Student Beaten to Death With Own Bike Lock
CHICAGO – Two men who beat a college student to death with his own bicycle lock had just been on the losing end of a fight and were looking for someone to pick on, the victim's brother said.
Tombol Malik (search), a 23-year-old University of Illinois at Chicago (search) student, and his best friend encountered the men while leaving a party at a housing complex several blocks from campus early Saturday.
Malik and 23-year-old Anthony Popelka had asked Muaz Haffer and Mantas Matulis, who was bleeding from his ear, if they needed help, prosecutors said Sunday.
"They were just looking for somebody easy to pick on," said 31-year-old Sati Malik, Tombol's brother.
Witnesses told investigators that Haffer first hit Malik with his hands, then took Malik's bike lock and started beating him on the head with it. After Malik fell to the ground, Haffer continued to beat him with the bike lock, prosecutors said.
Matulis, meanwhile, beat Popelka with his hands and used a stun gun on him before kicking Malik in the head as he lay on the ground, prosecutors said.
Malik was pronounced dead shortly after the beating. Popelka was treated at a hospital and released.
The two suspects were arrested near the scene of the attack wearing bloody clothes. The bike lock and stun gun, both of which had blood on them, were later recovered by police, prosecutors said.
Haffer, 21, of Burr Ridge, and Matulis, 20, of Clarendon Hills, were charged with first degree murder and aggravated robbery and were being held on $900,000 bail each. Haffer is a student at Benedictine University (search) and Matulis is a student at the College of DuPage (search).
Suzanne McEneely, the assistant public defender representing Matulis, said her client had been attacked and was defending himself. She said he had injuries to his hands and had been hit in the back of the head with the bike lock.
Malik, who was born in Saudi Arabia to a Sudanese father and an American mother, was a sophomore majoring in political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He had planned to study in Germany during the upcoming academic year, his brother said.
"He was a very artistic, sensitive young man, and we're still just broken up over it," the brother said.
Just last month, a UIC history professor was beaten to death in suburban Oak Park. Peter D'Agostino was found unconscious outside a home June 22 and died less than an hour later. Police said Saturday there had been no arrests in that case.