Martel Butler Courtesy: Cook County Sheriff's Dept.

A panhandler who allegedly punched and then kicked a Forest Park man walking on State Street in Chicago after a turf dispute with other panhandlers was charged with aggravated battery and held on $30,000 bond Wednesday.

The victim, a Forest Park man, who police say was more than 60 years old, was passing Macy’s in the 100 block of North State Street, the afternoon of Nov. 12, when Martel Butler, 26, turned around, grabbed the man’s shoulder and punched him in the face, “for no apparent reason,” said Steve Campbell of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

According to Campbell, Butler and a group of other panhandlers were disputing “who had the rights to a particular corner” as the victim passed by.

Butler allegedly struck the victim, then kicked him when he fell to the ground. The victim was taken to a nearby hospital with several fractures to his face, police said.

Butler was quickly apprehended.

“Police arrived on the scene right away,” Campbell said.

Butler is currently being held in Cook County Jail where he awaits a preliminary hearing on Dec. 17, Campbell said.

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...

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