Man brandished knife, punched cop who poured out his bottle of Fireball, prosecutors say

Brian Debeleyzer | CPD

Charges have been filed against a man who allegedly punched a Chicago cop while brandishing a knife because the officer poured out his bottle of Fireball cinnamon whisky.

Brian Debeleyzer, 55, is charged with two counts of felony aggravated battery in connection with the Wednesday evening incident on the Jackson Red Line platform, 230 South State.

Officers patrolling the CTA system escorted Debeleyzer off the Red Line at Jackson around 6:45 p.m. so they could cite him for drinking beer aboard a train, prosecutors said.

Debeleyzer became combative as soon as police asked for his id — screaming, cursing, and threatening the cops, an assistant state’s attorney alleged.

During his tantrum, a bottle of Fireball allegedly fell out of his coat and clunked onto the platform. One of the cops poured out the bottle of cinnamony liquor.

Debeleyzer yelled at him for wasting the liquor and punched the cop in the shoulder while holding a knife in his other hand, prosecutors said. Then, Debeleyzer allegedly punched the cop in the neck with the hand that was holding the knife.

Prosecutors said the cop struck Debeleyzer, who fell to the platform and hit his head. Officers allegedly recovered his knife and then called for paramedics to treat Debeleyzer’s injury.

According to prosecutors, as first responders escorted Debeleyzer to an ambulance, he kicked a fireman in the knee. Debeleyzer was treated and released. Neither the officer nor the fire department employee required medical attention. The kick and the entire platform incident were reportedly captured on CTA surveillance video.

Judge Mary Marubio set bail for Debeleyzer at $10,000. He went home by posting a $1,000 deposit bond.

Prosecutors said Debeleyzer has only one misdemeanor conviction on his record — a 2018 drug possession. But CPD records show Debeleyzer has been arrested six times in the city since September 2018. All of the arrests took place near the Wilson Red Line station in Uptown.

Records show Debeleyzer was also charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in the 2018 case, but the charge was dropped.

In 2019, he was arrested four times for aggravated assault of a police officer; simple assault; aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; and other charges, per CPD files. The statuses of those cases were not immediately available.

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