COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — An off-duty Chicago firefighter turned himself in to police this week after being charged with slugging a Parrothead in the face at last month's Jimmy Buffett concert, breaking his jaw, cheek and eye socket.
The 22-year-old victim's father said off-duty firefighter Richard Koster's parking lot punch was unprovoked. But Koster's attorney said the victim threw a bottle at Koster.
"The victim was drunk; everybody was drunk," attorney Scott Frankel said following Koster's Friday bond hearing.
Prosecutors say Koster was tailgating in a Soldier Field parking lot with the throngs of Buffett fans, known as Parrotheads, who came out to see the singer's June 29 show on nearby Northerly Island.
Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Erin Antonietti said the victim, who drove in from Wisconsin, was seated when he was punched. He tumbled over in his lawn chair, and Koster fell on top of him, Antonietti said.
By the time onlookers pulled Koster off the man, his eye was "bloody and swollen," she said.
The Wisconsin man was taken to Mercy Hospital, where he was treated for multiple facial fractures, including a fractured jaw, orbital bond and cheek bone, prosecutors said. His injuries also resulted in nerve damage.
"He never even saw the guy coming," the victim's father said. "I feel bad for the firefighter; they serve the community. But this was completely unprovoked."
"The firefighter went to the concert, but (my son) never even got to go in," said the father, asking that neither his name nor his son's name be disclosed.
Upon learning that he was wanted by police on charges of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, Koster turned himself in Thursday and appeared in court Friday.
Koster, who has no criminal record, posted $3,000 bond and was released from jail shortly after his court appearance
He declined to comment as he left the courthouse Friday.