Chicago police have issued a murder warrant for the arrest of a man suspected in last month’s slaying of 23-year-old Kenneth “Kenny” Paterimos Jr. outside of Richard’s Bar, a River West dive bar. The warrant was issued for 30-year-old Thomas Hugh Tansey, according to Block Club Chicago. Tansey is suspected of fatally stabbing Paterimos on February 21. He remains at large, police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi told reporters.
Police are urging Tansey to turn himself in by Wednesday, according to Block Club. Tansey an ex-Marine, was detained by police the night of the stabbing, but then released days later after claiming self defense to police. Police continued to investigate the incident after Tansey’s release.
Tansey allegedly approached Paterimos outside the bar and slashed him multiple times with a box cutter after an exchange inside Richard’s. Paterimos managed to walk back into the bar after the attack. Witnesses reportedly told police that Tansey had earlier yelled a homophobic slur at Paterimos, who was a member of the LGBTQ community.
Tansey has a criminal record. He was convicted of battery in 2016 due to an incident in suburban Arlington Heights, according to the Sun-Times, and was sentenced to 18 months of probation with an order to attend counseling.
Supporters and family members plan to hold a protest, “Justice for Kenny,” at 6 p.m. Tuesday outside Richard’s, according to a Facebook post. Frustrated by what they see as a lack of action from police, the Cook County state’s attorney’s office, local elected officials, and Richard’s Bar employees, organizers are calling for the bar’s closure and for hate crime charges to be filed against Tansey, according to Block Club Chicago. Alderman (27th Ward) Walter Burnett Jr., who has closed bars, such as DrinkHaus in West Loop, in the wake of violent incidents, told Block Club that he won’t push to close Richard’s Bar.
Paterimos’s funeral was over the weekend. Online donors have already raised nearly $17,000 for the family (to cover the funeral and other expenses) in a GoFundMe created by Paterimos’s mother. Paterimos was a barista at Step Down Cafe in Pilsen.