Judge: Man faces felony charges “all over some stupid tacos”

A Chicago man who stole tacos from a food truck near the Shedd Aquarium sped away from the scene in his car, struck a bicyclist, and then ran from police while carrying his 6-month-old baby, prosecutors said.

Michael Conley | CPD

Michael Conley, 19, is charged with felony aggravated fleeing, child endangerment, battery, and traffic offenses.

Conley was with his girlfriend and their baby when he ordered tacos from the truck around 6:40 p.m. Saturday, but after receiving his order, he told the vendor that he didn’t want to pay for the food, according to prosecutors.

He allegedly grabbed a water bottle, threw it at the taco vendor, put his baby in the back seat of his Chevy Cruze, and drove away with the car’s trunk open. His girlfriend reportedly walked away after Conley threw the water bottle.

Police driving a marked squad car with its emergency lights activated pulled in front of Conley, but he reversed and drove away, prosecutors said. Conley then went through three red lights on Columbus Drive, drove the wrong way on a one-way street, and sped along a median before he crossed the river into another police district.

Conley and the baby enjoy some quality time at Shedd Aquarium. | Facebook

CPD terminated the pursuit, but Conley circled back into the Loop, and officers on foot patrol allegedly saw him strike a bicyclist. Moments later, he grabbed his baby from the back seat and ran from the car, which had two flat tires, prosecutors said. 

Police arrested him a few minutes later on the 100 block of East Randolph. The bicyclist, who received scrapes, refused medical attention. Conley’s baby was not injured. Prosecutors said nearly all of the activity was recorded by CPD’s extensive camera network.

Last year, Conley was charged with felony possession of a firearm, but prosecutors agreed to let him plead guilty to a misdemeanor in that case, according to statements made in bond court.

“All over some stupid tacos,” Judge John Lyke said after hearing the state’s allegations. Lyke then ordered Conley held in lieu of $20,000 bail. Conley will need to post a $2,000 deposit bond and go onto electronic monitoring if he wants to get out of jail to await trial.

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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