CHICAGO (CBS) — The man charged in a stabbing that killed another man outside Richard’s Bar in West Town will remain in jail for now.
At a hearing Thursday, a judge ordered Thomas Tansey, 30, held without bail. He is charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Kenny Paterimos, 23.
The stabbing happened at 11:21 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, outside the bar at 491 N. Milwaukee Ave. just southeast of the six-way intersection with Halsted Street and Grand Avenue.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office said Paterimos was initially at the bar with a friend, while Tansey was there by himself. Two other men joined them along with the victim’s brother just before the incident happened, prosecutors said.
At the time, Tansey was severely drunk and was bumping into people in the bar, prosecutors said. He and Paterimos got into a fight at the bar during which two other witnesses – who were patrons of the bar, but not part of the group – said each threw punches at the other.
Paterimos and Tansey both fell to the floor, prosecutors said. Afterward, bar staff separated the two, with the help of the victim’s brother and other patients, prosecutors said.
Witnesses said in interviews that it wasn’t clear who started the fight, prosecutors said.
Afterward, Paterimos and Tansey remained angry, and the two witnesses heard Tansey talk about ripping Paterimos’ nose ring, prosecutors said.
At that point, Tansey was escorted out of the bar and left alone, exiting toward Milwaukee Avenue, prosecutors said. Paterimos stayed inside the bar for a very short time, during which multiple witnesses said he was angry and they tried to calm him down, prosecutors said.
Another witness said he heard Paterimos say he was going outside to “kick (Tansey’s) ass,” and he left through the Milwaukee Avenue exit with a friend behind him – despite advice from his friends to go through a different door, prosecutors said.
Two other witnesses who work at other nearby bars were standing outside having a cigarette near Grand and Milwaukee avenues, prosecutors said. They saw Tansey, and then Paterimos, exit the bar, and then saw them quarreling and getting into a fist fight, prosecutors said.
One of the nearby bar employees approached, and saw Paterimos standing over Tansey and punching him, prosecutors said. The other bar employee saw Tansey had his hands over his face, and saw a man standing watching the fight – who was identified as Paterimos’ friend who left with him, prosecutors said.
The nearby bar employee then saw Paterimos’ friend grab him in a bear hug to get him away from Tansey, but Paterimos struggled with Tansey and they both fell to the ground where Tansey was already lying, prosecutors said.
The employee then saw Paterimos stand up and run northwest on Milwaukee Avenue toward Halsted and Grand as Tansey chased him, prosecutors said. At that point, the employee noticed that blood was squirting from Paterimos’ arm, prosecutors said.
Paterimos and Tansey turned around at the corner and headed back southeast on Milwaukee Avenue, and Paterimos then ran back into Richard’s Bar while Tansey kept walking southeast, prosecutors said.
Once Paterimos came back in, his brother and another bar patron noticed Tansey walking around with a knife, prosecutors said. Paterimos’ brother got the knife away from him before police arrived, prosecutors said. The knife was covered in blood, prosecutors said.
Paterimos had suffered stab wounds to the back of his head, his right ear, his middle back, right clavicle and right arm, prosecutors said. It was the right arm wound that killed him, having severed his brachial artery, prosecutors said.
Paterimos was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital of Cook County.
Paterimos’ friend who came outside with him was stabbed in the left wrist and suffered road rash to his right elbow, prosecutors said. He indicated he did not remember what happened outside the bar, prosecutors said.
The narrative from prosecutors differs from what Paterimos’ family members said happened. They said it all started when Tansey yelled homophobic slurs at Paterimos, was kicked out of the bar, and then attacked Paterimos when the latter was outside smoking a cigarette.
Initially, police detained Tansey, but released him less than 48 hours later after Tansey claimed self-defense.
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.”
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.
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.