COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — An O'Hare Airport employee has been charged with a hate crime after he allegedly beat an openly gay co-worker while calling the man a "faggot."
The attack occurred on June 23 when Barney Lonzo, 57, began taunting a 61-year-old co-worker, said Lorraine Scaduto, an assistant state's attorney.
Lonzo allegedly approached the man, who is openly gay, and hit the bill of his hat. When the man asked Lonzo to stop, Lonzo refused, calling the man a "faggot," "sissy," "pussy" and "bitches," Scaduto said.
According to court documents, Lonzo slapped his co-worker in his face at least three times. One of the slaps sent the man's hat flying off his head as he fell off his chair and onto the floor.
Scaduto claims Lonzo choked his co-worker with a piece of metal, and court documents show that Lonzo threatened to kill the man after shoving him into a locker.
Lonzo, who lives in the 4900 block of West Hirsch Street in Austin, has been charged with one count of felony hate crime and one count of misdemeanor battery.
Judge Israel Desierto ordered Lonzo held on $100,000 bond Thursday. Desierto told Lonzo he should avoid "unlawful contact" with the victim, noting that the men will continue to see each other at work.
Lonzo is expected to appear in court again on July 17.
Earlier Thursday, a 24-year-old South Austin man was charged with a hate crime after allegedly beating two women while yelling gay slurs at them.