Black Father Dies Protecting His Teen Daughter From Hate Crime
A Chicago confrontation this past Wednesday turned deadly after 55-year-old Michael Tingling succumbed to a fatal blow given to him by racial-slur-spewing Joseph Firek after he had been harassing Tingling’s 15-year-old daughter.
As Firek walked by, he brushed his shoulder against Tingling’s daughter, looking at her as he did. Police said Firek made “inappropriate gestures” to the girl.
According to the mother, Firek “stared at them, looked at her up and down, and her dad grabbed her, put her behind him and he told him, ‘You need to walk away.’“
“The guy was just standing there grinning,” she said.
When the man hurled a racial epithet at them, Michael Tingling pulled his 15-year-old daughter behind him, authorities said. The man then struck her father in the chest, he tried to defend himself but moments later he collapsed in a nearby business and was rushed to the hospital in full cardiac arrest, according to prosecutors. Michael Tingling, 59, was pronounced dead at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston less than a hour.
A judge ordered Joseph Firek, 59, who is on parole for a residential burglary conviction, held on $250,000 bail Friday on charges of first-degree murder and a hate crime.
Firek has a criminal record dating back to 1996 that includes prison stints for burglary and theft convictions. His attorney said he was living on disability benefits for black lung disease, emphysema and psychiatric illness. He also said he was receiving outpatient psychiatric treatment.
Prosecutors said the altercation started at about 2 p.m. by the 7100 block of North Clark Street – near where Firek lived – when Firek walked past Tingling and his daughter.
Young Masharah now has the somber task of making funeral arrangements for her father. What a travesty.
View the gallery for pics of Firek (who was said to be drunk when police took him into custody) and the Tinglings.
Photo: NBC Chicago