CHICAGO — A Rogers Park man has been charged with murder and a hate crime after a Wednesday street fight ended in a man's death.
Joseph Firek, 59, of the 7000 block of North Clark Street, was arrested Wednesday and later charged with first-degree murder and a hate crime.
About 2 p.m. Wednesday, Michael Tingling was walking with his teenage daughter in the 7100 block of North Clark Street when he noticed Firek eyeing her and making inappropriate gestures, authorities said.
Tingling, 59, stepped between the man and his daughter and told the man to go away, relatives said. Firek then shoved Tingling, a former boxer from Belize, and the two got into a fight.
"My dad — being a boxer and having the temperament that he has — he wasn't going to just let that fly," said Masharah Tingling, 15. "He pushed the guy back, and [the guy] punched him directly in his chest. My dad has a pacemaker in his chest."
Police said Firek made "racial comments" throughout the fight. Masharah said Firek called her and her father "n-----s" and told them to "go back to Africa."
Tingling and Masharah were able to flee to a nearby auto repair shop, police and relatives said, where Tingling collapsed. He was taken to St. Francis Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:46 p.m. Wednesday.
The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office ruled the case a homicide. Tingling's official cause of death was hypertensive cardiovascular disease and stress due to an altercation.
Firek is slated to appear in bond court Friday.
Relatives, friends and neighbors on Thursday remembered Tingling as sociable man who was great with kids. He was especially devoted to Masharah, his only child.
"He's one of the best fathers I ever came across and one of the most overprotective," said friend Hussein Edwards, 31. "When it comes to [Masharah], he don't play."
Firek was ordered held on $250,000 bail Friday afternoon.