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Man charged in ‘random’ attack on alderman outside River North bar

Antonio Palazzi is accused of jumping Ald. Brendan Reilly outside Boss Bar, 420 N. Clark St., while the downtown alderman was waiting for friends inside to settle their tabs.

42nd ward Alderman Brendan Reilly on the first day of the filing period for Municipal Elections, Monday, November 19th, 2018. | James Foster/For the Sun-Times
Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd)
James Foster/For the Sun-Times

A man was arrested Wednesday in connection with an attack on Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) last month outside a bar in River North.

Antonio Palazzi, 35, is accused of jumping Reilly about 10:35 p.m. Feb. 18 outside Boss Bar, 420 N. Clark St., while the downtown alderman was waiting for friends inside to settle their tabs, Chicago police said.

A warrant was issued for Palazzi’s arrest and he was taken into custody about 11:45 a.m. Wednesday in Roscoe Village, police said. Cook County court records show he was charged with a count of misdemeanor battery.

Reilly previously told the Chicago Sun-Times he was attacked by two people, and last week, police said they had identified two people of interest in connection with the beating.

On Thursday, however, police spokesman Anthony Spicuzza said “further investigation revealed there is only one offender from this incident.”

Reilly said he was attacked after a man started yelling at him from across the street, but that he believes that the beating was random and a case of mistaken identity.

“I can’t for the life of me understand what he’s saying. He looked absolutely furious. Enraged. The next thing I know, the guy’s on top of me. I’m on the ground. He’s trying to punch me in my head,” Reilly told the Sun-Times.

Reilly didn’t call 911 or file a police report because he didn’t require medical attention, he said.

“I just wanted to go home. … I just didn’t think that warranted police attention on what is typically a busy night in downtown Chicago,” he said.

Contributing: Fran Spielman