Off-duty Chicago cop was stabbed 13 times during fight near North Side bar, prosecutors say

Brandon Westbrook-Simmons and Dorothy Howard | Chicago Police Department

CHICAGO — A fight among patrons of a late-night bar ended with an off-duty Chicago cop being stabbed 13 times, officials said. On Saturday, prosecutors charged two people with participating in the attack, but the woman responsible for stabbing the officer remains at large.

Everyone involved in the incident were patrons at Mark II Lounge, a 4 o’clock bar at 7436 North Western, Assistant State’s Attorney John Gnilka said.

As the 4 a.m. closing time neared on Friday, Brandon Westbrook-Simmons, 32, approached a woman in the bar and tried to strike up a conversation. But the off-duty cop intervened, and the parties separated, Gnilka said.

The cop and the woman left, followed by Westbrook-Simmons, Dorothy Howard, 31, and the woman who eventually stabbed the officer. An argument broke out between the groups, which turned physical in the 2400 block of West Fargo.

During the fight, Westbrook-Simmons punched the off-duty officer several times in the face and body, according to Gnilka. While that was happening, Gnilka said, Howard and the woman who remains at large attacked the woman who was with the cop. He said they both punched her and dragged her to the ground by her hair. Once she was down, they punched and kicked her in the face and body until she became limp.

Eventually, the two women joined Westbrook-Simmons as he continued to attack the off-duty cop, Gnilka continued. The woman who’s on the loose pulled a knife from her bra and stabbed the officer repeatedly in his back and arm, causing him to bleed profusely and eventually lose three liters of blood, Gnilka said. A bystander recorded portions of the altercation on their phone.

Howard and the other woman took Westbrook-Simmons into a nearby building. Surveillance video showed the woman who stabbed the officer dropping a knife and the cop’s ID on the floor. She also put a wallet into her bra, Gnilka said, adding that the officer’s wallet went missing during the attack. The police recovered the knife and arrested Westbrook-Simmons and Howard.

The officer remains in critical condition at St. Francis Hospital. The woman he was with suffered severe bruising to the eye area and a cut lip.

Westbrook-Simmons is on parole for aggravated battery of a peace officer. He was released on December 28 after serving half of an eight-year sentence. Gnilka said he was convicted of burglary in 2008 and 2010 and felony resisting in 2014.

He and Howard are each charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm.

Judge Charles Beach set bail for Westbrook-Simmons at $100,000 with electronic monitoring required upon release. He won’t be eligible for release until state officials review his parole status.

Howard appeared separately before Judge Ankur Srivastava. She must pay a $5,000 bail deposit.

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