Karen Charged After Confrontation With Black Bicyclist
A woman whose confrontation with a Black man attempting to use a public pier was captured on video last month has now been charged with a hate crime.
65-year-old Irene Donoshaytis of Northfield, near Chicago, turned herself into the Winnetka Police Department on Wednesday morning (September 9). Deputy Police Chief Brian O’Connell, according to the Chicago Tribune, says Donoshaytis was charged with a Class 4 felony hate crime, which was filed by the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.
Donoshaytis was later transported to the Skokie courthouse, where she appeared at an afternoon bond hearing. A bond was set at $10,000 by Judge Anjana Hansen who ordered Donoshaytis to have no contact with the victim and eye witnesses. She also had to give up her passport.
Donoshaytis was accused of striking Skokie resident Otis Campbell on August 17. He, his friend and his cousin were confronted by the woman over whether they were allowed to be near the Winnetka pier. All three of the people she confronted were Black.
According to prosecutors, white cyclists were also present in the same area and were not confronted by Donoshaytis. The group was reportedly relaxing at the pier following a 15-mile bicycle ride.
Donoshaytis is alleged to have approached the trio and said, “This is America. This is America, you can’t do this. I’m from Winnetka. You need to go back where you’re from,” according to Campbell.
Donoshaytis subsequently approached a Winnetka Park District employee to complain about the group Campbell and his friends.
Campbell then began recording on his phone the interaction as the employee explained that the three cyclists were sitting on public property and that a beach pass is not required.
Campbell is then heard laughing to which Donoshaytis turns around and asks, “Are you crazy? What, you want to kill me? No? It feels like it,” she says on the video.
“Why would I want to kill you? Is it because I’m Black?” Campbell replies.
“Yes,” Donoshaytis said.
Donoshaytis is then seen bolting toward Campbell’s phone, which shakes and cuts off filming.
Campbell claims she hit his arm twice, which left a bruise.