Zoa Stigler was just doing her job this past weekend when she stopped to help Matthew De Leon. De Leon, 23, was throwing up outside of a building where Stigler, 46, was working as a security guard early Sunday morning.
After Stigler asked if he needed any help, she asked him and his friends to move so she could wash the vomit off the sidewalk. De Leon then threw a bottle of water at her and punched her in the face.
“When he threw the water, I was shocked, I don’t even know what made me walk up to him,” Stigler told WGN. “Why would you hit a human being in the face that is trying to assist you, trying to help you?”
After seeing his face across multiple news outlets, De Leon turned himself in to Chicago police and was charged for the assault.
“He knew what he did was wrong,” Dawn Valenti, a representative for De Leon, told The Chicago Tribune. “I can’t tell you how sorry he is … He hit a woman. That’s not what he does.”
Valenti, a crisis responder for an organization called Chicago Survivors and friend of De Leon’s family, drove him to turn himself in and condemned his actions.
It was later found that De Leon is an active duty soldier who’s been a member of the military for five years. He’d served nine months in Afghanistan and was scheduled to leave for Hawaii next month. His bond was set at $250,000 on three counts of aggravated battery.