Killer arrested, murder charge filed, in Richard’s Bar slaying

Thomas Tansey | CPD

Chicago police on Wednesday arrested a 30-year-old Little Italy resident in connection with the stabbing death of a man outside Richard’s Bar in West Town on Feb. 28.

Thomas Tansey was arrested by officers at the crime scene, but detectives released him a couple of days later after prosecutors asked investigators to further explore Tansey’s self-defense claims.

Judge Peggy Chiampas signed an arrest warrant for Tansey last Thursday after cops were unable to find evidence to support his defense. 

CBS2Chicago reporter Brad Edwards this morning tweeted that Tansey was taken into custody after being discharged from a hospital today. Tansey was taken into custody at 11:34 a.m. on the 1600 block of West Harrison, police said. That address is in the city’s medical district near Rush University, UIC, and Stroger hospitals. 

Prosecutors approved one felony count of first degree murder against Tansey. He is due in bond court on Thursday. 

Kenneth Paterimos Jr. | Facebook

Witnesses have stated that Tansey and 23-year-old Kenneth Paterimos were involved in an altercation inside the bar at 491 North Milwaukee around 11:15 p.m.

Tansey, who was removed from the bar, then allegedly cut Paterimos multiple times with a box cutter after Paterimos stepped outside to smoke. Paterimos was pronounced dead less than 30 minutes later at Stroger Hospital, according to the medical examiner.

Media reports have said Tansey uttered anti-gay slurs toward Paterimos inside the bar, but hate crime charges have not been filed. Illinois’ hate crime statute only applies when a victim’s sexuality, race, religion, or other protected status is the motive for a crime such as murder.

“The evidence must show that a criminal act was committed by reason of the actual or perceived protected status of the victim,” a spokesperson for the Cook County State’s Attorney told CWBChicago this week in connection with an unrelated matter.

“We take such allegations very seriously and file charges where appropriate,” the spokesperson continued. “Between 2012 and 2019, we approved 71% of the hate crime cases brought to us by the Chicago Police Department, resulting in an 80% conviction rate.”

Cook County prosecutors routinely file limited initial charges and later seek additional counts from a grand jury.

Tansey was convicted of battery in a December 2016 case in Arlington Heights after he was accused of battering a man and trying to hit him with a gun, according to court records. Tansey’s defense included documentation that he suffered PTSD from his years of service in the Marine Corps. A judge eventually sentenced him to 18-months probation.

On Dec. 21, Tansey was charged with driving under the influence in Arlington Heights.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com