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Sister of Bryant Gumbel & Greg Gumbel Freed After Spending Night in Will County Jail

The Mokena police arrested the sister of Bryant and Greg Gumbel for allegedly slapping her former fiance and breaking his computer.

Renee Gumbel. Credit: Will County Sheriff's Department
Renee Gumbel. Credit: Will County Sheriff's Department
The sister of Bryant and Greg Gumbel spent the night in jail after the Mokena police arrested her for allegedly attacking her former fiance.

Prosecutors opted not to pursue charges against Renee Gumbel, 49, during Will County bond court Wednesday afternoon.

Gumbel was arrested Tuesday morning at Holly's Gourmet Popcorn in Mokena. Her former fiance, Steven Hamilton, 50, is the president of the popcorn business.

A Mokena police officer sent to the popcorn place to investigate a domestic dispute found Gumbel standing outside, a report said. It didn't take long before she let the cop know she slapped Hamilton, according to the police report.

Gumbel told the officer she had ended her engagement to Hamilton, with whom she lives in Orland Park, two nights prior, the report said. She had gone to his popcorn business to get back a set of car keys, the report said.

Hamilton put her off, telling her he was busy working and that they had discussed setting up a time to return the keys, the report said.

Gumbel and Hamilton "began to argue, at which time she picked up a coffee cup full of warm tea and threw it at him," the report said. "She then picked up and threw his laptop computer causing damage to the corner of the computer."

Hamilton tried to "convince her to leave the business," the report said, but Gumbel "punched him with a closed fist to the left side of his face."

An employee of the popcorn business, 56-year-old Gayann Nelson, who was the one who called the cops, backed up Hamilton's story, police said.

After Gumbel was cuffed and taken into custody, she agreed to talk and admitted to dropping in on Hamilton unannounced, the report said. But when an officer asked why she struck her ex-fiance, she "said she did not want to answer any more questions," according to the report.

Gumbel appeared before Judge Roger Rickmon via video broadcast from the Will County jail. She thanked the judge when he told her she was free to go.

Hamilton attended the hearing and voiced disappointment that prosecutors were declining to charge her with domestic battery and criminal damage to property.

"There were facts," Hamilton said, adding, "Property was broken."

Hamilton said he was considering a lawsuit against Gumbel for the broken computer and wondered aloud whether her brothers' celebrity factored into the decision by prosecutors. He also did not rule out reconciling with Gumbel but was not sure she would be willing to.

Charles B. Pelkie, the spokesman for the Will County State's Attorney's Office, said Hamilton later spoke with a prosecutor and has come to grips with the decision to let Gumbel go free.

"We explained to him the reasons for not going forward and at this point he seems to understand the state's position on this," Pelkie said.

"We've got a guy who refused to return property to this woman," Pelkie said. "There's a disparity in size—he's much bigger, larger than this woman. There was no injury. She spent the night in jail. She has no criminal background. These are the factors that the state took into account when we made the determination not to pursue the charges in this case."

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