BRIDGEVIEW (CBS) — A 47-year-old Tinley Park man is accused of a hate crime, after he allegedly attacked an African American man working on a house in his neighborhood on Sunday.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office says the victim is a 51-year-old black man – hired by a bank to do some work on a Tinley Park home that was in foreclosure.
That home is adjacent to the home of 47-year-old Joseph Berndt.
Prosecutors say Berndt accused the black man of being a burglar, and started yelling racial slurs, then threw a beer can and a brick at him, and tried to hit him with a metal pipe. Then Berndt choked the victim.
“This gentleman does not represent the sentiments of this community in any shape, manner or form. He’s an anomaly,” said Tinley Park Mayor Ed Zabrocki. “If these facts of the case seem to be what they are, then he deserves whatever he gets.”
Berndt is facing felony hate crime charges. Bond was set at $25,000 on Tuesday.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports