In the filing, and later in response to questions from reporters who surrounded her as she left the courthouse Thursday, Torres-Munoz said her husband had been abusive previously, and she accused him of being an “addict” and a “womanizer.”

Her petition also asks to block Munoz from tampering with the couple’s bank accounts, and claims Munoz has spent “thousands” on his “addiction, whores, hotels, travel” and the prescription drug Viagra. Torres-Munoz also asks for $1,000 child-support payments each month.

Torres-Munoz did not elaborate on the threats from gang members she mentioned in the petition.

Since running for alderman as a 27-year-old with a checkered past, Munoz has been open about his former ties to gangs in Little Village, and in 2018, said he was working with Mayor Rahm Emanuel to reform the Chicago Police Department’s practices governing the massive list of names of purportedly gang-affiliated people in a CPD database.

In recent years, he also has admitted to a drinking problem that forced him into inpatient treatment ahead of his 2011 reelection bid.

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