Libertyville man guilty of striking Metra conductor
Matthew John Padour, 31, of Libertyville charged with punching a 60 year old Metra conductor at the Libertyville station in April of 2012. | Special to Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 29, 2013 2:17AM
A Libertyville man was convicted of four counts of aggravated battery for punching a Metra conductor after a Cubs game.
Matthew Padour went before Lake County Judge Raymond Collins for a bench trial Wednesday after rejecting a plea deal and waiving his right to have a jury of his peers hear the evidence in his case.
Padour, 30, faces two to five years in prison or probation, according to Assistant State’s Attorney James Newman.
Collins said he found beyond a reasonable doubt that Padour was intoxicated when he struck the conductor in the face on April 5, 2012.
“It (the verdict) sends a message to people that you can’t come on the trains and start physically attacking the conductors. You will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” the victim said after the trial concluded.
His name is being withheld to protect his identity. He testified during the trial that he was working as a conductor when Padour and a group of his friends boarded the train after the Cubs game season opener.
Padour’s friend lacked the $6.25 train fare, the conductor testified. Padour’s friend was “clearly intoxicated” and tried to pay for his Metra ride with a CTA card, he said.
Neither Padour nor his friend had any money. Padour said his girlfriend was picking them up at the Prairie Crossing Metra station and would have money to cover the fare.
Padour and his friend exited the train at the Libertyville stop, which was one stop ahead of where Padour had said his girlfriend was meeting them.
The conductor was saying “goodnight” to a regular passenger right before he was punched in the face.
“I turned ... when over my left shoulder, Mr. Padour stepped off the train, came into my face and said, ‘I should f-- you up, old man. You disrespected my friend,” the conductor testified.
Padour punched the conductor in the cheek, knocking off his hat and glasses. The conductor had a cracked tooth that fell out of his mouth the next morning, he testified.
Padour took the stand and testified that he hit the conductor because the conductor hit him first, Newman said.
Collins did not find Padour’s version of events credible.
Padour’s attorney Frank Himel argued against having his client’s bond raised.
“I don’t think he’s any flight risk. (Being) intoxicated after the Cubs game is an aberration of conduct,” Himel said.
Padour was placed on a 24-hour curfew. He is not allowed to leave home unless it is for work or court, Collins said. Padour is not allowed to ride the Metra train at all, the judge added.
Padour is due for sentencing April 15.
A DUI is pending against Padour. He was arrested with a blood-alcohol content of .22 on July 22, 2012, according to Newman.