TINLEY PARK, IL – Multiple people were injured and several arrested after a group of militant anti-racists stormed a family restaurant on Saturday, and attacked a group of white supremacists.
The group of 18 attackers, dressed in black and sporting masks, assaulted roughly a dozen alleged white supremacists with steel batons and hammers inside the Ashford House restaurant, causing around $15,000 in damages and sending several people to the hospital.
“The other group marched into the restaurant, all were in hooded sweatshirts,” restaurant owner, Mike Winston, told msnbc.com. “Each had a chair leg, baton or a bat. They came in and went straight to a table of white guys and whoever stood up or got in the way, they got walloped.”
Mayor Ed Zabrocki has reviewed the surveillance footage and says the attack was a real riot.
“The whole thing took about 90 seconds to transpire,” Mayor Ed Zabrocki stated. “You see tables moving into view, food spilling on the floor. You see them marching out and you see some of the waiters taking swings at them.”
The victims in the incident are members of the European Heritage Association, which is linked to the extreme “white pride” organizations White News Now and Stormfront. Information about the upcoming White Nationalist Economic Summit and Illinois White Nationalist Meet-and-Greet was posted on the latter site as early as February of this year. Despite their affiliations, one member who was present during the attack, Beckie Williams, says that the group was only at the restaurant discussing “economic hardships” and that any allegations of racism are “ridiculous.”
“I’ve been Mayor for 31 years and I’ve never heard of anything stranger than this,” Mayor Zabrocki told ABC News. “It’s like you have someone from extreme left field and someone from extreme right field come to center field to fight – and Tinley Park was center field.”
Investigators say that ten people were injured, three of whom required staples to their noggins. Following the tussle, only 5 of the alleged assailants, deemed The Ashford House Five by the press, were identified and detained after being pulled over shortly after the incident.
They are said to be members of the Hoosier Anti-Racist Movement (H.A.R.M.). Brothers Jason W. Sutherlin, 33, Cody Lee Edward Sutherlin, 23, and Dylan James Sutherlin, 20, were arrested along with Alex R. Stuck, 22 and James S. Tucker, 26, all of whom are from Indiana. The men have been charged with aggravated battery, mob action and criminal damage to property. All counts are felonies.
The Anti-Racist Action website posted the following after the attack:
“On Saturday, May 19th a group of 30 anti-fascists descended upon Ashford House restaurant in the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park where the 5th annual White Nationalist Economic Summit and Illinois White Nationalist Meet-and-Greet was taking place. The White Nationalists were targeted inside the restaurant and physically attacked, causing several injuries and completely shutting down their meeting.”
A couple of the victims in the assault were also arrested as police found that one, Steven Spears of South Dakota, was wanted for possession of child porn and another, Francis Gilroy of Florida, was found to be in possession of an unlawful firearm.
The Irish-American restaurant suffered more than physical damages. Because of the incident, and assumptions that the owner was affiliated with the patrons who were targeted, business was dead the following Sunday and three large parties canceled their reservations. But officials say there are no indications that the owner of the restaurant knew any of the people involved.
“Why in the world would I be associated with these groups?” said Winston. “They entered my business and caused serious damage. When people make a reservation, we don’t ask them about their political beliefs.”
Luckily, nearby businesses and regular customers showed their support for the family owned restaurant and packed the place on Monday.
If you, like me, can find humor in other’s astoundingly apparent idiocy, regardless of really unfunny subject matter, you might want to check out the backlash over on the Stormfront message boards. Wishes for the perpetrators to be struck with cancer, AIDS, et cetera, et cetera. You know, for betraying their whiteness or whatever. There is even some rudimentary plotting for revenge right out in the open, because that’s smart.Tags: Ashford House, Assault, Beating, Crime, Illinois, racist, Stormfront