CHICAGO — The 7-foot-2 man accused of attacking a University of Chicago police officer early Tuesday morning was the runner-up on the third season of the cooking show "MasterChef."
Joshua Marks, who appeared on the Fox show starring hot-headed chef Gordon Ramsey in 2012, is facing charges of aggravated battery against a police officer.
The actions of the "Seven-Foot Chef" — the Cook County Sheriff's Office pegs him at 7-foot-2 — might be attributable to mental health problems, according to Marks' social media accounts and his lawyer, Lisa Marie Butler.
"The Josh that you are hearing about in police reports this morning is not the spirited Gentle Giant that we know," according to a statement posted on his Facebook page.
"Essentially, we're working with medical professionals to see if there was a correlation with what happened," Butler said. "The person we are hearing about is not the Josh we know."
Marks called university police from a campus Blue Light phone around 4 a.m., authorities said.
An officer got out of his squad car in the 5400 block of South Kimbark Avenue and noticed injuries on Marks' face, according to court records.
After the officer asked about his emergency, "Marks immediately attacked [the officer], taking him to the ground," according to a police report.
Marks, who says he was a self-taught chef who can do wonders with "average everyday Hamburger Helper," hit the officer in the face several times and tried to take a weapon from him when another cop arrived, authorities said.
That officer hit Marks in the leg with a baton several times. After Marks failed to "stop fighting," he was doused with pepper spray, authorities said.
Marks was arrested after he ran and hid in a nearby backyard.
Though he was still in the hospital, Marks was ordered held Wednesday on $150,000 bail.
As of Thursday afternoon, Marks remained at the hospital, Butler said.
Erin Meyer contributed to this report.