PROPHETSTOWN – The attorney general is looking into a complaint that state police are keeping under wraps records on a fight in late September outside a Prophetstown bar.
In November, Eugene Pashon, 30, asked for records from state police about the fight, which took place Sept. 28 near Kuehl’s Pub, 213 Washington St.
In a December interview, Pashon said five men approached him outside the bar and started beating him up. He said he remembered nothing after that because he got knocked out.
Pashon was taken to CGH Medical Center in Sterling, then flown to a hospital in Peoria. He said he suffered brain injuries, racking up $196,000 in medical bills.
On Nov. 12, state police received a Freedom of Information Act request from Pashon for documents related to the investigation. Two weeks later, the agency denied his request.
Police said releasing the information would interfere with a pending law enforcement investigation and would create a “substantial likelihood” that someone would be deprived of a fair trial.
Afterward, Pashon appealed the denial to the attorney general’s office. which decides whether to investigate Freedom of Information Act disputes. On Jan. 24, the AG decided to proceed with an inquiry.
The AG asked state police for unredacted copies of all records that would fulfill Pashon’s request. It also asked for a “detailed and factual basis” for the state police’s denial.
In December, Pashon said he had heard that his attackers claimed they were acting in self-defense, but he said that was hardly possible, given that it was five people against one.
State police have said this case is difficult to investigate because everyone involved had different versions of what happened.
Notes by a Whiteside County sheriff’s deputy say that Pashon appeared to have written “a check his mouth couldn’t cash.”
“He was mouthing off, and his friends were holding him back from some other subjects when he broke free,” the deputy wrote. “After he broke free, Eugene ran over to confront or fight and they Pearl Harbored his butt with a surprise attack.”