Board Member's Son Made Racial Threat in Hate Crime Attack: Lawsuit

A young man allegedly attacked by a Will County Board member's son has filed a lawsuit claiming he was the victim of a hate crime.

A Joliet man allegedly whipped at the hands of a belt-wielding Will County Board member's son has filed a lawsuit claiming he was the victim of a hate crime.

The suit names Alex Wilhelmi, the 21-year-old son of board member Steve Wilhelmi, D-Joliet, along with two of Alex Wilhelmi's friends—Manuel Borrego, 24, and Daniel Duffy, 23.

Joliet resident Trey Travis, 20, filed the lawsuit this week at the Will County Courthouse. According to the suit, Travis was riding in a Saturn Vue with two other men on July 1 when Borrego turned his Pontiac Grand Prix into the path of their vehicle. Duffy and Wilhelmi were riding with Borrego, the suit said.

Words were exchanged and Travis got out of the Saturn, the suit said. Alex Wilhelmi, Borrego and Duffy then attacked him, the suit said.

During the altercation, Alex Wilhelmi, Borrego and Duffy told Travis "they were going to 'beat (his) black ass,'" the lawsuit said.

The Joliet police reportedly arrived in the midst of the attack and took Alex Wilhelmi, Borrego and Duffy into custody. Borrego was arrested on charges of driving under the influence, mob action, criminal damage to property, battery and reckless driving. Duffy and Wilhelmi were charged with mob action and battery, and Duffy caught a case for criminal damage to property.

According to the police account of the incident, one man from the Saturn was left behind when the other two drove off. Alex Wilhelmi pulled off his belt and whipped this man's back while the Borrego and Duffy punched and kicked him, police said.

A special prosecutor was called in to try the case due to Steve Wilhelmi's position with the county board. In November, the special prosecutor, Dave Neal, droppped the charges against Alex Wilhelmi. Borrego and Duffy got court supervision after pleading guilty.

The attorney representing Travis, John Schrock, said filing a civil suit was his client's only recourse after the criminal case was dismissed.

"We're disappointed that they didn't file charges," Schrock said. "If you look at the police report, it's clear what happened. Because they didn't file charges,  we did the only thing we could, and that was file a suit."

Get all the area's court news on our Facebook page.

Hanky March 17, 2013 at 12:25 PM
WHAT THE HELL? So, you're saying all this is a sham???? You can't MAKE UP a false court case-that's contempt. So the cops that were there are also lying??? This behavior is unacceptable and there HAS to be consequences, even if you have a SPECIAL attorney.
815crazy March 17, 2013 at 03:48 PM
where is clutche n the rest of the klan with their comments o this guy is white.
William Taylor March 18, 2013 at 01:45 PM
815, funny that you that. I notice that CCW LOVERS, only speak when the shoe is on the other foot.
GlockG22Shoots40s March 18, 2013 at 03:02 PM
Homey shouldn't have gotten out of his car... what did he think he was gonna do??? He shouldda been packin if he thought he was going to take on 3 dudes.
Jax April 12, 2013 at 01:06 PM
typical, daddy due to the good ol boys club gets son off..Joliet politics is a legal form of the mafia..This kids knows he is basically bullet proof cause daddy will get him off. I hope this kid wins his lawsuit then maybe daddy Wilhelmi might put this kid over his knee a whoop his ass for being such a lil punk.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »