RIVER WEST — An arrest warrant has been issued for a 30-year-old man wanted in the stabbing death of a gay man outside a popular River West bar, police said Saturday.
A week has passed since Kenny Paterimos, 23, was fatally stabbed outside Richard’s Bar, 491 N. Milwaukee Ave. Police initially arrested the alleged attacker on the scene, but he was released without charges Sunday, infuriating Paterimos’ friends and family members — including his brother who said he caught the killer with the murder weapon and held him until officers arrived.
Police on Saturday said a warrant was issued Thursday for the man who they earlier released. The warrant has not yet been served, and the man is not in custody. They declined to release any details on the warrant.
At 11:23 p.m. Feb. 22, the man — a white former Marine with a criminal record — fatally stabbed Paterimos, a gay Latino man, outside Richard’s Bar after yelling homophobic slurs at the victim, witnesses and police said. Police are also investigating if the man yelled racial slurs at the bar.
The suspect was previously found guilty of battery in 2016, records show. He was recently charged with a DUI last December.
Paterimos’ older brother, Santiago “Julian” Bueno, said he noticed the man fighting with his brother in the bar prior and personally removed the 30-year-old after bar staff failed to intervene. Shortly after Bueno kicked the man out, Paterimos went outside to smoke. Within minutes, Bueno said his brother stumbled back inside the bar bleeding profusely. He’d been stabbed eight times and died on the floor of Richard’s Bar.
Bueno said he chased the attacker, who was walking away from the scene with the box cutter in his hand, and pinned him to the ground until police arrived.
The suspect, who was injured when police arrived, told investigators he stabbed Paterimos in self-defense. But Bueno said he was the one who beat the stabber — but only after he had stabbed the 127-pound Paterimos to death.
“I don’t believe for one second this guy [thought he] was ever in danger,” Bueno said. “This isn’t a story about self defense. This is a story about someone who knew what they were doing … found his victim to bully …and then tried to walk off like nothing happened.”
The 30-year-old was previously convicted of battery in Arlington Heights in December 2016, according to public records.
In that incident, the ex-Marine — who reportedly suffered from PTSD — unlawfully carried a pistol and attempted to hit a man with the gun before knocking him down and injuring the man, the Sun-Times reported.
The following year, he pled guilty to battery and was sentenced to 18 months probation and counseling, according to the Sun-Times.
As recently as December 2019, the man was charged with a DUI in Arlington Heights, records show.
Paterimos was stabbed eight times: once to his left ear, three times to the back of his head, twice to his right arm, once to his chest and once to his collarbone, Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office ruled the death a homicide.
There was nothing in police reports indicating Paterimos was armed, Guglielmi said.
Workers at Richard’s Bar have declined to comment since the stabbing.
Paterimos, who worked as a barista at Step Down Cafe in Pilsen, was an “old soul” with a big personality who loved his family and meeting people, his mother Diona Bueno said.
“He made me feel special, and that was just like, it takes a special person to make you feel that special,” she said. “He had an energy like you wouldn’t believe.”
A GoFundMe created to help Paterimos’ family with funeral costs had raised more than $12,000 to date.
Friends and family members of Paterimos have a protest scheduled outside of Richard’s Bar on Tuesday after bar patrons mocked his death on social media. They also say staffers of the bar have not cooperated in the investigation into his death.
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