Highland Park, News

Death of man found near lakefront result of ‘violent’ altercation with two others

A 20-year-old and 18-year-old were hospitalized following the confrontation

(Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 1:40 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, to include the identity of the deceased.)

A 45-year-old man whose body was found early Saturday morning was killed in a “violent confrontation” on the beachfront, according to a press release from the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force.

The Lake County coroner identified the man as Matthew Ascaridis, of Highland Park, who reportedly died from multiple injuries.

According to police Ascaridis confronted at least two young men around 1 a.m. on Fort Sheridan Beach and a physical altercation ensued. Ascaridis was found dead four hours later, and the other two other men — a 20-year-old and 18-year-old — were hospitalized.

Task force spokesman Chris Covelli said investigators do not believe any weapons were used in the fight. He added that it does not appear anyone else was involved and no one else was on the beach at the time.

Ascaridis reportedly lived near the incident location and approached the two young men regarding noise volume. Police do not yet know who, if anyone, was the instigator or the aggressor in the attack, Covelli said.

The 20-year-old and 18-year-old left the scene and at around 5 a.m. — about four hours after Ascaridis approached them — called 911 to report the incident, Covelli said. The two were then transported from the 20-year-old’s home in Highland Park to the hospital.

Covelli said the 20-year-old’s injuries are “relatively minor,” while the 18-year-old was more seriously injured “but he’s improving.”

Police say the two are cooperating with investigators, and neither has been charged in relation to the incident as of press time.

The 20-year-old, Nicholas Caban, of Highland Park, was charged Sunday, Sept. 18, with unlawful possession of a firearm after authorities recovered a gun while executing a search warrant at his home, police said. The confiscated weapon — a semiautomatic pistol — was without serial numbers; however, it was not used in the incident at the beach, the release says.

According to a police statement issued Saturday, Sept. 17, Highland Park police responded at 5:10 a.m. Saturday to a call of an unconscious person at the shoreline near Cliff Road at Fort Sheridan Beach. First-responders learned the location was on the Forest Sheridan Forest Preserve in unincorporated Lake Forest.

The investigation was taken over by the Lake County Forest Preserve Police, which requested assistance from the county’s major crime task force.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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