Update April 27, 2021 — Prosecutors dropped charges against Matthew Sugai on December 4, 2020, according to court records. The state dropped charges against Michael Parks on November 16.
It started with Silly String. It ended with two arrests and a felony charge of aggravated battery of police. And the incident was captured start-to-finish on a trusty Wrigleyville webcam.
A group of about 25 protesters gathered outside the stadium’s main entrance Wednesday evening to march around the neighborhood. It was billed as a Black Lives Matter and “abolish the police” rally, but the protest was widely promoted by social media accounts with antifa and anarchist leanings.
After about an hour of marching with a CPD bike team following their every move, the group disbanded on a Wrigleyville side street. And that’s where the webcam picks up the story.
Around 8:35 p.m., a small group of people is seen walking south on Sheffield Avenue toward Addison. One of them, a man wearing a white sweatshirt, walks over to an SUV that’s waiting for a red light to change and appears to spray something into the vehicle.
A witness who spoke with CWBChicago thought it was pepper spray. But it was actually “streamer string spray” — Silly String — CPD spokesperson Kellie Bartoli said. And it allegedly struck the driver in his face. According to Bartoli, the man and the driver, age 40, had been engaged in an argument.
The driver gets out of his car and is heard yelling, “yeah, go run you little f*ggot” as the alleged Silly String attacker runs across the stadium plaza. He doesn’t get far. A bike cop has him in cuffs before can get out of the camera’s frame.
Then, it gets uglier. As a second officer pedals across the plaza, a man with the protest group drags his own bicycle into the cop’s path, causing the cop to crash.
But the cop isn’t down for long. He springs to his feet and charges forward, sending the bicyclist and his bike sailing into the side of a nearby planter. Back-up officers place the second man into custody. The officer received an abrasion to his elbow when he fell, Bartoli said.
Prosecutors charged 26-year-old Matthew Sugai of Avondale with one felony count of aggravated battery of police. He is due in bond court Friday.
Michael Parks, 25, of McKinley Park, is charged with misdemeanor battery for allegedly spraying the driver with Silly String. Police said the driver declined to pursue felony charges.
This story was updated on October 11, 2020, to add Parks’ newly-released mugshot.