An African-American female security guard, Zoa Stigler, was punched in the face outside a condo in Chicago by an unidentified white man in the early morning hours of May 14 (video below).
"I am surprised I didn't fall down because the impact was really hard," Stigler told WLS-TV.
A surveillance video shows Stigler exchanging words with a group when the man tosses a drink at her, and then clocks her in the face.
Stigler suffered a black eye and broken nose, and may require surgery.
She recalled trying to assist the man earlier when he appeared to be passed out in front of the condo building, but he told her that he was OK.
According to Stigler, she told the man that he needed to get up, but he did not for a few minutes. When the man was with his friends, he assaulted Stigler after she told the group to move away from the building.
"He didn't say one word," Stigler stated. "He just walked up to me, threw the bottled water and, pow, hit me in my face."
The man and his friends then walked away in a casual manner.
"You really need to be ashamed of yourself," Stigler recalled. "You should never hit anyone, not because ... I am a female, but because I am a human being. You shouldn't hit a person that's doing their job."
Asad Khan, president of the condo board, hoped that the assailant would be identified and caught by the police because of the surveillance video
"Pick on someone your own size," Khan stated. "If you can't handle your liquor then don't drink."
"You don't know how much damage you have done to me," Stigler said to her assaulter over the air. "I pray that they find you."
Dawn Valenti, a crisis responder, told reporters outside the Chicago Police Department’s Area Central headquarters on May 16 that the man who punched Stigler was "very remorseful," notes WBBM.
The man was inside police headquarters being questioned while Valenti spoke on his behalf to reporters: "He is so remorseful. He’s very remorseful. When I got out of the car as he approached me, his body language told me how remorseful, how sorry he was."
Valenti, who is known for helping crime victims and their families, said that she knows the man's family through another party, and agreed to speak on his behalf if he turned himself into the cops:
He knew he did something he shouldn’t have done, under the influence of alcohol. He wasn’t in his right mind. He hit a woman, which he doesn’t do. He doesn’t have a background. He’s never been arrested. He’s an all-around good guy. He made a very wrong decision under the influence of alcohol.
Unidentified sources told WBBM that the suspect is in the military, and was in Chicago for a celebration.
Valenti said the 20-something-year-old suspect wants to apologize to Stigler, but can't approach her while the incident is being investigated.
Stigler was also at the police station, and said: "He hit me, and he walked away confidently."
Stigler recalled that the man’s companions did not show much emotion when she got punched.