Northfield woman gets probation after confrontation with Black man at Winnetka pier turns violent

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, October 19, 2022
Suburban woman gets probation in violent confrontation with Black man
EMBED <>More Videos

Irene Donoshaytis of Northfield was charged with a hate crime after she violently confronted a Black man on a pier in Winnetka.

WINNETKA, Ill. (WLS) -- A suburban Northfield woman has received one year probation after a plea deal was made for a hate crime charge.

Irene Donoshaytis was charged in August of 2020 after she confronted a Black man on a pier in Winnetka.

WATCH | Winnetka pier confrontation recorded by victim

That disagreement turned physical and the victim alleged it was racially motivated.

The state amended the hate crime charge for Donoshaytis to one count of misdemeanor battery after she pleaded guilty and completed an anti-racism class.

The alleged victim caught the confrontation on camera as he ended a 15-mile bike ride.

Otis Campbell, 25, said he and his friends were at Tower Pier near the Winnetka Beach for less than five minutes when a woman told them they had to leave.

"I need to see your passes," the woman can be heard saying on the video.

"As soon as she told us that we needed passes and we could not be here, this is Winnetka and she pays to be here and this is America, I took it upon myself to start recording her," Campbell said.

The now-viral video captured 65-year-old Donoshaytis confronting Campbell, questioning whether the group had beach passes.

"There was multiple people coming down the pier doing exactly what we did," Campbell said. "The only difference was that they were white and we were Black. She said that we were not American, that we needed to go back to where we belong from, she said we pay to be here."

The two alerted the employee on duty who explained that the area where Campbell was sitting is public property.

"They can sit there. Do you want me to call my manager?" the employee can be heard saying on the video.

Campbell, a first-generation U.S. citizen and Skokie resident, believes this was a racially-motivated incident.

On the video, Donoshaytis asks Campbell: "Do you want to kill me?"

He responds: "No. Why would I want to kill you? Is it because I am Black?"

"Yes," Donoshaytis said.

The argument turned physical when Campbell says Donoshaytis hit him.

"Irene turned around and hit me twice - multiple times - on camera," he said.

Winnetka police responded and the 65-year-old was arrested and charged with battery.

"She was still saying we cannot be there, still saying that we needed passes, while being handcuffed - all happening while people were coming to the pier," Campbell said.

Campbell said the woman's actions were hurtful and he wishes she would have just left them alone.