A new court date has been set for Patricia Latham, better known as "Patty the Pin Lady," following an attack she sustained while fundraising in Rogers Park.
Latham, 68, a longtime LGBT activist and AIDS fundraiser, was assaulted by two 28-year-old men last Dec. 10 while grabbing a bite to eat at El Chorrito, 6404 N. Clark St.
According to Police News Affairs Officer Daniel O'Brien, the assailants entered the restaurant, stole a bag of fundraising candy from Latham and threw a vase at the front entrance, damaging the door. Latham, who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer, was punched in the back of the head during the scuffle. She fell to the ground and was left with several bruises.
"[One of the attackers] was screaming and yelling and calling me all kinds of dirty, filthy names," Latham said. "He turned around and shoved me down. He stole all my candy, jumped into a cab and took off."
O'Brien said the suspects fled westbound on Devon Avenue, but were later taken into custody by police who responded to the scene.
Latham faced her alleged attackers in court Jan. 3, but the case was not resolved at the time, according to the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. A new court date has been set for March 28.
Latham claims the two men refused a plea deal that would've included probation, community service and a fee to replace her stolen candy.
With her bright hair, over-the-top outfits and bubbly personality, Latham has been a vibrant staple in Chicago's queer community since the early 1990s. After a friend died of AIDS in 1991, Latham began selling pins, candy, red ribbons and other trinkets to raise money for Vital Bridges, a North Side agency that assists those living with HIV.
"I've been doing this for 20 years, and nothing's ever happened to me," Latham said. "I'm out late on the weekends. I'm always up by Jackhammer. No one has ever bothered me. Nobody. People have been really good to me; I don't know where these guys came from. I just don't know about people anymore."