An attorney from Indiana was charged Thursday with smashing all of the windows at a Lakeview bar with a sledgehammer in February, causing nearly $59,000 in damage.
Prosecutors charged lawyer Sujal Pandya, 36, with felony criminal damage to property in connection with the rampage at Sheffield’s Beer and Wine Garden, 3258 North Sheffield, on February 1.
Sixteen custom-made windows and two glass doors were destroyed, according to a CPD report.
The bar’s surveillance cameras captured video of a hooded man using a sledgehammer to smash out all of their windows around 4 o’clock that morning.
“We know who it was. We got him on surveillance video,” one of the bar’s employees told Block Club Chicago at the time.
Another employee in February told Block Club that the suspect was “a lawyer who we banned more than a month ago.” Pandya, who lives in Ft. Wayne, turned himself in to Chicago police this week after learning that he was being charged in the case, his attorney said.
Prosecutors did not offer a motive for the crime, but an assistant state’s attorney said Pandya was a regular patron at the bar. Replacement of the custom windows cost $58,910, according to the state.
It is Pandya’s first arrest. Although Pandya has a law degree from Notre Dame, he has not been working since December, according to his attorney.
Judge Arthur Willis released Pandya on a recognizance bond.
Update June 22, 2022: According to court records, Pandya paid full restitution to Sheffields’ on June 9 and entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. Charges will be dismissed if he abides by the agreement’s terms for 12 months. The terms include continuing mental health treatment and maintaining employment, according to court records. He also must stay away from Sheffield’s.