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Chicago man charged with beating prosecutor

By Naomi Nix, Chicago Tribune –

CHICAGO — A reputed gang member has been charged in the attack on a Cook County prosecutor who tried to intervene when he saw two men harassing a couple they believed to be gay.

Edgar Diaz, 21, of Chicago, was charged with attempted first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated battery, authorities said. He was arrested last week and identified by witnesses to the beating, police said. He was ordered held Monday on $750,000 bond by Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil.

The prosecutor was on his way to meet a friend to fish along the lakefront at about 7 p.m. on Sept. 13 when he saw the two men — accompanied by two women — “hassling” two other men who were holding hands, Assistant State’s Attorney Erin Antonietti said at Diaz’s bond hearing Monday.

When the prosecutor tried to intervene, Diaz and a second offender who has not been apprehended turned on him. The two punched and kicked him, Antonietti said. The prosecutor wrapped his hands around his body to try to protect himself, but the attack continued.

Antonietti said the second offender hit the prosecutor with a bottle, shattering the glass and cutting the victim. Later Diaz was positively identified in a police lineup by the victim, according to Antonietti.

The prosecutor was cut near the left eye, on his side and under his right arm, officials said. He received at least 40 stitches for his injuries, Antonietti said. He was released from the hospital, according to court records.

Diaz has a previous conviction for unlawful use of a weapon and has a pending criminal case for felony drug offense, possession of a handgun by a felon and armed violence, according to court records. Diaz is a self-admitted Latin Eagle, according to police records.

Diaz’s lawyer, Gregg Smith, denied his client took part in the attack. “He says he was not anywhere near the lake,” Smith said.

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