Man who stabbed gay barista to death while shouting homophobic slurs claims he was acting in self defence
A man who has been accused of yelling homophobic slurs before stabbing a young gay man to death has been released after claiming self-defence.
Kenneth Paterimos, 23, was killed outside a Chicago bar on Friday, February 21, after being stabbed multiple times.
According to the Chicago Tribune, police said Paterimos was involved in an argument with a 30-year-old man inside the bar. The man was escorted outside by security but waited outside.
As Paterimos left the bar, around 11.20pm, the suspect allegedly yelled homophobic slurs at him before stabbing him eight times with a boxcutter.
According to a police report, he was stabbed once in his left ear, twice in his right arm, three times in the back of the head, once in the chest and once in the collarbone. The 23-year-old was taken to a nearby hospital, but was pronounced dead at 11.51pm.
Paterimos’ brother rushed outside and held the man on the ground until police arrived, after which the suspect was taken into custody.
But on Monday, February 24, the unidentified man was released without charges after claiming the attack was in self-defence.
Paterimos’ mother, Diona Bueno, told Chicago Sun Times: “He was stabbed in the back. How can they say it was self-defence?”
Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said: “The individual taken into custody presented a self-defence claim, so he’s been released and we’re now working to corroborate the timeline and the chronology of events that he gave us.
“We just normally have 48 hours under the law to question individuals and then, depending on how those interrogations go, information is obtained and shared and now we have to corroborate what he told us.
“And if everything is factual the way he describes it, then he could have a self-defence claim. And if not, he could face charges.”
Asked if the attack could be classed as a hate crime, Guglielmi added: “Anything is possible and I can’t really speculate on where this could go.”
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Dina Paterimos, Kenneth’s older sister, told the Chicago Tribune that her brother was “was out and he was proud… I was one of the first people that he told because he knew I would love him no matter what”.
She said: “I couldn’t imagine someone being so threatened by him that they had to pull a knife out on him.
“This is the guy who called me when he went over 100 pounds because his whole life he didn’t even weigh 100 pounds.”
She added: “He never got into fights or started stuff with people. My brother would joke with you before he would start a fight with you. It’s such a shock that someone could hurt my brother like that.”
Bueno wrote on a crowdfunding page to pay for her son’s funeral: “It is extremely difficult to cope with the loss of my son. He was a hard worker, always helping someone.
“The bright light of my family, the one who ties us together is gone. No one should be victims of a crime, to lose a person at such a young age is not easy and I never thought I would have to bury my child.”