Joliet councilman punched in face during bar fight

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A Joliet city councilman was punched in the face during a bar fight - and it was all captured on video. (WLS)

A Joliet city councilman was punched in the face during a bar fight - and it was all captured on video. The fight led to charges against another man and a special prosecutor is now involved.

That councilman said that in this day and age of less-than-civil political discourse, he's used to getting an earful - but he never expected to get hit in the nose.

In the violent encounter, witnesses look on as words turn into finger-pointing - then things get out of hand as Larry Hug is hit in the face.

"There was like a quick 'bam, bam' with two of them, and I was shocked. I kind of just turned away, like I can't believe that happened. And then there was a third one. And so shock would be it," Hug said.

The Joliet city councilman says he was struck in the nose two weeks ago at a popular neighborhood watering hole. He was with other patrons, including a bearded man identified by police as Mark Koenig, 46.

"I had not met him. He knew who I was, but that's common. Around town, people will know the different elected officials. But that's the first time I had met the individual that had hit me," Hug said.

Hug declined to give details about the encounter because of the ongoing criminal case. Koenig has been charged with battery.

But Hug says the conversation at the table centered on the Rialto Square Theatre and his vocal opposition to public funding for the venue.

Initially, the video shows a friendly atmosphere with people at the table animated and smiling.

But things quickly turn, and words become heated. Koenig appears to grow increasingly agitated, and then angry. Another man appears to try to defuse the situation, but it spirals into violence. Hug was left bloodied as he called 911.

Hug: Yeah, my name is Larry Hug.
Operator: Hi.
Hug: I just got punched in the face by a patron at Double J's. And I want a police officer out here.
Operator: Ok.

Despite what happened, Hug sees some humor in it all.

"There's people that like me as an elected representative, and I'm sure there's people that don't like me. Those people might be getting a kick out of this. So, that's okay," Hug said.

The Will County State's Attorney's office says a special prosecutor is being appointed to handle the case because at least one of the witnesses at that table that night works for the county.

ABC7 left messages for the man who was charged, Mark Koenig, but did not hear back.
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