CHICAGO — The man who punched a River North security guard on camera this weekend turned himself in to police Tuesday and is feeling "very, very remorseful," according to a family representative.
"He knew that he messed up, and he's just very, very remorseful for punching a woman," said Dawn Valenti, a well-known victim rights advocate who spoke on the man's behalf Tuesday.
According to Valenti and police, the man had been drinking when he punched 46-year-old Zoa Stigler in her face, breaking several bones, about 2:15 a.m. Sunday in the 600 block of North Franklin Street.
"The alcohol blurred his judgment for a few quick seconds," Valenti said, "and his life is changed forever. So is hers [Stigler]. She has to have surgery tomorrow."
As of Tuesday afternoon, prosecutors had not filed charges against the man. His name is being withheld pending charges.
Valenti described the man as a 20-something Chicago native with no criminal history. She said she was contacted by a mutual friend to help the man turn himself in to Area Central detectives, which he did about 1 p.m. Tuesday.
More than $13,000 was raised in just one day through a GoFundMe campaign to help Stigler during her recovery. She is expected to have surgery on her eye Wednesday.
The attack was captured in a video obtained by WGN TV.
Stigler was working in a building on Franklin Street when the man vomited outside about 2:15 a.m., police said. Stigler walked to the sidewalk and asked the intoxicated man to leave. That's when he punched her in her face.
According to WGN, which broadcast video from the incident, the woman's nose and a bone under her eye were broken. Stigler told WGN she saw the man sitting outside and went to check on him. She realized he was sick and called police.
The man vomited on the sidewalk while his friends stood nearby, according to WGN. Stigler got a mop and bucket to clean the mess and asked the group to leave. After speaking with them, the man threw a water bottle at Stigler and punched her in the face. The group then left.
"Why would you hit a human being in the face that's trying to assist you, trying to help you?" Stigler told WGN. "I hope they arrest him because I do plan on pressing charges against him for assaulting me for doing my job."
Valenti said that while she doesn't condone the man's actions, she believes he is a good person who made a drunken mistake.
"What people saw was really bad," Valenti said. "There's no way around it. ... But people are calling him a thug and a piece of s---. All this stuff is not true about him. He's really, really remorseful. He's upset himself about what he did. He hit a woman."