Victim of alleged beating says race was a factor

August 17, 2011 9:11:30 PM PDT
Family members of a man severely beaten at a party in West Chicago last weekend say the attack was racially motivated.

The alleged victim is black. The three men charged in the case are white.

Christopher Phillips, 19, says he spent seven hours in the emergency room and another five hours in surgery getting a wire implanted in his jaw.

However, he says what he sees as the motive behind the alleged assault is worse than his injuries.

Phillips showed ABC 7 his injuries: a fractured jaw, four missing teeth, and cuts and bruises on his body.

"That was probably the worst pain I've ever felt in my entire life," said Phillips.

Phillips, a College of DuPage student, says he was beaten early Sunday morning at a late-night house party in suburban West Chicago. He says he was the only African-American at the party when he was confronted by Thomas Randich, 19, after speaking to a young woman.

"He was like, 'Yeah, you're talking to the wrong girl.' I was like, I looked at him - I'm confused - I was like, 'What do you mean I'm talking to the wrong girl?'" said Phillips.

Phillips says after a heated argument, tempers cooled, but when he turned to walk away, he says was punched from behind and hit the concrete floor with his face. He says he was then kicked and punched repeatedly.

"There was no reason and no excuse, I don't care what it was, for you to put your hands on anybody - nobody deserves that - nobody," said Phillips's mother, Sandra Smith-Phillips.

Randich, his brother Jake, 18, and Michael Mungovan, 19, have all been charged with aggravated battery.

Phillips says as the three men were leaving, he heard at least two male voices shouting racial slurs.

"It's like, 'This is what that N gets,' and, 'These Ns think they can do anything,'" said Christopher Phillips.

"He was talking to a white girl, and they didn't like it. And they jumped on him," said Phillips's father, LaMonte Phillips.

On Wednesday, the DuPage County State's Attorney declined to offer details about the beating, saying they continue to investigate and that additional charges are possible.

"You can't disguise it. It is what it is. It's a hate crime. They let that be known," said Christopher Phillips.

Mungovan, one of the suspects, is free on $200,000 bond. He did not return a call from ABC 7, but his father did talk to us and denied that his son was involved in the alleged beating. He said his son was misidentified by witnesses at the scene.

ABC 7 could not reach the two other suspects, Thomas and Jake Randich, who remained behind bars Wednesday night.

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