Authorities: Man charged with hate crime after using racial slurs, fighting hospital workers
A Downers Grove man is charged with a felony hate crime, accused of telling a black hospital security officer that he was "going to hang him from a tree," authorities said Monday.
Erik J. Lewis, 21, of the 4000 block of William Street, also is charged with aggravated battery for slapping the security officer, authorities said.
Oak Brook police had arrested Lewis after an unrelated traffic crash at 8:35 p.m. Friday, according to a news release from the DuPage County state's attorney's office. Authorities say he was combative, and police brought him to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, suspecting he had used an intoxicating substance.
Authorities say Lewis fought hospital workers, used racial slurs and slapped the security officer.
"The charges against Mr. Lewis are very disturbing," DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said in the news release. "Hate crimes have no place in civilized society, particularly in times such as these when we should all be coming together to help each other."
Lewis was released Sunday on a $50,000 personal-recognizance bond and was ordered to stay away from the hospital except for medical treatment. He is due to be arraigned April 27.