Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Two men, including troubled ex-cop, charged with beating outside Andersonville gay bar

Eric Elkins (left) and Giovanni Rodriguez are charged with the incident outside of Atmosphere. | CPD; Google
UPDATE 7:06PM — Judge John Lyke set bail for Elkins at $250,000 with electronic monitoring and a prohibition on travel, including to Florida. Gonzalez’s bail was set at $50,000.
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Two men, including a now-resigned Chicago police sergeant with a checkered past, have been charged in connection with beating three men after an argument at an Andersonville gay bar in September.

Former cop Eric Elkins, 45, was charged Monday with two felony counts of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm. And 34-year-old Giovanni Rodriguez is charged with two felony counts aggravated battery causing great bodily harm and one count felony aggravated battery in a public place. Both men are due in bond court today.

Police said the pair were involved in an argument with three other men inside Atmosphere, 5355 North Clark, around 11:25 p.m. on Sept. 29th. The altercation continued outside the bar, and a fight broke out on the sidewalk that resulted in the three other men being transported to hospitals for injuries that were not life-threatening, according to a police statement.

Edgewater resident Rodriguez and Elkins, who lists a home in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, turned themselves in at Area North police headquarters on Monday.

A civil lawsuit filed last year alleges that Elkins, Rodriguez, and two other defendants caused one victim to suffer a compound fracture of his leg while another was treated for a perforated trachea and broken facial bones.

The victims claim that the argument began when members of Elkin’s group threw limes at them.

Police records show that Elkins was already under investigation at the time of the Andersonville attack for allegedly sexually abusing a teenage boy at a party in Michigan in 2015. He pleaded guilty to battery in the criminal case and received probation. Separately, Elkins was acquitted of charges that he sexually abused a male student while working security at a city high school in 2003.

Elkins “resigned under investigation” from the Chicago Police Department in February after nearly 20 years on the job, according to a police spokesperson. He had been relegated to desk duty for three years at a salary of over $100,000 due to an on-going disciplinary investigation of the Michigan incident.

Records collected by the Chicago Police Data Project show 35 complaints filed against Elkins during his career—more claims than 96% of other officers. None of the complaints was sustained, according to CPDP.
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