2 charged in firefighter's severe beating

August 21, 2009 6:33:49 PM PDT
The man charged with the severe beating of an off-duty firefighter says he was acting in self-defense. Twenty-year-year-old Brian Ruiz appeared in court Friday morning and had his bond set at $300,000. Prosecutors charged him with two counts of aggravated battery for allegedly beating 24-year-old Matt Jones outside a Lincoln Park bar early Wednesday morning.

Jones remains hospitalized in serious condition.

A defense attorney says it was Jones, not Ruiz, who was the aggressor in the incident.

"Brian Ruiz held out his hand and said he didn't want to fight this man Matt Jones. Matt Jones spit on him and punched him. And that's what started the fight," said Andrew Jester, attorney for Brian Ruiz.

Prosecutors say police officers saw Ruiz punch and kick Jones while Jones was on the ground.

A second man has been charged in the case, but not with beating Jones.


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