John J. Haley
Police charged a 31-year-old Chicago man with first-degree murder today in the death of a fisherman who drowned in Montrose Harbor.
A judge set bail at $1.5 million.
John J. Haley, of Logan Square, admitted to pushing 62-year-old Du Doan into the water, police said. Doan, who could not swim, drowned.
At 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, Haley was at Montrose Harbor with five others when he told his friends that he was going to push someone in the water, said prosecutor Maria McCarthy.
His friends tried to hold him back, said McCarthy, but Haley broke free and pushed Doan into the harbor in what McCarthy called a random act of violence. Emergency medical personnel pronounced Doan dead after pulling him from the water.
Later Haley was "laughing and bragging" about the incident, said McCarthy, citing statements from Haley's friends.
Marc Gottreich, Haley's lawyer, said those statements were "self-serving at best." Haley had no intention of hurting Doan, said Gottreich, who stopped short of calling the incident an accident.
"He turned himself in," said Gottreich.
Haley first approached Channel 2 News, who escorted him to a police station after conducting an interview.
This is the second time Haley has pushed someone into the waters of Lake Michigan this summer, prosecutors said.
Earlier this summer, Haley approached a 57-year-old fisherman and asked for a light, then hit the man in the head and pushed him into the lake, McCarthy said. That man was able to swim to safety.
Haley was convicted of felony cocaine possession in 2001, according to court records.
He "poses a real danger to the community," said McCarthy. "The defendant, without any warning, pushed them into the lake. For Mr. Duon, it was a death sentence."
Both victims were of Asian descent, though prosecutors declined to label either incident a hate crime.