Chicago Tribune

Chicago cop with checkered past under criminal investigation for vicious beating outside popular bar

CHICAGO - Hours after the brutal beating of two men outside an Andersonville neighborhood nightclub, two friends of an off-duty Chicago police sergeant implicated him in the attack under questioning by a Chicago police detective.

The next day, a friend of the victims picked out Sgt. Eric Elkins "immediately and without hesitation" as the main assailant when detectives showed him a photo array of suspects, police reports show.

"He's the drunk guy that was kicking (victims) outside," a detective's report quoted the witness as saying as he circled Elkins' photo.

More than a month after that identification, though, no charges have been filed against the 19-year police veteran in the attack outside @mosphere, a gay club in the 5300 block of North Clark Street, on Sept. 29.

On Wednesday, Anthony Guglielmi, a Chicago police spokesman, called Elkins "a person of interest" in the beating and said the investigation "is still continuing."

"It's about building the strongest case possible," Guglielmi said. "It's a decision that will be made jointly with prosecutors."

The Cook County state's attorney's office declined to comment.

Attorney Timothy Cavanagh, who has filed a personal injury lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against Elkins, blasted the delay in bringing criminal charges despite the positive identification.

"It's a code of silence. They protect their own," Cavanagh said. "They had probable cause to arrest (Elkins) weeks ago. But because

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