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River West Dive Bar Stabbing Suspect Released After Claiming Self Defense

Meanwhile, the mother of the deceased barista is raising funds for his funeral expenses

A bar from the street
Chicago Police released the suspect who remains under investigation.
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Three days after a 23-year-old man was fatally stabbed outside Richard’s Bar, the popular late-night dive bar in River West, no charges have been filed as the suspect who remained in custody for two days has claimed self defense, according to the Tribune. The suspect has been released, though charges could still be filed.

The incident happened 11:23 p.m. on Friday outside the bar. Police found no evidence that Paterimos had a weapon, according to the Tribune. Witnesses reportedly told police that the suspect had yelled a homophobic slur at Paterimos, who was bisexual.

A bouncer ejected the 30-year-old suspect from the bar after the homophobic comment lead to a heated exchange inside the venue, the Tribune reported. When Paterimos later went outside for a cigarette, the suspect allegedly approached him with a box cutter and slashed him multiple times. Paterimos’s brother and other people on the scene detained the suspect until police arrived.

We are all sad to announce the tragic death of our most beloved worker, Kenneth Paterimos. We all have had the privilege...

Posted by Step Down Cafe on Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Paramedics drove Paterimos to Stroger Hospital where he died, according to reports. Police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi told the Tribune that the suspect remains under investigation and that it is too early to say if the case could be classified as a hate crime.

Paterimos’s mother, Diona Bueno, created a GoFundMe page to raise money for her son’s funeral expenses. Thus far, donors have contributed more than $6,500 toward the $12,000 goal. “Words cannot express the tragic nightmare I have been living the last two days,” Bueno wrote on the fundraising website. “It is extremely difficult to cope with the loss of my son. He was a hard worker, always helping someone. The bright light of my family, the one who ties us together, is gone.”

Known among family, friends, and colleagues as a hard worker with a wry sense of humor, Paterimos made friends everywhere he went, according to Block Club Chicago. A barista at Pilsen’s Step Down Cafe, he hoped to one day open his own coffee shop with poetry readings and live music. His mother and four siblings describe him as charming, feisty, and a loving family man who purchased matching outfits to wear with his niece and had a passion for Chicago house music.

Paterimos’s family members liked to patronize Richard’s Bar because it felt safe and friendly, they told Block Club. The River West stalwart is one of the best dives in the city. Elected officials sometimes investigate venues that have seen violent incidents, including EvilOlive in West Town and DrinkHaus in West Loop, but there’s no word yet if Richard’s will get the same treatment or if this will be treated as an isolated incident.

Richard's Bar

491 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60610 (312) 733-2251