A video review of a Loop restaurant’s pizza went viral Friday evening after the clip’s host, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, reported that his cameraman inadvertently captured footage of a carjacking that took place behind him.
It’s a fun story — and the pizza looks delicious — but Chicago police say there was no carjacking. But someone did steal a parked car and crash into a CPD cruiser.
About 5 minutes, 50 seconds into Portnoy’s colorfully-languaged review, viewers hear a crash and tires squealing. As the camera pans right, officers are seen climbing into a Chicago Police Department Transit Unit squad car that’s parked in the street. Here’s the video:
“Did that guy get carjacked?” Portnoy asks. “That guy just got carjacked?”
“I think the guy just hit the police car,” another man on the video says.
Police are seen in the background talking with the apparent victim.
“We just had a live carjacking,” a stunned Portnoy tells viewers.
Well, not quite, according to Chicago police.
After seeing the video, we asked CPD if they had any information about the incident. They did.
It all happened around 1:40 p.m. Wednesday in the 700 block of South State Street.
According to a CPD spokesperson, a 27-year-old man parked his car in a garage on the first block of East 8th Street and later saw his vehicle parked on the street with another man behind the wheel.
That’s where the video picks up.
The car’s owner flagged down a passing police unit to get help. When the cops stopped, the guy inside the victim’s car sped away, struck the squad car, and fled westbound on Polk Street, police said. No injuries were reported.
“This incident is NOT a vehicular hijacking,” we were told, “it’s a motor vehicle theft.”
Carjacking, or “vehicular hijacking” as it’s officially known, involves robbing a victim of their vehicle. The offender must use force or threaten to use force against the victim to gain control of the vehicle for a crime to be a carjacking.
Stealing a car through non-violent means, like if the keys are left inside or it’s left running, or you take it by stealing keys from a valet box, is “only” auto theft.
Now, many people are wondering why the cops didn’t speed off in pursuit of the stolen car. Answer: They aren’t allowed to do that.
Chicago Police Department General Order G03-03-01 states, “members will not engage in a motor vehicle pursuit whenever the most serious offense wanted for is a…theft (including Possession of Stolen Motor Vehicles).”
In fact, Chicago police are specifically told that the department will never punish them for not pursuing another vehicle.
“The Department will not discipline any member for terminating a motor vehicle pursuit,” the order says.