A Northfield woman was sentenced to one year of probation after pleading guilty to a hate crime charge.
In August of 2020, Irene Donoshaytis was charged for confronting a Black man on a Winnetka pier.
This disagreement became physical, and the victim claimed it was motivated by racism.
Donoshaytis’s hate crime charge was reduced to one count of misdemeanor battery after she pled guilty and completed an anti-racism course.
At the conclusion of a 15-mile bike ride, the alleged victim captured the confrontation on camera.
Otis Campbell, age 25, reported that he and his friends had been at Tower Pier near Winnetka Beach for less than five minutes before a woman told them to leave.
On the video, the woman can be heard saying, “I need to see your passes.”
“As soon as she told us we needed passes and could not be here, because this is Winnetka and she pays to be here and this is America, I began recording her,” Campbell said.
The now-viral video shows Donoshaytis, 65, confronting Campbell and asking if the group had beach passes.
“There were a number of people coming down the pier in the same manner as us,” Campbell said. “The only difference between us and them was that they were white. She stated that we were not Americans, that we belonged elsewhere, and that we were paying to be here.”
The two notified the on-duty employee, who explained that Campbell was sitting on public property.
“They are permitted to sit there. Do you require that I contact my manager? “The employee’s voice can be heard on the video.
Campbell, a Skokie resident and first-generation American, believes this incident was motivated by racism.
Donoshaytis asks Campbell in the video, “Do you want to kill me?”
He responds: “No. Why would I wish for your death? Is it due to my being Black?”
“Yes,” Donoshaytis said.
Campbell claims that Donoshaytis struck him as the argument turned physical.
“Irene reversed course and struck me multiple times on camera,” he said.
The 65-year-old was arrested and charged with battery after the Winnetka police department’s response.
Campbell remarked, “As people approached the pier, she continued to insist that we could not be there and that we required passes, despite being handcuffed.”
Campbell stated that the woman’s actions were hurtful, and he wished she had simply left them alone.
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