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A fight broke out at a meeting of the political chamber in Berwyn

BERWYN, Ill. — Many jokingly refer to Chicago-area politics as a contact sport, but in Berwyn, a verbal altercation turned physical at a raucous committee meeting Thursday night.

According to eyewitnesses, the meeting convened by Ald. Richard Legge (3rd Ward) moved into a bitter exchange between constituents

“People are frustrated because we’re not getting concrete answers,” Berwyn resident Letty Garcia said. “When we try [Leja] disrespectful, disrespectful and unfortunately it led to a fight yesterday.”

David Schaefer told WGN that the upheaval began when Leja accused Garcia of not being from Berwyn but “being from Cicero and bringing Cicero values ​​to Berwyn.”

At the heated meeting, community members demanded answers about what they called questionable real estate deals and tax breaks allegedly approved by Leia with little transparency or input from Berwyn residents.

Witnesses say the man, who Schaefer and others identified as a Leia fan, then knocked Schaefer’s phone and wallet to the ground.

“I was in shock and then he lunged at me and grabbed me,” Schaefer said. “My first fight since fourth grade and all my instincts kicked in. I grabbed him and I know I punched him because my joint hurt.”

The City of Berwyn responded to a request for comment, saying, “Alderman Leja immediately reported the incident to Berwyn Police and it is now the subject of an ongoing law enforcement investigation.”

Due to the fact that the case is being investigated by the police, the city authorities will not give further comments.

Leia did not immediately respond to WGN’s messages seeking comment.

Schaefer said that although he is the victim and was defending himself, he chose not to press charges in the assault.


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