Judge blames fight on boys behaving badly

Alicia Fabbre

Everyone had a few drinks. Words were exchanged. Then the fighting started.

In the end, one man was beaten - nearly to death - and another had been punched in the face.

And it all began after one man, the same who was beaten, drove his car into one of the others'.

Calling it a case of "boys behaving badly" Kane County Judge James Doyle Tuesday chastised everyone involved in last summer's downtown St. Charles fight - but cleared the three men charged of the most serious charges.

Benjamin Zeitz, 26, of batavia and Elburn residents Jason Pavlak, 24, and Matthew Richardson, 24, were charged with felony aggravated battery, criminal damage to property and mob action.

The three, cleared of the aggravated battery charges, were accused of beating Jonathon Nuyen and Todd Henry, both of Aurora. Nuyen was in a coma for nine days after the fight.

"All five had too much alcohol and too much testosterone. ...Everyone was behaving badly in this case," Doyle said.

During closing arguments, defense attorney David Camic argued Special Prosecutor James Guagliardo didn't adequately prove the parking lot the fight took place in was a "public way" - one of the requirements needed to charge aggravated battery.

Doyle found Richardson guilty of misdemeanor criminal damage to property and battery for damaging Henry's car and punching him. Doyle also found Zeitz guilty of felony criminal damage to property for breaking a window on Henry's car and denting the door.

Doyle dismissed charges involving the fight with Nuyen, saying Nuyen provoked themen when he returned to the parking lot after hitting Pavlak with his car.

"I don't believe for one moment that he withdrew from the fight," Doyle said.

Pavlak could be given court supervision or as much as a year in jail for the misdemeanors.

Zeitz could face three years in prison.

Nuyen and Henry have filed a civil lawsuit seeking more than $50,000 in damages from the three men for the fight.