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5 'Attackers' Appear Before County Judge, 2 'Targets' Charged Separately

Five Indiana men were accused of felony mob action, among other charges, during a Monday afternoon court appearance. Two men who prosecutors say were targeted in the Ashford House attack were charged separately.

Bail was set Monday for in . 

Two among those targeted in the attack, , were also charged. They appeared before a judge separately.

Dylan J. Sutherlin, 20, Cody Lee Edward Sutherlin, 23, and Alex R. Stuck, 22, all of Bloomington, Ind.; joined Jason W. Sutherlin, 33, of Gosport, Ind.; and John S. Tucker, 26, of Spencer, Ind., in front of Cook County Associate Judge Terence B. Smith. A group of about a dozen showed in court to support the suspects. Several of them collectively gasped when the highest bail amount—$250,000 for Jason Sutherlin because of his criminal background—was set.

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The men, three of whom are brothers, were charged with one count each of felony mob action, aggravated battery and criminal damage to property. Bail for Cody Sutherlin was set at $200,000 and that for Dylan Sutherlin, Stuck and Tucker was set at $175,000 each.

Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Mike Deno said the group was among 15 to 20 people who stormed the Ashford House restaurant on 159th Street in Tinley Park around 12:30 p.m. May 19. They were there to attack members of the Illinois European Heritage Association, whom defendants allege are associated with white supremacy forums WhiteNewsNow and StormFront, Deno said.

Assistant Public Defender David Colaris declined to comment after Monday's court appearance, as did those in the group who showed in solidarity on behalf of the five defendants. While leaving the courthouse, some yelled at reporters, some flicked off television cameras and others insisted the group of attackers that day numbered 15—not as many as 30, as others have reported. 

Steven E. Speers, 33, of Grand Forks, N.D., was arrested that day on a warrant out of Dallas County, Texas, for possession of child pornography. Francis John Gilroy Jr., 65, of West Palm Beach, Fla., was charged with unlawful possession of weapons by a felon. Court documents indicate that Gilroy is a "transient."

Tinley Park Police Cmdr. Steve Vaccaro said the arrests were made "through information they learned" by talking with those attacked. Gilroy admitted to police that he had a loaded semiautomatic handgun in his car, according to court documents. He was convicted in 2002 of manufacturing marijuana in Lowndes County, Georgia, prosecutors said.

Assailants were "partially masked," Deno said, noting that they wore black scarves, hooded sweatshirts and other facial coverings . Attackers were armed with steel batons and hammers, Deno said.

They drove from the scene in a red Dodge Neon, which was one of three getaway cars, according to Tinley Park police. Ashford House owner Mike Winston said Monday morning that the cars were parked behind the adjacent restaurant, Rocco's Little Italy.

Winston said he came from the kitchen area when he heard commotion in the restaurant that day and saw two men flipping tables in a dining area. Thinking the incident was isolated to the duo, he chased them and pinned one to the ground.

"If I knew there were 18 in the group, I wouldn't have done that," he said, adding that a cluster of five men began beating him while he detained the one assailant. He had a scrape on his head while working Monday but had not been hospitalized.

In court, assistant public defender Jack Verges pointed out scratches on Gilroy’s body and dried blood on his shirt, and then asked that, because Gilroy is both a victim and defendant, jail guards separate him from his accused attackers. Judge Smith said he would sign the order and set bond at $25,000.

Jack Norton, chief of the Fifth Municipal District Courthouse sheriff’s police, watched as about 15 of his deputies flanked Judge Smith’s courtroom.

“There will be no mob action in here,” he said.

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Denise Du Vernay May 22, 2012 at 01:21 AM
There's so much to take away from this story, but I'm just going to leave it at this: Red is the worst color for a getaway car.
TQ May 22, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Still scratching my head at this entire incident.
Marine Sniper May 23, 2012 at 04:33 AM
Post from article: "Attackers were armed with steel batons and hammers". They were very fortunate that one of the patrons was not carrying a concealed weapon. Someone could have easily been killed as a result of one of these "clueless fools" actions. And if a patron was carrying, and took this assault as an action to commit possible a deadly act of aggression the assailant could have been shot and killed, by the patron. And in my opinion would have been justified in doing so. I live in a state where it is legal to conceal and carry. Many do not realize it but it (hand gun) does not have to be concealed. I do not wish to intimidate those who have no intentions of trying to ruin my day. For those whom feel they can force their will on me with the display of, say a knife, steel baton, or hammer, have now taken a bite of more than they can chew. I WILL show my will of non-compliance with deadly force, and let jurors decide my fate, not the would be taker of my life. I would not live in a state where I do not have the "privilege" of carrying a weapon. If you come at me with other than a gun, you will loose. If you have a gun, I will make every intelligent effort, if that moment is liable, to draw mine and make you as dead as I possible can. I do not believe any American should not have the opportunity to defend his life or the lives of those dear to him. USMC Semper Fi!
Marine Sniper May 23, 2012 at 08:58 AM
This sounds like something out of the days of prohibition. When Chicago's Mafia gangland controlled the streets, restaurants, and everything else in town. Fifteen to twenty thugs storm family restaurant. Minus "Tommy Guns". This is almost laughable, or better yet, "damn right ridiculous"! These thugs, whom paralleled that of a dolt, showed what a group of undereducated, sub-cultural, inept, moronic imbeciles, are capable of achieving. Needed attributes when auditioning for a part in a Keystone Cop film. This could have been part of a Mack Sennett's Keystone Cops caper, of the same gangland era. They should do some serious time, and not have the opportunity to do a sequel. ThaThaThaThat's all folks! ......... Semper Fi. Semper Fi!

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