Edgeville Buzz

Ex-Cop’s Friend Gets Reduced Sentencing After Violent Beating Outside Andersonville Gay Bar

Eric Elkins(top) & Giovanni Rodriguez

After a fight outside an Andersonville Gay bar that left two men critically hurt and another pair facing criminal charges, the Chicago Police Department was accused of dragging its feet to bring charges in the case. Now it has been learned that one of the two offenders has pleaded guilty to lesser charges and will receive court supervision.

It was a violent scene on the sidewalk outside Atmosphere at 5355 N Clark in the early morning hours of September 29, 2018. The incident left the two victims John Sherwood and his partner Tom Stacha with life-threatening injuries after an argument inside the bar was met with a physical altercation once the pair decided to leave the nightclub.

According to the victims attorney, 45-year-old ex-cop Sgt. Eric Elkins and his friend 34-year-old Giovanni Rodriguez followed Sherwood and Stacha out the exit doors and instantly started to beat them. The violent scuffle left Sherwood with a compound fracture to his leg and Stacha with broken cheekbones and a perforated trachea.

After CPD failed to produce charges after more than a month, the victims accused the CPD of using a “code of silence” which resulted in a civil case against Elkins and Rodriguez. Prosecutors eventually charged the pair with three felony counts of aggravated battery each.

Now over two years later, Judge William Gamboney has gave handed down the first sentencing. Rodrigues was downgraded from felony charges to that of three misdemeanor counts of reckless conduct to which he pleaded guilty. In addition, four other counts of aggravated battery were dropped and he was given 40 hours of community service.

Elkins, who resigned from the CPD due to this case and prior ones as well, has yet to be sentenced. At the time of the 2018 altercation he was on paid desk duty after receiving reduced charges of assault and battery and disorderly conduct for fondling four teenage boys while intoxicated at a 2015 Fourth of July picnic in Michigan.

Rodriguez’s sentencing does raise questions about Elkins fate. With a long list of dismissed complaints and reduced charges including a grand jury indictment for having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old teenage boy in 2003 that was eventually dropped, some worry that Elkins will once again get off easy.

There is no word on when Elkins’ sentence will be handed down.


Hat Tip: CWBChicago.com

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