LINCOLN PARK — The staff of Lincoln Park's Bricks Pizza is raising money for one of their coworkers who was seriously wounded after he was mugged and beaten.
Bricks bartender Chris Cox was going to meet friends at a bar near Belmont and Western avenues in North Center on Oct. 15 when he was attacked, Bricks general manager Ben Richter said.
Cox suffered a broken nose, a broken eye socket, a fractured skull, bleeding in his brain, cracked ribs and a knee injury in the attack, Richter said.
The uninsured man, who is described as a "gentle giant," spent a night in the intensive care unit and was eventually released from Illinois Masonic Medical Center on Oct. 19.
Since then, Bricks, 1909 N. Lincoln Ave., has been leading an effort to help pay for medical bills by attaching fliers to all deliveries, including information on their menus and gathering bills in a big jug inside the restaurant.
"It's been great. Everyone's been really nice," Cox said. "It was so unexpected."
Cox, a Logan Square resident, remembers little from the attack.
He vaguely remembers being struck from behind on the back of his head and getting punched and kicked on the ground.
The next thing he knew, he woke up inside the hospital.
"I'm sure he has a huge pile of medical bills," Richter said. "Whatever we raise for him I'm sure it's going to be a drop in a bucket, but at least he knows people care."
One Bricks customer donated $500 and another couple contributed $300 to the cause among dozens of $60, $40 and $20 donations, Richter said.
So far the restaurant has raised about $3,000 for Cox.
"We are all pretty close here," Cox said. "It's like a family atmosphere."
Richter said Cox attempted to fight back during the attack, but was knocked out, and when he came to, all of his possessions were stolen.
Cox returned to work on Nov. 7 and has been able to tend bar, but is sore by the end of the night, Richter said.
"He's a tough enough guy that could work through everything but the busted knee," Richter said. "He couldn't stand for more than five minutes."
Bricks was donating half of all sales Monday night to help Cox with his medical bills.
Anyone who would like to donate can call the restaurant at 312-255-0851.