NORTH CENTER — Tremaine Gallimore, 21, would have started his second year at Truman College Monday, his mother said.
Instead, he was dressed in a gray jumpsuit and shackled at the ankles and wrists, attending his second pretrial hearing since being accused of ambushing and brutally beating 44-year-old Michael Davis with a baseball bat and metal pipe with accomplice Anthony Rudon, 50.
The two men were charged last week with attempted murder and aggravated battery.
"He's a good kid. He never got in fights," said Gallimore's mother, Caren. "He had to be provoked to do what they say he did. He had to be provoked to do it."
The 46-year-old mother attended the 9 a.m. hearing at a North Center courthouse with her husband, daughter and family friend. The family has hired criminal defense lawyer Herbert Abrams.
"In the end," said sister Tasha Gallimore, the truth "will show" whether her brother was involved in the June 17 attack.
She and her mother couldn't recall what her brother had been doing early the day after Father's Day, but that "he was always home" in the 7600 block of North Sheridan Road, where he lived with his family — and where he had been arrested last week.
They say they'd never met or heard Gallimore speak of Anthony Rudon, who appeared beside him in court Monday, represented by a public defender.
"I could care less if he was a good kid or not," said Michael Malkosky, 39, who attended the hearing to show his support for Davis. "They sabotaged our friend. ... It was premeditated."
"A good kid wouldn't do that," added Kathleen Keane, Malkosky's girlfriend.
Davis' sister Linda Webb invited her brother's friends to the hearing to show the judge and State's Attorney "that Mike has family, friends and an entire community supporting him."
Davis has been home in Rogers Park after being released last week from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, where he took his first steps since the attack. He still has partial paralysis of his right side.
"We asked people to come and show as much support as possible," Webb said outside the courtroom Monday. "I think people have been tremendously helpful. Without their help, we probably wouldn't have been able to make it through this."
Maynird Davis Jr., 48, Davis' older brother, said he "felt relief" when he heard police had made arrests in the case.
"I figured it would happen eventually," he said, "but I didn't think it would happen that quick."
Judge Marvin Luckman scheduled Gallimore and Rudon's next pretrial hearing for 9 a.m. Sept. 13 at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse, 2600 S. California Ave.
Another one of Davis' friends, Eddy Shaltapour, 43, attended the hearing, and plans to attend others as the case continues.
"If I can," he said, "I'll be at every one of them."