Man pleads guilty to taking part in racist mob

Chicago Sun Times/September 4, 2003
By Steve Warmbir

White supremacist Harley Hermes and his friends would have a common greeting for black people they saw in their far north suburban town of Fox Lake.

"Get out of our town!" the young men would yell. "This is our town! We're going to kill you n------!"

On Wednesday, Hermes, 20, now living in Glenview, pleaded guilty to being part of a pack of racists who chased down black teenagers, with one skinhead putting a knife to the throat of a trapped young black girl.

Hermes, who is cooperating with investigators, faces 20 months behind bars.

A colleague, Shaun Derifield, 23, now living in South Dakota, who formed a white supremacist group called the Lake County Skinheads, has already pleaded guilty. A teenager involved in the crime last year was sentenced to six months in jail in state court.

On Aug. 30 last year, four black teens were heading home from a football game when Hermes saw them. Hermes told Derifield and others about the group, and the young men ran them down.

Derifield cornered one young black girl against a car and put a knife to her throat, while the girl begged for her life. Hermes told Derifield it wasn't worth getting in trouble with police, and they left.

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