Brothers Charged with Hate Crime in Attack on Cabbie in Lincoln Park
COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — Two brothers were charged with a hate crime after attacking a cabdriver and chasing him down a Lincoln Park street while calling him a "stupid f-----g Asian," authorities said.
William and Spiro Douvris beat, robbed and shouted slurs at the cabbie Tuesday night after becoming enraged when the driver took them to the wrong address, prosecutors said.
The victim, 24, said Wednesday he was frightened during the incident on the North Side and is glad the two men were charged with a hate crime.
"They were trying to beat me," he said in an interview with DNAinfo.com Chicago, asking not to be identified. "I was afraid."
According to Assistant State's Attorney Erin Antonietti, the cabdriver picked up the men and then pulled over to drop them off in the 3200 block of North Geneva Terrace. But the brothers said that was the wrong address and demanded he take them to the 2200 block of North Geneva Terrace, Antonietti said at a bond hearing Wednesday.
When the cab arrived at the second address, the two brothers became "angrier and started calling the victim a stupid Asian," Antonietti said.
William Douvris, 24, of Kildeer, jumped out of the back seat when the driver stopped near Schubert and Halsted streets, according to court documents. He opened the front passenger side door and hit the cabbie in the shoulder four times before punching the rearview mirror, prosecutors said.
His brother Spiro Douvris, 22, who lives in Barrington, then jumped out and flung the driver's door open, according to the documents. The younger brother hit the man in the chest twice and grabbed two cellphones that belonged to him, prosecutors said. He also hurled one of the phones at the driver's head, the documents said.
Witnesses said they saw the Douvris brothers chase the driver around the cab and down the street while shouting slurs at him, the records state. One witness tried to break up the "fight," and police were called at about 9:30 p.m., prosecutors said.
When the men were arrested a short time later, police recovered the cabdriver's other cellphone. Police also said the brothers had $3,000 in cash.
In his two years driving a cab, the victim said he has experienced nothing even close to what happened to him Tuesday.
"Generally, people in Chicago are nice, except on the weekends when they tend to get drunk," he said.
The driver said he was not hurt too badly and now was feeling "fine."
In addition to the hate crime charges, the two brothers each face charges of battery and robbery. William Douvris also was charged with criminal damage to property for allegedly breaking the rearview mirror.
Cook County Judge Edward Harmening set bond for both men at $50,000.
The brothers' parents, who attended the bond hearing, declined to comment after court.
An attorney representing the brothers said they have no criminal record, and they work together at Zippy's Pizza in the suburbs, where Spiro Douvris is CEO.
According to the Illinois Secretary of State website, the business license for Zippy's Pizza has been dissolved. A website for the restaurant also was shut down.