By Jermont Terry


CHICAGO (CBS) — A man was charged with murder Wednesday in last week’s deadly stabbing at Richard’s Bar in West Town.

Thomas Tansey, 30, was charged with first-degree murder on Wednesday, according to the Cook County State’s attorney’s office. He is due for a bond hearing on Thursday at noon in Violence Court (Br. 66).

Thomas Tansey

Thomas Tansey is charged with the murder of Kenny Paterimos outside Richard’s Bar. (Credit: Chicago Police)

As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported, victim Kenny Paterimos’ family is wondering what took so long to charge Tansey. They protested in front of Richard’s Bar just Tuesday night.

Police initially released Tansey last Tuesday after he claimed self-defense.

Paterimos, 23, was out with his brother, among others, at Richard’s Bar, at 491 N. Milwaukee Ave. just southeast of the six-way intersection with Halsted Street and Grand Avenue.

It all started with another man yelling homophobic slurs at Paterimos, according to his family. Police were investigating those claims.

The man police arrested outside the bar told detectives he killed Paterimos in self-defense, slashing him repeatedly with a box cutter.

Paterimos’ brother and others held the 30-year-old man until police arrived.

But Paterimos did not have a weapon on him, according to police. And family said he didn’t look for trouble.

Witnesses told police the man who was arrested was kicked out by the bouncer.

Later, according to his family, Paterimos went outside for a cigarette – at which point he was stabbed.

Paterimos was rushed to the hospital after the stabbing and later died.

Afterward, family and friends of Paterimos tackled and held down Tansey outside the bar until police arrived. Police detained him, but released him less than 48 hours later after that self-defense claim.

That move infuriated Paterimos’ family. On Tuesday night, close to 100 people gathered outside Richard’s Bar, denouncing the idea that Tansey defended himself.

“My son is the size of his God-blessed arms. I am not exaggerating. My boy was little,” said Paterimos’ mother, Diona Bueno. “And that man – what self-defense? (Expletive), you killed him! You mean to kill someone that night! It just so happened to be him.”

She added: “I want justice. I want you to go to jail like you’re supposed to.”

On Wednesday night, sources explained why Tansey was released and re-apprehended.

CBS 2 police sources said when police originally took Tansey into custody, the Cook County State’s Attorney demanded more evidence – especially since Tansey claimed self-defense.

By law, Chicago Police had to release him because they needed more than 48 hours to gather the evidence. But when officers released Tansey, he never returned to his apartment.

By the time police had enough evidence to arrest Tansey, he was nowhere to be found.

No one answered the door at Tansey’s apartment Wednesday evening when CBS 2 stopped by, despite someone being home.

Sources said for days, police searched for Tansey – and even as the victim’s family gathered at the bar demanding justice, police sources said the Fugitive Apprehension Unit was out on the street searching for Tansey too.

It turns out Tansey had checked into Rush University Medical Center, according to sources. Once the CPD fugitive team got word, they waited for Tansey to be discharged and arrested him within minutes of exiting the hospital, sources said.