Rubin Robinson said he has always managed to avoid trouble inEnglewood, the violence-plagued South Side neighborhood where he’s lived his entire life.
The eight staples on the right side of his chest, and the eight more under his elbow, are the result of a melee in the relatively safe Boystown section ofLakeview, where Robinson, 25, was hanging out with some friends Sunday night when he was attacked and stabbed.
The brawl was captured on video and added to a simmering controversy in the gay-friendly neighborhood, where some residents say there has been a jump in crime and others say white residents are being intolerant of young blacks who visit from other parts of the city.
A day after he was released from Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center for treatment of injuries that included a collapsed lung, Robinson said Friday that the fight was “simply senseless violence.”
“It wasn’t a hate crime. It wasn’t a racial crime,” Robinson said from the front porch of his South Side home. “It can’t attribute it to anything other than bad character, cowardice, maybe a little sadism.”
On Friday, the man accused of stabbing Robinson, Darren Hayes, 24, of Hammond, Ind., was ordered held in lieu of $700,000 bail on charges of aggravated battery and mob action. Prosecutors said they expect the charges will be upgraded to attempted murder when the case goes before a grand jury.
Robinson, a DePaul University student, said he and two friends went to Boystown — the hub of Chicago's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community — at about 11:45 p.m.
Walking north on Halsted Street near School Street, they encountered a group of about 10 other people who made some “smart alecky remarks” as they walked past, he said.
“I said, ‘What? Who are you talking to?’” Robinson said, prompting the group to surround him. One said: “‘You’re talking a lot of (expletive). I’ll hit you. I’ll smack your (expletive),’” Robinson said.
Robinson said his hand got tangled in someone’s shirt and someone hit him in his ear. He doesn’t remember when he got stabbed.
Hayes was the only person arrested in the attack, although police said others are being sought. Prosecutors said he was seen throwing the first punch on the video of the fight, which was taken by witnesses and posted on YouTube.
Chicago police credited the video footage with helping to identify those involved.
“Technology definitely played a big role because we definitely wouldn't have had the images without the people who recorded them,” Belmont Area Sgt. Debra DeYoung said.
Witnesses identified Hayes in a lineup, police said. Prosecutors said investigators found two knives in Hayes’ home and he admitted to detectives he had both weapons with him the night of the attack.
Robinson, who is black, said he plans to stay away from Boystown for a while.
“I know that I won’t be distinguished from the troublemakers,” Robinson said. “I’m not that guy. I’ve never been that guy.”Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times