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Near North Side, River North

Man Arrested In Attack On Ald. Brendan Reilly Outside Boss Bar In River North

Reilly said two men punched and kicked him Feb. 18 while he was leaving the bar at Clark and Hubbard streets.

Ald. Brendan Reilly said he was attacked outside the Boss Bar in River North.

RIVER NORTH — A 35-year-old man was arrested and charged Thursday with attacking Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) outside a well-known bar in his ward in February.

Antonio Palazzi, 35, was arrested at 11:45 a.m. Thursday in the 2400 block of W. Belmont Ave, Chicago Police said.

In February, Reilly said he was attacked by two men after leaving Boss Bar, 420 N. Clark St., around 10:30 p.m. Feb. 18. Reilly said he was outside the bar, waiting for a friend to pick him up on the Clark Street side when a man started yelling at him from Hubbard Street.

“These guys came out of the middle of the street, out of Hubbard Street and were yelling unintelligibly,” Reilly said last month. “I had no idea what they were trying to say, I was trying to hear what they were saying. I said ‘What are you saying’ and kind of walked away because it looked like they were getting aggressive.”

He described the attackers as two men in their early 20s.

A warrant for Palazzi was issued March 22 after detectives identified him, according to police spokesman Ronald Westbrooks. Westbrooks could not say how police were able to determine the offender was Palazzi, but Boss Bar and several other businesses in the area did have surveillance cameras. 

Footage obtained by Block Club Chicago from a city-owned camera mounted on the southwest corner of Clark and Hubbard streets, the corner where the bar is located, did not show an attack but the cameras were pointed away from the front of the bar.

“There were two people, but one guy was really enraged, so I walked away,” Reilly, a 14-year veteran of the City Council, said in February. “I didn’t want to be part of those guys, but as I’m standing there all of a sudden I get bum-rushed by one of them and next thing I know I’m on the ground and he’s trying to punch me. Within seconds of that a second person shows up and starts kicking me. Then, within seconds of that, a bouncer shows up and peels these guys off me and they take off. It all happened very, very quickly. I had never seen these guys before, they were younger guys. They looked pretty amped up. They looked like they had been out partying,” Reilly said.

On Friday, Reilly said on WGN-AM’s “Bob Sirott Show” that a second man was investigated but ultimately not charged.

“There actually were two, only one was charged,” he told Sirott. “Unfortunately, the second participant was not positively ID’d by any of the witnesses. So he gets lucky, but the other fella is going to have to be held accountable.”

Reilly did not call police the night of the attack or seek medical attention. However, once the story of the attack was published in media outlets, Mayor Lori Lightfoot instructed police to investigate.

Palazzi was expected in bond court Friday.