Prosecutors: Group beat, robbed man who asked them to maintain social distancing at Uptown sandwich shop

An Uptown man and a group of his friends beat and robbed a 50-year-old man who asked them to maintain social distancing in an Uptown sandwich shop Thursday, prosecutors said.

Alijay Jenkins | CPD

The victim was exiting the store on the 1000 block of West Wilson around 2:40 a.m. when 19-year-old Alijay Jenkins and four friends wearing surgical masks tried to walk in, Assistant State’s Attorney Katherine Hegarty said in bond court Friday.

When the man asked Jenkins and his friends to step back and maintain safe distancing, Jenkins punched the victim in the face, according to a police spokesperson.

Jenkins’ friends then began punching and kicking the victim as he laid on the ground, Hegarty said. The man tried to call 911, but Jenkins allegedly took his phone and then fled the scene with the other men. Portions of the attack were captured by a nearby CPD surveillance camera.

Police responded to the scene after one of the victim’s friends called for help. Officers then searched the area and found Jenkins near his home on the 800 block of West Eastwood. Cops arrested Jenkins after a brief foot chase. They said he had a loaded handgun tucked in his waistband.

The victim later identified him as one of the attackers, the CPD spokesperson said.

Prosecutors charged Jenkins with felony robbery and felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. 

Judge Charles Beach set bail at $2,000. Jenkins will need to post $200 to get out of jail before trial. Beach was unable to require electronic monitoring for Jenkins because the sheriff’s office has run out of ankle monitors.

The victim was treated at Weiss Hospital. None of the other alleged offenders have been found.

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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