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Ex-cop gets probation for off-duty beating outside Andersonville bar

Erik Elkins, 47, also has to perform 40 hours of community service and is banned from working in law enforcement.

Former Chicago police Sgt. Eric Elkins was sentenced Thursday to probation for his role in beating two men outside an Andersonville bar in 2018.
Former Chicago police Sgt. Eric Elkins was sentenced Thursday to probation for his role in beating two men outside an Andersonville bar in 2018.
LinkedIn

A former Chicago police sergeant with a history of misconduct allegations has been sentenced to two years probation for beating two men outside an Andersonville bar in 2018.

Eric Elkins, 47, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of battery, and Cook County Judge William Gamboney sentenced him to probation Thursday, court records show.

Elkins also has to perform 40 hours of community service as part of his punishment for the off-duty attack, court records show.

Elkins initially faced several felonies when he was charged in May 2019, but prosecutors amended two of the counts to misdemeanors and dropped the other charges in exchange for Elkins’ guilty plea, records show.

Elkins is banned from working in law enforcement as part of the agreement.

He did not respond to messages seeking comment Tuesday.

On Sept. 29, 2018, John Sherwood and his partner Tom Stacha were at @tmosphere, a club at 5355 N. Clark St., when a group of patrons at another table, including Elkins, began throwing limes at them, Sherwood previously told reporters.

Both parties were asked to leave. Once outside, Elkins and three other men attacked Sherwood and Stacha, according to the plea agreement.

Sherwood said his injuries from the attack included a broken ankle, and Stacha said he was struck in the face by Elkins’ fist.

Attorney Tim Cavanagh (left) and Tomasz Stacha (right) look on as John Sherwood speaks to reporters about his injuries, including a broken ankle, during a press conference Nov. 1, 2018. Stacha and Sherwood have filed a lawsuit alleging they were beaten by off-duty Chicago Police Sgt. Eric Elkins.
Attorney Tim Cavanagh (left) and Tomasz Stacha (right) look on as John Sherwood speaks to reporters about his injuries, including a broken ankle, during a press conference Nov. 1, 2018. Stacha and Sherwood have filed a lawsuit alleging they were beaten by off-duty Chicago Police Sgt. Eric Elkins.
Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Sherwood and Stacha filed a lawsuit in the fall of 2018 against Elkins, the others they accused in the attack, the city of Chicago and @tmosphere.

Sherwood and Stacha were “aware of the plea agreement,” their attorney Tim Cavanagh said Tuesday. “Our focus is now on the civil case,” he said.

Thursday’s hearing wasn’t the first time Elkins has pleaded guilty in exchange for reduced charges.

In 2016, Elkins got probation as part of a plea agreement that allowed him to avoid prison time and having to register as a sex offender after he was charged with a sex crime for touching a teenager’s penis during a family reunion in Michigan, the Chicago Sun-Times has reported.

More than a decade earlier, Elkins was charged with having sex with a 16-year-old boy he met while moonlighting as a security guard at Amundsen High School on the North Side.

A judge found Elkins not guilty in that case.

During his 19-year career with the police department, Elkins was the subject of 35 internal investigations, the Sun-Times reported.

Elkins resigned from the police department following the attack against Sherwood and Stacha.

Click here to read Oct. 28, 2018, Sun-Times Watchdogs report.
Click here to read Oct. 28, 2018, Sun-Times Watchdogs report.