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Local News

Police: Joliet women shot, stabbed in melee at Anthony's restaurant

Investigators seeking two male suspects involved in the incident

JOLIET – A fight that broke out Sunday at Anthony’s Restaurant and Pub left a Joliet woman with bullet wounds to her legs and another woman with a stab wound to her face, police said.

Joliet police are seeking two black male suspects who may have been involved in the scuffle that began at about 2:42 a.m. Sunday at the 3151 Voyager Lane restaurant and spilled into the parking lot of Toys “R” Us across the street, said Joliet Police Deputy Chief Ed Gregory.

One of the suspects allegedly fired his handgun into a crowd when the fight started. Gregory said one of the two suspects is about 5-foot-11 and was wearing a red polo shirt. The other is about 5-foot-7 and was dressed in a black T-shirt.

A 25-year-old Joliet woman was shot in both legs, a 31-year-old Joliet male suffered a superficial graze wound to the bottom of his right foot and three vehicles were damaged with bullet holes, Gregory said.

During the fight, a 26-year-old Joliet woman was knocked unconscious and a 35-year-old Minooka woman was stabbed in her right cheek, he said.

The 25-year-old woman who was shot and the 26-year-old woman who was knocked unconscious were taken to Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center. Their injuries that were not life-threatening.

Gregory said the man who suffered the graze wound to his foot didn’t require medical attention. Gregory did not have information on whether the woman who was stabbed in her cheek received medical treatment.

Detectives are actively working the case and recovering video footage from local businesses, including Anthony’s.

Officers responded to the incident Sunday morning after being contacted about a large disturbance taking place at Anthony’s. While en route, they were told a woman had been shot and another was knocked unconscious.

When they arrived, the officers saw large groups of people in front of Anthony’s and Toys “R” Us. Gregory said preliminary indications suggest the fight started near Anthony’s but police were uncertain if it happened inside or outside the restaurant.

Gregory didn’t have information on how the fight began or the motive of the suspects.

Anthony’s has been troubled in the past, including when it was previously known as Samy’s Lounge. Anthony’s replaced Samy’s, a bar that had been cited for liquor code violations and had its entertainment permit revoked before closing in 2014. Hohlastos family members have been involved in both restaurants.

On Feb. 5, police reported shots fired during a fight in the parking lot of Anthony’s. Someone fired several rounds in the air and ran away while firing more rounds, Joliet Police Chief Brian Benton said at the time. Several gang members were present for the confrontation, according to police, but did not provide any information to investigators.

After the incident, the restaurant stated in a Facebook post that it would re-commit to providing a safe place for family and friends and that it would beef up security with the assistance of law enforcement.

Anthony Hohlastos, who manages the restaurant, said in an email that “no one was stabbed to my knowledge” and that both Sunday’s incident and the one on Feb. 5 happened outside the establishment and off the property.

“Neither incident began with a witnessed violent altercation within the business itself and so therefore our security was not involved,” Hohlastos said.

He said more security has been used since February – between 12 to 14 during the weekends – along with intermittent police presence but the past weekend was the first time in one month police were not used.

The restaurant also has a strict dress code since February but it has not been “[100 percent] effective in preventing entry of those who wish to commit crime.”

“Our plan is to utilize police every weekend moving forward,” Hohlastos said.

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