Twenty-six years after a Chicago police officer was beaten to death, his family is outraged after discovering the man convicted in his murder is coaching baseball in the same South Side neighborhood.
In May of 1988, Officer John Mathews was viciously beaten to death a stone’s throw from the family home in the Hegeswisch neighborhood. Five were charged in what the judge called one of the most brutal attacks ever brought before his court.
One of the people charged, Dean Chavez, served 11 years for second-degree murder.
Chavez coached baseball on the South Side for six years before Mathews’ family found out. They protested to the Babe Ruth Baseball Organization, the local board that let him work with children.
Chavez was fired. He told WGN tonight he has paid his debt to society and just wants to go on with his life. He realizes coaching kids won’t be a part of that.
But the Mathews family wants the board gone as well.
Mathews’s daughter Anne was 6-years-old when her father was killed. Now she is a Chicago Public Schools teacher and says she was outraged to learn one of her father’s killers was back in the old neighborhood coaching kids baseball.
“Unfortunately, he forfeited his right to be a role model and a mentor when he took my father’s life,” she said about Chavez.
Her mother Laura says, “It’s a slap in the face to every law enforcement officer out there. He murdered my husband with a baseball bat … and he’s teaching kids how to play baseball. It’s ridiculous.”
The baseball board did not comment to WGN. A public meeting is planned for Wednesday night.