CHICAGO — Just days after he was acquitted on charges related to a bar fight, Chicago Police Officer Robert Rialmo was involved Friday in an altercation at a Northwest Side bar.
Police said Rialmo — who fatally shot two people in 2015 — was part of a verbal dispute with two other men at Teaser’s Public House, 7123 W. Higgins Ave., about 3:40 a.m. Friday. All three were kicked out of the bar.
The confrontation soon got physical when the men began to punch each other outside a Taco Burrito King down the street, according to Chicago police spokesman Tom Ahern. He described all three men as "victims."
Rialmo's attorney said his client was targeted.
According to attorney Joel Brodsky, Rialmo was approached by two Conservative Vice Lord gang members who recognized the officer from TV. One man poured a beer over Rialmo's head, Brodsky said; both men flashed gang signs.
In a statement, Brodsky said:
"When Rialmo called 911 the CVL street gang members ran off. When other officers arrived, the gang bangers came back shouting gang slogans and flashing gang signs at Rialmo and the officers, which was captured on the officers body cameras. Officer Rialmo went to the 16th Police District station to file a report and to take a breathalyzer test."
Police said Rialmo blew a 0.0 on a breathalyzer; it was not immediately clear Friday when the test was taken. No one has been charged. Internal Affairs officers are investigating.
This comes just days after Rialmo was acquitted on two counts of misdemeanor battery that stemmed from a fight caught on video inside an Edison Park pizzeria in December. Rialmo said he was acting in self-defense.
Rialmo fatally shot 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier and 55-year-old Bettie Jones in December 2015. Rialmo had been called to LeGrier's father's home for a domestic disturbance. The officer claims he opened fire after LeGrier swung a bat at him.
Prosecutors declined to file charges. A jury last month awarded $1.05 million to LeGrier's family in a wrongful death lawsuit — but a Cook County judge reversed the finding once she learned the jury believed Rialmo feared for his life at the time of the shooting. He could still be fired by the Chicago Police Board over the shooting.
Detectives were working Friday to obtain surveillance video near Teaser's Public House and the Taco Burrito King as the investigation continues.