A business owner from Highland Park who was killed after a confrontation with a loud group at Fort Sheridan Beach near Highland Park is being remembered as a “loving and devoted father.”
An autopsy performed Monday on Matthew Ascaridis, 45, of Highland Park, showed he died from “multiple injuries,” according to the Lake County Coroner’s Office.
Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Caitlin Valiulis said during a bond hearing Monday that a person was walking on Fort Sheridan Beach when they found a man deceased around 5 a.m. Saturday.
The Highland Park Police Department responded to the call in the 0-100 block of Cliff Road in Highland Park.
Officers arrived and confirmed Ascaridis was deceased near the shoreline of Lake Michigan, police said.
Lake County Major Crime Task Force Spokesman Christopher Covelli said that Ascaridis lived in the area.
Ascaridis went outside around 1 a.m. Saturday to speak with Nicholas M. Caban, 20, and an 18-year-old, who were being loud at Fort Sheridan Beach.
Covelli said Ascaridis made contact with the group and a violent confrontation ensued.
Ascaridis died following the confrontation. His body was not discovered until hours later.
Ascaridis was a father of two and the owner of a financial services company based in Glenview.
Valiulis said Caban, who lives in Highland Park, called 911 around 5:23 a.m. to report he and the 18-year-old had been involved in a physical altercation with a man on the beach.
Caban told dispatchers that he was at his home with the 18-year-old man, prompting Highland Park officers to respond.
Officers found Caban, who appeared bloody and had sand stuck to his body, Valiulis said.
Caban and the 18-year-old were transported to a hospital, Covelli said.
A search warrant was conducted at Caban’s residence in the 3400 block of Dato Avenue in Highland Park on Saturday.
Investigators learned Caban resides at the residence with his parents.
Officers found a loaded Glock 9mm handgun inside a North Face backpack on the man’s bed, Valiulis said.
The serial number on the gun was not visible and had been “clearly” scratched off, Valiulis said, noting that sand was found in the backpack.
A garbage bag with several boxes of ammunition was found in the bedroom as well.
Caban was charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm without a serial number, a Class 3 felony.
Adam Sheppard, Caban’s attorney, said Caban and the 18-year-old were “pummeled” during the fight on the beach.
Sheppard said Caban had to get staples in his head and he suffered a black eye.
Caban has been “very cooperative” since the homicide investigation began, Sheppard said.
Covelli said that the gun recovered was not used in the beach confrontation.
Court records show Caban is on supervised supervision for a felony drug case in Lake County from September 2020. Prosecutors have filed a petition to revoke the supervision in that case.
Lake County Judge James Simonian ordered Caban held on a $100,000 bond.
Highland Park resident Jamie Stronberg said in a GoFundMe created for the Ascaridis family that the unexpected passing of Ascaridis to a “senseless act of violence” has been “devasting to those who knew and loved him.”
“Matt was an incredible husband to the love of his life, Darci and a loving and devoted father to Alex & Ivy. He was a kind, hard-working, salt-of-the-earth guy who always greeted friends and family with his warmth and a smile,” Stronberg said.
Stronberg said that the GoFundMe account, which has already raised $32,000 in less than a day, aims to take the financial burden off Darci Ascaridis “as she learns to navigate life without her Matt.”
“Darci, Alex & Ivy are all so grateful for the outpouring of love and support they have received. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts on behalf of the Ascaridis family,” Strongberg said.
Caban, who has since been released from the Lake County Jail after posting $10,000 cash, is scheduled to appear in court again on October 19.
Covelli said additional charges are possible following further investigation.
The case remains under investigation by the Lake County Forest Preserve Police and Lake County Major Crime Task Force.