Woman sues River North club, al­leg­ing as­sault

Says se­cu­rity guards took her into al­ley, stood by while she was sex­u­ally as­saulted

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - CHICAGOLAN­D - By Made­line Buck­ley

A woman is su­ing a River North restau­rant and night­club, al­leg­ing that staff and se­cu­rity guards there tossed her out of the es­tab­lish­ment into a dark al­ley and stood nearby while some­one sex­u­ally as­saulted her, ac­cord­ing to a law­suit.

The woman, re­ferred to as Jane Doe in the com­plaint, filed the law­suit Mon­day in Cook County against El Hefe Chicago, a Mex­i­can restau­rant and club lo­cated at 15 W. Hub­bard St.

The woman vis­ited El Hefe on Oct. 18 and was served al­co­hol by a bar­tender there, in­clud­ing drinks bought by some­one else, ac­cord­ing to the suit.

At some point, the bar­tender saw “an un­known in­di­vid­ual” make sex­ual ad­vances to­ward the woman, the suit said. The bar­tender also no­ticed the woman’s con­di­tion “rapidly de­te­ri­o­rat­ing” and be­lieved the woman had been drugged, the com­plaint al­leges.

The com­plaint fur­ther al­leges that the bar­tender saw the man make sex­ual ad­vances on the woman af­ter she had vom­ited at the bar.

The bar­tender then told the man to stop, and the man replied that the bar­tender could not tell him what to do, the law­suit said.

El Hefe staff then re­quired the woman to leave the bar be­cause of her con­di­tion, ac­cord­ing to the law­suit.

Se­cu­rity guards es­corted the woman out the back door and into a dark al­ley ac­com­pa­nied by the un­known man, the suit al­leges.

The man sex­u­ally as­saulted the woman in the al­ley, ac­cord­ing to the suit. Mean­while, the se­cu­rity guards “stayed in the al­ley while (the woman) was sex­u­ally as­saulted about 100 feet away.”

Af­ter­ward, the man flagged down the se­cu­rity guards and left the area while the woman lay in the al­ley, the suit al­leges.

The suit ac­cuses El Hefe, and its em­ploy­ees and guards, of do­ing noth­ing to stop the man from as­sault­ing the woman and plac­ing her in a dan­ger­ous al­ley with a man they sus­pected of drug­ging her.

“El Hefe knew or should have known that the as­sailant posed a risk of dan­ger” to the woman, caus­ing her se­ri­ous in­juries and emotional dis­tress, the com­plaint reads.

Mes­sages sent to El Hefe, its parent com­pany and its at­tor­neys were not re­turned Satur­day, but the es­tab­lish­ment ad­dressed the suit in a state­ment posted on its Face­book page on Wed­nes­day.

The post said the woman was es­corted by se­cu­rity out the back exit af­ter she be­came ill, “per the venue’s stan­dard pro­to­col.” The restau­rant said a man “fol­lowed the female guest as she was es­corted out back.”

In the post, El Hefe said staff called an am­bu­lance and stayed with the woman un­til she was taken to the hos­pi­tal.

“Dur­ing this time, our se­cu­rity team did not witness an as­sault in the al­ley,” the post said.

The man then went back in­side and left through the front door shortly af­ter, ac­cord­ing to the restau­rant’s post.

The Chicago Po­lice Depart­ment is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the al­leged as­sault af­ter the 23-year-old woman was found ly­ing in the al­ley behind the es­tab­lish­ment around 12:20 a.m. on Oct. 19. She was taken to North­west­ern Memo­rial Hos­pi­tal.

The 23-year-old woman told po­lice at the hos­pi­tal that she had no rec­ol­lec­tion of the night. One of her friends told of­fi­cers she was in the bar when a man she didn’t know made her feel un­com­fort­able, so she moved to the other side of the bar, ac­cord­ing to Chicago po­lice.

The woman’s at­tor­neys re­leased sur­veil­lance video that ap­pears to show a man walk­ing the woman out the back door of the es­tab­lish­ment, hold­ing onto her with both hands. They are flanked by two se­cu­rity guards.

The man steers the woman down the al­ley and waves off the se­cu­rity guards, who re­main by the door, ac­cord­ing to the video. The two guards stand out­side by the door while the man and woman are yards away in the al­ley.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.