|The officers were injured at 802 West Roscoe, outside of Beatnix costume shop. | Google|
UPDATE: Charges filed. Story here.
Four police officers were injured in the Boystown neighborhood early Saturday when a suspected phone thief and aggravated battery offender’s large canister of pepper spray “exploded” as he struck a cop on the head with it, a CPD spokesperson said.
A man who was hospitalized after being beaten with a hammer earlier in the night by a man he met through an online dating app called 911 around 12:50 a.m. to report that he was tracking his stolen phone and he believed his attacker to be at the 7-Eleven store, 3407 North Halsted, according to a source.
The victim previously told police that he did not want to pursue charges in the attack, CPD said, but his interest was apparently revived when he learned that the offender also took his phone.
Police responding to the early morning call were flagged down at Halsted and Roscoe by the victim who pointed at the offender standing nearby. After a brief foot chase, the offender attacked one of the cops by striking him in the head and spraying him with pepper spray, the department said this afternoon.
“The offender then hit the officer in the head with the pepper spray [can], causing it to explode,” a police spokesperson said. Three additional officers and at least one bystander were overcome by the effects of the spray.
One sergeant and three patrol officers were treated and released at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, police said.
Charges are pending against the offender for attacking police, according to a CPD spokesperson. Police said they recovered the victim’s phone from the offender, but the department was unable to determine on Saturday if the victim changed his mind about charging the man who beat and stole from him.
CWBChicago will update this story when charges are finalized.