CHICAGO — Chicago’s Pilsen community is demanding an explanation for why police didn’t charge a man who fatally stabbed a 23-year-old man to death this past weekend, but in the meantime, a fundraiser is being held to raise money for his funeral expenses.
The victim’s friends and family are deeply concerned that the killer is getting off scot-free in Friday’s brutal West Town stabbing.
Kenneth Paterimos, 23, was killed from multiple stab wounds. Loved ones are demanding to know why CPD Area South Detectives released the attacker Sunday with no charges.
“He was so full of love and smiles,” Melissa Marillo, Paterimos' cousin, said.
Marillo and dozens of relatives and supporters, consoling one another at a Pilsen coffeehouse known as Step Down Café at 2023 S. Racine Ave. The owner is holding an all-day fundraiser to help the grieving family with funeral expenses.
Paterimos used to work as a barista at the café, where he had many friends and admirers. He was loved for his kindness and big heart, coworkers said. But now his family faces the difficult task of burying him.
Chicago police said Paterimos was stabbed to death late Friday night just outside Richard’s Bar in West Town at 491 N. Milwaukee. A fight, according to witnesses, precipitating the deadly attack.
Witnesses said a 30-year-old man, an ex-marine, according to the Chicago Sun Times, began yelling racial and homophobic slurs at Paterimos.
The former Marine was ejected from the bar, but things started escalating.
When Paterimos left to go home, witnesses said the ex-marine was waiting for him. After the deadly stabbing, Paterimos' brother held the man with the knife down until police could arrive.
After 24 hours of questioning, the ex-Marine was released without any charges.
But CPD spokespeople said no decisions have been made about possible charges, and this remains an open investigation.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the attacker was arrested in Arlington Heights back in 2016 for battery charges and unlawfully carrying a 22-caliber pistol. The unnamed man received a conviction in 2017.
A GoFundMe has been created to raise money for Paterimos' funeral expenses.