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Woman Threw Hennessy Bottle At Officer's Face In Melee Caught On Video

By  Kelly Bauer and Erica Demarest | August 23, 2017 11:27am | Updated on August 23, 2017 6:51pm

 Celeste Perez (from left), Jeremiah Perez and Antonia Perez have been charged in an incident that led to eight officers being injured, police said.
Celeste Perez (from left), Jeremiah Perez and Antonia Perez have been charged in an incident that led to eight officers being injured, police said.
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Courtesy Chicago Police Department

LITTLE VILLAGE — Eight Chicago police officers were injured when a gathering after a funeral turned violent in Little Village, authorities said.

A short video posted on Facebook shows part of the Tuesday incident. In the video, officers can be seen standing behind a yellow barrier while a crowd of people stands on the other side. A woman appears to throw something at an officer across the barrier.

At that point, officers push through the barrier and move into the crowd. Chaos ensued.

According to police, officers were called to the 2600 block of South Albany Avenue about 8:55 p.m. Tuesday to investigate a report of gunshots. Police came across a large group of people and tried to control the crowd, officers said. A source told DNAinfo that a crowd of people headed to 26th Street after a funeral for a Latin King gang member.

That's when a woman hurled a Hennessy bottle at police — striking an officer in his face, prosecutors said. The officer required stitches, according to an arrest report.

Prosecutors have charged 22-year-old Antonia Perez with aggravated battery to a police officer after authorities identified Perez as the person who threw the bottle via social media videos. Perez is being held on $150,000 bail.

According to Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto, Perez confessed to tossing the bottle after her arrest — telling police she was distraught because she'd just come from her boyfriend's funeral. Perez apologized and offered to pay for the officer's medical expenses, prosecutors said.

In a phone interview Wednesday, defense attorney David Peilet said Perez was at the funeral for her live-in boyfriend Victor Davila Jr., a 19-year-old Little Village man shot dead in an alley on Aug. 16, when Perez got a call from her mother claiming Perez's younger sister, Celeste, had been shot. That was not true.

"It was an emotionally charged situation," Peilet said. In court, he told Cook County Judge Laura Sullivan that Perez is bipolar and has depression and anxiety. He maintained Perez's innocence, but noted she was "very emotional" Tuesday night.

It was not immediately clear Wednesday why the Perez sisters' mother thought Celeste had been shot.

Prosecutors said Antonia Perez rushed outside and tried to cross the police line to learn more about her sister before throwing the Hennessy bottle at police. She was arrested about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, court records show.

Ten minutes earlier, sister Celeste Perez, who had not actually shot or injured, was arrested for trying to cross the police barrier, court records show. According to an arrest report, Perez flailed her arms and pushed police. An officer hyperextended his shoulder while attempting to detain Celeste Perez, the report said.

Celeste Perez is charged with aggravated battery to a police officer, resisting arrest and obstruction. Her bail was set at $100,000.

During the melee, officers fired shots when a person trying to drive away from the scene headed "straight toward" them, police said. No one was shot, authorities said — but in all, eight officers were injured during the melee, including the man hit in his face with the Hennessy bottle. One officer had a broken hand.

In court Wednesday, Antonia Perez wore a white T-shirt with blue doves that says, "Rest in Paradise, Beaver." Beaver was a nickname for Davila, according to multiple Facebook posts. A central photo shows a man and woman kissing. On either side of the photo are the words, "Sunrise 11.4.97" and "Sunset 8.16.17."

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said the incident is being investigated by the Independent Police Review Authority.

"There was a lot of gang activity in that area last night," Johnson said during a Wednesday news conference. "The majority of the people that live in these neighborhoods are really good people, and they're sick and tired of seeing that crap. Because it could affect them."

Another video from Facebook shows officers and large crowds of police gathered in the area:

Eleven people were taken into custody; five of them are adults, and six are juveniles, police said.

Those charged:

• Celeste Perez, 19, of the 2500 block of South Trumbull, was charged with aggravated battery of a police officer and two counts of resisting arrest.

• Antonia Perez, 22, of the 2400 block of South Sawyer, was charged with aggravated battery of a police officer.

• Daniel Perez, 30, of the 2400 block of South Sawyer, was charged with municipal violation of disorderly conduct.

• Ezekiel Perez, 24, of the 2400 block of South Sawyer, was charged with reckless conduct.

• Jeremiah Perez, 28, of the 2400 block of South Sawyer, was charged with aggravated assault, fleeing and "numerous" traffic violations, police said.

• A 14-year-old boy was charged with reckless conduct.

• A 15-year-old boy was charged with criminal trespass and reckless conduct.

• A 14-year-old was charged with aggravated assault of a police officer and a municipal count of disorderly conduct.

• A 17-year-old was charged with aggravated assault of a police officer.

• A 14-year-old boy was charged with aggravated battery of a police officer, resisting/obstructing and a municipal count of disorderly conduct.

• A 17-year-old was charged with battery, reckless conduct and resisting/obstructing.