Chicago crime: disabled man beaten to death leaving Pilsen soup kitchen

CHICAGO (WLS) – A disabled man was beaten to death in an alley behind a church in Pilsen after eating at his soup kitchen last week. It was a priest who called 911.

Juan Antonio Garcia Rios’ family said he was leaving Saint Pius V Church when he was attacked.

“They were arguing inside and I guess from there it escalated,” said Pamela, who declined to give her last name and works at the church.

The 67-year-old had just had lunch at the soup kitchen on the 1900 block of South Ashland Avenue. Then there was an altercation in the alley.

“They were arguing, the guy pulled out the metal bar and hit him right there,” Pamela said.

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Chicago Police said a man approached Rios and beat him to death with his bike lock.

Church staff called 911 as investigators said the offender left on a white bicycle.

“He had to do it a few times,” Pamela said. “It was a horrible sight to see.”

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Rios’ sister, who lives in New Mexico, is devastated by the loss.

“No one has the right to take someone else’s life,” said Corina Garcia Flores.

She said her brother was disabled and had difficulty moving around, let alone fighting back.

“He didn’t hurt people,” his sister said. “This is what we don’t understand, why this all happened.”

The father was considering moving to Texas.

“He was what you normally call a jack of all trades,” Flores said. “If you needed something to be done, he would.

Violent crime has increased over the past year in the Police District which covers Pilsen and much of the Near West Side. Murders are up 65% from a year ago, from 17 to 28, according to police statistics.

Reports of theft and sexual assault also showed double-digit increases from the same time last year. Aggravated batteries and break-ins, however, showed modest decreases.

No one is currently in detention. If you have any information, call the Chicago police. Tips can be submitted anonymously to detectives at

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