Man Chokes 8-Year-Old Girl in Chicago Restaurant Women's Bathroom

Nick Kangadis | May 13, 2016
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(Image: Reese Hartstirn/Cook County Sheriff's Office)

A man is being held by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) because he is accused of choking out an eight-year-old girl at a Jason’s Deli in Chicago’s South Loop.

According to ABC 7 Chicago:

The girl was with her mother at the Jason's Deli in the 1200-block of South Canal Street on May 7, police said. The girl went to the bathroom by herself around 1:15 p.m.

A short time later, her mother heard a scream. She went into the bathroom and found Reese Hartstirn, 33, carrying her unconscious daughter into a stall, police said. He had allegedly choked her with his hands.

CPD said that people in the deli held the man down until authorities arrived on the scene.

While the police do not have any information on the little girl’s condition, she was taken to a local children’s hospital.

A statement was released by Jason’s Deli on Friday about the situation:

We're blessed to have a wonderful relationship with the Chicago Police Department. Many of them are our customers and because of their connection to our deli, this unfortunate situation was handled very quickly. We're proud of how out team members responded and thankful that we have the kind of customers that are willing to lend a hand in a difficult situation. We continue to work hard every day to make every customer happy.

Hartstirn is being held without bond after being charged with aggravated kidnapping of a child, aggravated battery of a child and battery causing bodily harm.

No word on whether the Hartstirn will use the “gender identity” defense, but it shouldn’t really matter considering he choked out a little girl. Hartstirn will be back in court on May 16.