White Illinois Woman Gets Probation Following Confrontation With Black Cyclists

A white woman has been sentenced to probation following a confrontation with a group of Black men at a suburban Chicago beach in 2020.

Irene Donoshaytis, who had been previously charged with a felony hate crime charge, pled down to a lesser charge Wednesday in an agreement with Cook County.

Donoshaytis confronted Otis Campbell and two other Black men who were riding bicycles near a pier along the Winnetka, Illinois, beach when she told them they couldn’t be there after complaining to a Winnetka Park District employee that they needed a particular pass to be in the area.

After the employee informed Donoshaytis that the men were on public property and a beach pass wasn’t required, it did not sit well with the then 65-year-old woman.

“Are you crazy? What, you want to kill me? No? It feels like it,” Donoshaytis replies and asks Campbell.

“Why would I want to kill you? Is it because I’m Black?” Campbell says in the video.

“Yes,” Donoshaytis responded on video.

According to the Associated Press, Campbell said Donoshaytis hit his arm twice after trying to knock the phone out of his hands, which stopped the recording.

He also informed authorities that he had just finished up a 15-mile bike ride with his cousin and friend from the nearby suburban area of Skokie in Illinois, where Campbell grew up.

Campbell uploaded the confrontation captured on his cellphone video to Twitter shortly after, where it gained tons of traction.

The plea agreement with Cook County lowered Donoshaytis’ previous charge to misdemeanor battery and one-year probation. She must also attend an anti-racism class, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Jeffrey Fagan, Donoshaytis’ attorney, said in 2020 that she was a refugee from the Soviet Union who fled persecution there, the Associated Press reported.

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