Man gets 1 year probation for slapping Devin Hester

December 1, 2011 3:31:43 PM PST
The man who slapped Bears star Devin Hester at a suburban casino pleaded guilty to battery charges Thursday.

Daniel Rago, 52, was sentenced to one year probation and was ordered to attend anger management training.

Prosecutors say he called Hester a moron before slapping him in the back of the head while in line at the Rivers Casino in October. Rago, a huge Bears fan, apparently failed to realize who he was dealing with.

"It was a complete misunderstanding and Devin did nothing wrong and Dan shouldn't have done anything really but he thought he was defending an elderly couple at the casino and he mistook Devin for somebody else. He didn't recognize him and he probably would have hugged him if he recognized him," said Frank Kostouros, Rago's attorney.

Sheriff's officers snuck Hester in and out of the courthouse through a basement entrance. He did not address the court.

In exchange for his guilty plea, Rago gets a 12-month discharged sentence. He has to get evaluated for anger management and do 80 hours of community service. His attorney says Rago is a married salesman with four college-aged kids who goes to a lot of Bears games. He knows he made a mistake and nobody feels worse than him, according to Kostouros.

"He feels terrible about it and has apologized publicly from day one, the day this happened and he wants the Bears to beat the Chiefs this week and go make the playoffs," said Kostouros.

Rago paid a fine of $315. But he could have had a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Devin Hester previously told authorities he wanted to pursue charges to send a message that what Rago did was unacceptable.

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