Uptown man gets probation for a 2020 incident that prosecutors initially called a hate crime

Alexander Surovietz | CPD

An Uptown man was sentenced to 15 months of probation this week for a May 2020 incident that prosecutors initially charged as a hate crime. During a hearing before Judge Catherine Haberkorn on Thursday, Alexander Surovietz, 29, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery, and prosecutors dropped a felony hate crime charge.

The allegations stemmed from an encounter on the 4900 and 4700 blocks of North Sheridan shortly after midnight on May 17, 2020.

Surovietz allegedly yelled at a 45-year-old man of Egyptian descent and a companion who went for a short walk after breaking fast during Ramadan. They both said they’d never seen Surovietz before.

Surovietz allegedly told them they were responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, yelled slurs, accused them of being terrorists, told the primary victim to go back to Saudi Arabia, and accused the pair of being members of ISIS, prosecutors said during an initial bail hearing.

A few minutes later, Suroviets ran directly toward the victim and witness on the 4700 block of North Sheridan, called them Muslim terrorists, and grabbed the victim by his shirt with both hands, prosecutors said. Surovietz allegedly pushed the victim into a fence and tried to force him to the ground as he continued to utter racist and religious slurs.

The man gained control of Surovietz and held him until police arrived.

Surovietz allegedly waived his right to remain silent and told police that he had been drinking and smoking marijuana before the incident. He also allegedly claimed to be the victim in the incident, alleging that he called the victim a “sand n*gger” after the man struck him with his elbow, authorities said during the bail hearing.

Surovietz has no other criminal background.

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