13-time convicted felon charged with Boystown robbery, sex attack (But WAIT! There’s more!)

Parnell Barners is charged with attacking and robbing a man near Halsted and Waveland. | CPD; Google

A thirteen-time convicted felon who recently served time for beating a man with a brick near the Belmont Red Line station is charged with Tuesday’s robbery and attempted sexual assault of a man on a Boystown side street.

Incredibly, the suspect was charged with robbing a different Boystown resident in March, but prosecutors dropped the case.

Parnell Barners, 53, of Uptown was charged today with one felony count of robbery and one felony count of criminal sexual abuse by force in connection with the latest attack. Judge David Navarro ordered him held without bail.

As CWBChicago reported exclusively on Tuesday, police said a 27-year-old man was walking in the 800 block of West Waveland around 2:10 a.m. when a stranger approached him and asked if he wanted to have sex. The victim declined and kept walking, but the offender pushed him down a stairwell and began choking him during an attempted sexual assault, police said.

According to police, the victim fought back and clawed at the offender’s face, foiling the sexual assault attempt. The offender went through the victim’s pants pockets and took the victim’s phone before running away eastbound on Waveland.

Police responded after the man knocked on a nearby resident’s door and asked for help.

Nearly two hours after the attack, the victim’s stolen phone began pinging in the River North neighborhood. Cops went to the area of Clark and Division where Barners was taken into custody along with a small group of others. Only Barners has been charged in the case.

In April, police arrested Barners at his Uptown home after a Boystown resident identified him in a photo array as the man who pushed him to the ground and robbed him in the 3500 block of North Halsted Street around 1:30 a.m. on March 2nd. Prosecutors charged Barners with the robbery, but the case was later dropped by the state for unspecified reasons.

On May 20, 2014, Barners was arrested and charged with aggravated battery after he beat a man in the head with a brick in the 900 block of West School Street. Barners pleaded guilty, received a six-year sentence, and was paroled in May 2017.

Barners’ previous convictions earned him four years for aggravated battery in 2008; three years for narcotics in 2007; 30 months for shoplifting in 2005; ten years for robbery in 1995; three years for theft and another three years for narcotics in 1992; seven years for burglary and another seven years for home invasion in 1987; three years for aggravated battery in 1987; and five years for robbery and another five years for aggravated battery in 1984. He began prison life in 1982, when he was sentenced to four years for robbery, six years for a different robbery, and four years for theft.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com