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Brother of Teen in Berkot's Beating Lawsuit Had Pleaded Guilty to Stealing Whiskey During Incident

The teen suing the New Lenox Berkot's wasn't the only one arrested on the day of the alleged beating.

Michael Brown. Credit: New Lenox Police Department
Michael Brown. Credit: New Lenox Police Department
The older brother of a New Lenox teen who claimed a crew of Berkot's workers beat him unconscious before lying to the police to land him in juvenile jail was arrested himself in connection with the same incident.

Not only was older brother Michael Brown, 21, charged with retail theft for stealing a bottle of Maker's Mark from the New Lenox grocery store in March 2012, he later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to pay $400 in fines and costs and serve 50 hours of community service, according to court records.

Brown's younger brother, 18-year-old Nicholas Brown, and their father, David M. Brown, filed a lawsuit earlier this month against the New Lenox grocery store. In the lawsuit, they allege that Nicholas Brown was escorted to a room in the supermarket where five employees "pushed, shoved, punched, slapped, grabbed, suffocated, and otherwise battered" him until he "passed out and lost consciousness."

To add insult to injury, according to the lawsuit, the Berkot's workers "made false allegations" to New Lenox police officers, telling the law Nicholas Brown "battered each of them in various ways."

Nicholas Brown was then "arrested by the New Lenox Police Department, fingerprinted and held in the custody of the New Lenox Police Department and the Will County Juvenile Detention Facility," and spent a weekend locked up before a prosecutor "dismissed all complaints pending against" him, the suit said.

Patch requested the New Lenox police report detailing the incident that led to the lawsuit. The heavily redacted report said older brother Michael Brown and two unidentified people were detained for the "retail theft of a bottle of Maker's Mark" whiskey on March 9, 2012.

The two unidentified people, one of whom is a female "were near (Michael) Brown, possibly looking out for him" when he stole the whiskey, police said. After Michael Brown was detained they were reportedly found outside in a parked car and agreed to come back to the store.

Store employees reportedly told police the male unidentified person wanted to use the washroom but was not allowed due to concerns he was carrying stolen merchandise or might make a break for it.

The male "became upset and attempted to push through (redacted) and three other employees (redacted) stated when they stopped (redacted) he became violent, trying to bite and punch at them," according to the report, which said the male had to be restrained "due to his violent actions."

The unidentified male reportedly complained of shortness of breath and New Lenox firefighters were called to the scene. While waiting for them, the male asked to sign complaints against the Berkot's workers for battery, the report said, because he was "upset that the employees would not allow him to use the washroom.

The male reportedly told police "he was pushed first and only pushed the employees back."

The unnamed male was allowed to leave with his mother so he could go to the hospital for an examination, the report said. Officers reportedly told the mother to take her son to the police station after seeking medical attention.

Nicholas and David Brown's attorney, James Payonk, failed to return a call for comment.

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