Man Arrested for Stabbing Scabby the Rat

Erin Meyer
DNAInfo Chicago
July 11, 2013

Scabby is a mainstay of union protests in Chicago, a giant inflatable rat meant to shame companies that use nonunion workers.

Scabby, however, met his match this weekend when an angry worker stabbed it with a box cutter and then ran over the deflated rodent with his car, prosecutors said. The worker was trying to get past the rat during a Downtown dispute with a Teamsters organizer.

The Scabby slashing hit George Koukos hard, though. Police charged the 43-year-old Wauconda resident with a felony and locked him up.

It happened, prosecutors said, as Teamsters Union demonstrators gathered outside 20 S. Clark St. on Sunday.

Koukos tried to leave work, but got into an argument with a Local 705 organizer about whether he was a union member.

Koukos tried to leave, but the giant rat was blocking his exit, according to court records. When the union organizer refused to move the rat, Koukos pulled out a box cutter and stuck it into Scabby.

The air rushed out as Koukos got into his vehicle and ran over the deflated rat, according to court records.

According to the Inflatable Rat's Facebook page, it stands "about 8 feet tall, is grey and fed up!"

Scabby pops up whenever union demonstrators want to draw public attention to nonunion employers and contractors.

Historically, the Teamsters Union, which represents a range of blue collar workers and professionals, has a reputation for intimidation, even violence. 

On Sunday, instead of taking matters into their own hands, union organizers called police. The judge setting bail for Koukos took note.

"Teamsters have refined themselves, haven't they," Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. said during a bond hearing Wednesday.

Koukos was originally charged with a misdemeanor. But after the state's attorney's office dropped those charges this week, Koukos was arrested again on felony charges as he left a courtroom at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse.

Koukos is now charged with criminal damage to property and aggravated assault. Bourgeois set his bail Wednesday at $100,000.

Get Advice Join TDU Donate

Recent News

Team Canada IBT Slate is Accredited

The two IBT vice presidents from Canada and the president of Teamsters Canada have petitioned among Canadian Teamsters to accredit the Team Canada Slate in the IBT Election.  Yesterday the Election Supervisor reported that they submitted 8,156 petition signatures, far more than the needed number of 2,807 in Canada.

Fighting for Our Future at the TDU Convention

Hundreds of Teamsters made organizing plans, set our movement’s direction, and elected our TDU leadership for the coming year at the first (and hopefully last!) online TDU Convention.

View More News Posts