Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tom Diamond Charged With Hate Crime: 'I'm Going To Hang You From a Tree'

Taken from the Chicago Tribune:

A Norwood Park man has been charged with a hate crime after he jumped off his porch and yelled racial slurs as he chased a woman who works at a nearby hospital, according to police.

Tom Diamond was also charged with misdemeanor assault after the incident Saturday evening. In a Cook County Bond Court hearing today, he was ordered held in lieu of $150,000 bail, said Cook County state's attorney's office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton.

The woman said she had just finished a 12-hour shift at Presence Resurrection Medical Center and was walking to a Mexican restaurant nearby around 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The woman said she had planned on bringing her meal back to the hospital when she was confronted by Diamond outside his home in the 5800 block of North Oketo Avenue, she said.

"Hey you stupid black n----- b----, how does it feel to walk in an all-white neighborhood?" Diamond, 45, yelled from his porch, according to a police report.

The woman said she kept walking and Diamond yelled, "You hear me? You must be from Englewood," the police report states.

The woman, who was wearing a nurse's uniform and had a stethoscope around her neck, told Diamond, "I'm not from around here” and said she worked at Resurrection Medical Center.

Diamond, who is white, then got off the porch and ran after her, screaming, "If I see you in my neighborhood again, I'm going to rape you and hang you from a tree,'' the police report said.

"He jumped off his porch and chased me down,'' the woman said. He tried to grab her but she was able to get away, she said.

The woman said she ran toward Resurrection Medical Center in the 7400 block of West Talcott Avenue and called 911 as Diamond walked back to his home. Officers arrested Diamond at 8:10 p.m. at his home, police said.

The woman said she lives in Carbondale, where she is a student at Southern Illinois University, studying to be a doctor's assistant. She travels to Chicago on weekend to work at the hospital.

"I know that this is America and the world's not like the way it used to be years ago,'' she said. "It really didn't disgust me because on a day-to-day basis I help everyone. White people. Black people. Puerto Rican people. Gay people.

"You don't think this can happen here. . .coming at you with all that hatred because of your skin color,'' she said.  "But crime can happen anywhere.''

After Diamond was arrested, the woman said she stayed at the police station until 4 a.m. while officers processed the arrest but made it to her next her shift that started at 7:30 a.m.

"I was exhausted. I was overwhelmed,'' she said. "I want people to know he didn't just target anyone. I am black. I am dark-skinned.''

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