Thursday, April 05, 2018

Charges Filed In Uptown SWAT Stand-Off; Man's Finger Was Chopped In January "Sword Attack"

Thomas Berryman (inset) is charged with four felonies. | CPD; @TheAngus on Twitter
Charges have been filed against an Uptown man who sparked a SWAT team response by allegedly threatening to shoot sheriff’s deputies who came to his apartment with eviction papers on Wednesday afternoon.

Thomas Berryman, 32, of the 4000 block of North Kenmore is charged with four felony counts of aggravated assault of a peace officer with a weapon, according to court records. He was due in bond court this afternoon.

Sheriff’s deputies went to Berryman’s apartment around 1:30 p.m. to serve court papers, but the situation escalated when Berryman threatened to shoot them and anyone who approached the building, according to police. A Chicago police SWAT team was dispatched, and the incident was resolved without injury by 3 p.m.

On January 31, Berryman nearly lost a finger after a man he met online went wild in his apartment and severed his digit with a machete, according to a police report that Berryman filed at the time. Multiple witnesses called 911 to report seeing a naked and blood-covered man running down Irving Park Road shortly after 9 a.m. that day. Doctors at Thorek Hospital were able to re-attach his finger, police said at the time.

Berryman told police that he met a man by the name of “Teej” on an app and invited him to his apartment where “Teej” ingested methamphetamine. At some point, the offender brandished a large knife and chopped off one of Berryman’s fingers, police said.

“Teej” was described as a white man between 30- and 35-years-old, 6-feet tall, and 165 pounds with a brown backpack. He reportedly resembles Jesus Christ with a scruffy beard and brown hair.

Police issued a community alert following the incident because the circumstances and offender description were similar to a robbery in Lincoln Square just days earlier.

After reading our coverage, several CWBChicago readers believed that they knew the identity of “Teej.” Three separate individuals emailed photos and screenshots of the same man to our editors in the days following our report. Chicago police have been following up on those leads. (And, yes, he looked exactly like a "meth head Jesus.")

Berryman in a photo from his GoFundMe page | GoFundMe

“Sword Attack”

Berryman established a GoFundMe campaign on February 24 to raise $5,000 for expenses that he chalked up to a “sword attack.” As of this evening, he had raised $25.

“I had my right pointer finger nearly amputated after I caught someone stealing from apartment,” Berryman wrote in his fundraising pitch. “When I confronted him never did I expect him to pull out a sword hidden inside his jacket. As he swung aimlessly towards my direction, I’m thankful that he didn't cut off my hand or worse. I ran from my apartment to nearest hospital screaming in pain but yet numb to what actually just had happen. [sic]”

“Unfortunately, as of this past week, half of the reattached portion had to be permanently removed,” he wrote.

“The police are still searching for the suspect and I've been to two lineups without success. I'm confident the police will catch him in due time but am concerned about mounting living expenses.”

“There still is the other half of the reattached portion that could come out ok but I can't put weight on it or carry heavy items,” Berryman said to prospective donors.

In closing, he looked to the road ahead: “I’m currently in Chicago but have plans to travel cross country to new settling grounds and close the chapter on Chicago.”

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