Marques Gaines was killed Feb. 7, 2016, outside a 7-Eleven store in the 400 block of North State Street.
Photo: Ryan Cosens
Surveillance video released Wednesday captures the last moments of a popular hotel cocktail server who was punched and knocked unconscious, landing in a Near North crosswalk. The footage also shows more than a dozen bystanders failing to come to his aid in the nearly two minutes before a cab accidentally drives over him.
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"There's a clear photograph of the aggressor and a clear video of him attacking Marques Gaines. He hasn't been arrested, and we don't know why," Hurley added.
Gaines' cousin Drexina Nelson said she and her mother, Phyllis, watched the video of Gaines for the first time Wednesday evening and were shaken.
"It was gut-wrenching," Nelson said. "We had heard over the course of these past few three months what happened, but to actually see it with our own eyes was devastating."
Gaines' aunt Phyllis Nelson, who had been too upset during the news conference to speak, said afterward that she couldn't imagine strangers passing by an injured person in her native Georgia.
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"I've never heard of anything like this where people just walk by a person lying in the street and nobody help," she said. "I just don't understand it."
Attorneys for the family released grainy footage from a Chicago police pod camera that captures Gaines falling to the ground after a heavier man wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and sweatpants and white sneakers apparently knocked him out with a single right-handed punch. Gaines, who had just bought chips inside the 7-Eleven, could be seen running away from his pursuer before he was struck.
Especially troubling for Gaines' family was that bystanders didn't help as he lay in the crosswalk. At least one person believed to be a 7-Eleven employee called 911. Others walked past him without trying to pull him out of the street or block traffic.
Within seconds of the punch, a half-dozen people gathered around Gaines, including two men who appeared to have rifled his pockets. Gaines' family said his cellphone and debit card were stolen. After a minute, the group and his attacker left the scene and as seconds ticked away, individuals and groups of people walked by Gaines without trying to pull him out of the street.
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That no one came to her cousin's aid or tried moving him to safety on the sidewalk was too much for Drexina Nelson. Nelson and her mother, who raised Gaines after his parents died, live in Georgia.
"We as people, as humans, we should care for one another," Drexina Nelson said as she sat with her mother and their attorneys at their Loop law offices Wednesday afternoon. "Who leaves a person in the street for that long? That's devastating to me — the fact that he could have been saved. He could still be here with us."
Last month, attorneys representing the Nelsons filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against several entities, including Chicago Taxi and the driver who struck Gaines. But this week, a judge allowed the attorneys to amend the complaint to add 7-Eleven to the lawsuit as a defendant.
The Nelsons' attorneys also released footage outside the store that captures the confrontation between Gaines and the attacker, who is seen getting into the victim's face and pointing.
"Marques never would have been laying in the street if he hadn't been attacked by somebody who had just been in the 7-Eleven," Hurley said Wednesday. He put blame on a security guard and a store employee who he said stood by and watched but did nothing to get Gaines to safety.
Lawyer, family: 7-Eleven, bystanders failed assault victim before he died
5:05 pm, April 21, 2016
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Angel Arce Torres, known to all as Ponce, was hit by a car that sped away.
But this was the victim: Angel Arce Torres, known to all as Ponce, the town in Puerto Rico he left in 1966 to come to the United States. Father of six daughters and one son, with a flock of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Dominoes player extraordinaire. Fisherman and Yankees fan. The guy who bought his own garbage can and chained it up to keep the street clean in front of his beloved El Bohio Café, where he swept the sidewalk, the way others tend their rosebushes, with the broom he kept in the alley. A retired forklift operator who picked up cans to earn a few extra dollars for Carmen Rodriguez, who lives next to the cafe. The least anonymous man on Park Street, who, thanks to one sickening video, became an unlikely symbol of the scary anonymity of the modern street.
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“I don’t want to get too political,” Mr. Myers said, “but I’d just say a lot of things go on in society on a daily basis that are definitely inhumane, and no one raises an eyebrow. But this, something that happened so fast, you were stunned by it, this is inhumane? We’re not human? We’re subhuman? What does that mean?”
The Day the Traffic Did Not Stop in Hartford
By PETER APPLEBOME
JUNE 8, 2008