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

ByAlexis McAdams WLS logo
Friday, August 21, 2020
Woman charged after confronting Black man on Winnetka pier, police say
A North Shore woman is facing battery charges after an argument at a suburban beach turned violent.

WINNETKA, Ill. (WLS) -- A North Shore woman is facing battery charges after an argument about whether a Black man could be on a Winnetka pier turned violent.

The alleged victim told ABC7 that he believes the attack was racially motivated. He caught the confrontation on camera as he ended a 15-mile bike ride Monday night.

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 Irene Donoshaytis of Northfield 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 says.

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.