|Otis (inset) was arrested outside the Macy’s flagship store on State Street. | CPD; Natasha Jelezkina on Flickr|
One month after being released from prison where he served time for robbing a man in River North, 20-year-old Deshawn Otis encouraged his accomplice to shoot a Macy’s security guard in the head during a robbery on State Street last week, according to police and court records.
Macy’s security told police that Otis was part of a shoplifting crew that took men’s merchandise into a changing room, hid it under their own clothing, and then exited the store without paying around 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11th. Store security guards confronted the thieves outside the store on the State Street sidewalk.
That’s when one of the offenders pulled out a handgun and pointed it at a 32-year-old guard’s head.
“Shoot him! Shoot him!” Otis allegedly screamed to the armed man. The security guards backed away and the gunman did not fire any shots, police said.
Otis and the gunman then began picking up stolen merchandise that had been dropped on the sidewalk and ran north on State Street, prosecutors said. A police officer who had been tipped off about a man with a gun on the sidewalk caught Otis moments later. The gunman escaped.
Officers who processed Otis at the local police station said they found him wearing a white jumpsuit with a Macy’s price tag still attached under his outer layer of clothing.
Otis is charged with Class X felony robbery with a firearm and retail theft. Judge Mary Marubio ordered him held without bail. The Illinois Department of Corrections has moved to revoke Otis’ parole.
State records show that Otis was released from prison on November 8th after he served half of a four-year sentence for trying to rob a man near the Magnificent Mile in November 2016.
Prosecutors in that case said Otis pulled a box cutter on a 61-year-old man outside of the Lawson House Apartments at 30 West Chicago and said: “give me a dollar before I cut you.” The victim alerted police who recovered a box cutter and took Otis into custody.
On July 13, 2017, Judge James Obbish sentenced Otis to a four-year prison term. After receiving Illinois’ standard 50% sentence reduction and credit for 247 days spent in jail awaiting the outcome of the case, Otis was released on Nov. 8, 2018—the second anniversary of the hold-up attempt.
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