A Winnetka man with ties to white supremacist Matt Hale has been charged with attacking two teenagers after they told him they were lesbians, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Patrick Langballe, 29, of the 1400 block of Asbury Avenue in Winnetka, was charged along with Aaron Rush, 20, of Green Bay, with a hate crime, armed robbery, aggravated battery and unlawful use of a weapon in the June 16 attack against the 17- and 18-year-old girls. The attack took place at Illinois Beach State Park near Zion.
The men were arrested June 23 near Gurnee by Lake County sheriff's investigators. In a court hearing on June 24, bail was set at $1 million for Langballe and $1.5 million for Rush. The men are being held in Lake County Jail.
The girls, who are from the Milwaukee area, told investigators they met Langballe and Rush near a bus stop in Milwaukee. They had mutual friends and decided to camp at the park with friends of the men. About 3 p.m., Rush made a sexual advance toward one of the girls, who told him she was in a lesbian relationship with the other girl and that they did not care for men romantically.
Langballe and Rush told the girls that they were members of the Nazi nation and that 'gays and lesbians were no better than Jews and Blacks,' authorities said. The alleged attackers took some of the girls' clothes from their car and burned them. The girls got scared and left, but returned minutes later when they realized they had some items that belonged to the men.
Langballe and Rush beat the girls and threatened them with a sledgehammer and a knife as they stole money, credit cards, a camera and cell phones. Rush pulled out the knife and threatened to kill one of the girls, authorities said. One girl had minor injuries to her face, arms and legs.
The men had several items of Nazi and white supremacy paraphernalia when they were arrested, officials stated. Incidentally, Langballe was convicted in November 2000 of a hate crime after he led a group of teenagers in spray-painting swastikas and racial slogans on several buildings, including a Northfield temple.
The alleged attackers are scheduled to again appear in court July 18.