Family of man stabbed at West Town bar sues alleged attacker, bar

Kenneth Paterimos, 23, was killed Feb. 21. Thomas Tansey, a Marine Corps veteran, is awaiting trial for the murder outside Richard’s Bar.

SHARE Family of man stabbed at West Town bar sues alleged attacker, bar
Family of Kenneth Paterimos stand in front of Richard’s Bar, demanding justice, stand in front of the bar in March. Paterimos was stabbed outside the bar Feb. 21. The family is now suing the bar and Paterimos’ alleged attacker, Thomas Tansey.

Family of Kenneth Paterimos stand in front of Richard’s Bar, demanding justice, stand in front of the bar in March. Paterimos was stabbed outside the bar Feb. 21. The family is now suing the bar and Paterimos’ alleged attacker, Thomas Tansey.

Sun-Times file

The family of a man who was stabbed to death outside a West Town bar in February is suing the man’s alleged attacker as well as the bar.

Kenneth Paterimos, 23, was targeted because he is gay, the family’s attorney, John Corbett said Monday, talking to reporters during a teleconference announcing the lawsuit.

“It is the hope of Kenneth Paterimos’ family that going public with this tragedy — a tragedy that they will have to live with always — will shed some light on perhaps bringing some changes that will put a stop to this senseless violence directed toward LGBTQ people,” Corbett said.

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Among other things, the wrongful death suit, filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, alleges Richard’s Bar “failed to provide the necessary personnel to protect against the misconduct of patrons.” A representative from the bar, at 491 N. Milwaukee Ave., couldn’t be reached for comment Monday.

Thomas Tansey, a Marine Corps veteran, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the fatal Feb. 21 stabbing. No trial date has been set.

Thomas Tansey (top left) faces a charge of first-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of Kenneth Paterimos (bottom left) on Feb. 21 outside Richard’s Bar in West Town.

Thomas Tansey (top left) faces first-degree murder charges in the fatal stabbing of Kenneth Paterimos (bottom left) on Feb. 21 outside Richard’s Bar in West Town.

Sun-Times file

Witnesses told police that Tansey had been drinking alone at the bar for several hours when he began arguing with Paterimos, a barista who had been at the bar with friends. The two men scuffled inside the business and had to be separated after coming to blows. Tansey was later thrown out of the bar. Tansey allegedly slashed Paterimos with a boxcutter outside the bar, prosecutors say. Tansey’s attorney has argued that his client was defending himself.

Paterimos’ friends and family members have said that Tansey made homophobic remarks about Paterimos, but prosecutors did not mention any such slurs during early court hearings.

On Monday, Paterimos’ mother, Diona Bueno, spoke about the pain of losing her son.

“Every day is hard,” said Bueno, who lives in the Austin neighborhood. “Every day I get to go into his room, and instead of waking him up, I get to take a smell and hope that I can still smell him.”

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