Tinley Park man charged with hate crime, accused of throwing brick, beer can at worker he accused of burglarizing nearby home

September 4, 2012 3:08:56 PM PDT
A Tinley Park man is facing hate-crime charges after police say he attacked and yelled racial slurs at an African American man working near his home.

Bond was set at $25,000 Tuesday for 47-year-old Joseph Berndt.

Prosecutors say the 51-year-old victim was working in the 6200-block of West 179th Street on Sunday when Berndt started to yell racial slurs and accused the victim of burglarizing the foreclosed property that borders Berndt's home.

When the victim tried to explain he had been hired to work at the home, Berndt allegedly threw a beer can and a brick at the man.

The worker tried to flee. According to prosecutors, Berndt chased after the man while swinging a metal pipe. They say, when Berndt caught up with the victim, he began choking the man and threatened to kill him.

The victim eventually managed to break free and called police.

Berndt is scheduled to appear in court again September 17.

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