A man is facing misdemeanor charges for allegedly battering Chicago Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) outside a River North bar last month 18, police said.
Antonio Palazzi, 35, turned himself in to police at Area Three headquarters, 2452 West Belmont, around 11 a.m. Wednesday. He’s charged with misdemeanor simple battery, police said.
Reilly told reporters two men jumped, punched, and kicked him as he waited for friends outside Boss Bar, 420 North Clark, around 10:30 p.m. on February 18.
“Out of nowhere, this guy ran up on me. He was yelling at me,” Reilly told the Tribune, “and before I know it, he’s on top of me, punching me in the face.” The alderman later said he thought he was targeted in a case of mistaken identity.
A second man joined the fray, kicking Reilly in the head, the alderman said. One of the bar’s bouncers pulled the men off Reilly, who has represented the area since 2007. He told the paper the men didn’t try to rob him, and they fled in a car that was sitting nearby.
Neither Reilly nor the bar called police, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered police to investigate the incident after it made the news because she was concerned that he might have been targeted due to his position as an alderman.
Police made no mention of any such motivation in a brief announcement about Palazzi’s arrest on Thursday. Detectives determined that only one person battered Reilly, a police spokesperson said. CPD did not release Palazzi’s mugshot because he is only charged with a misdemeanor.
Reilly has been unafraid to talk openly about his concerns about crime in the downtown area. He also broke ranks from the Cook County Democratic Party to endorse a Republican candidate over incumbent Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx in last November’s election. Foxx won handily.