Dad of one of teens charged in YouTube beating says attack was a 'retaliation'
Raymond Palomino (Chicago Police Dept. / March 17, 2014)
Michael Palomino, a Cook County sheriff's deputy, said his 17-year-old son Raymond is being “made out as the fall guy.” Palomino said he called police and agreed to turn his son in after seeing the video on the news.
His son has been charged as an adult with robbery and aggravated battery for the attack that has gone viral on YouTube. Judge Israel Desierto set bail for Palomino at $100,000 over the strenuous arguments of the teen’s attorney.
After the hearing, his father said the attack was “retaliation” for an incident last month when the victim and his friends jumped Raymond and another boy after school. After that incident, there was a lot of trash talking on Facebook and things spiraled out of control, the father said.
“He’s the only one charged as an adult,” Michael Palomino said. “They’re making it sound like he did everything. It’s just one side of the story.”
His son appeared in court wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. He hung his head low throughout the 10-minute hearing and appeared to have tears in his eyes as he was led from the courtroom.
In asking for a low bond, defense attorney Ilia Usharovich said Palomino is a “young man with no criminal record who was ashamed to find himself where he was."
“As you can see, he can’t even look anybody in the face because he’s embarrassed to be standing here,” Usharovich told the judge.
The teen’s father said outside court that Raymond is generally a good student who has done well in school, but got mixed up with some friends who are troublemakers.
“He’s a good kid,” said Michael Palomino. “He’s had bad moments here and there, but nothing like this before.”
The other teens -- two 16-year-old boys, three 15-year-old boys and a 15-year-old girl -- were all cited in juvenile delinquency petitions on the same charges, police said. Their identities were not made public because they are juveniles. Police said one of the teens lives in Arlington Heights, the rest in Chicago.
Prosecutors said Palomino and the other boys persuaded the girl to lure the victim into an alley in the 2700 block of South Shields, where the others were waiting to beat him.
When Palomino saw the victim walking through the alley, he yelled “get him!” to the others, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Erin Antonietti.
The video was shot via cell phone. Other teens posting comments on the video identified the attackers by name. Palomino, whose face was clearly visible in the video, was one of those identified.
Antonietti said the video shows Palomino removing a gym shoe from the victim’s backpack and striking him with it repeatedly in the face. Palomino also took the victim’s wallet, removed cash and then dropped it into a sewer, she said.
The victim suffered bruising to his eyes, a swollen, bloody nose, cuts to his lips and bruises to his ribs and body, Antonietti said. He was treated and released from a hospital on the day of the attack.
Palomino was later identified in a lineup by the victim, Antonietti said.
In the attack, which lasted for several minutes Sunday afternoon, the boy covers his face as the other youths surround him and push him into the snow while kicking and punching his head, his legs, his back.
The attackers yell that the boy had "(expletive) up."