Less than four months after a West Town man refused to pursue charges against John Daniels for carjacking him at gunpoint while he shoveled snow out of a parking spot, Daniels took an 11-year-old boy to Uptown where they violently carjacked another man over the weekend, according to prosecutors.
“You brought along a young man, 11 years of age, to be involved,” Judge Charles Beach recalled before ordering Daniels, 19, held without bail on Monday afternoon.
The 59-year-old alleged victim was taking items out of his trunk in the 600 block of West Buena around 1:30 p.m. Saturday when someone punched him in the face repeatedly while demanding the keys to his car, according to police and prosecutors.
As the victim fell to the ground with a broken orbital bone, a nearby resident began recording the attack on their phone, according to prosecutors. The video shows Daniels standing over the fallen man and taking keys from his hand, prosecutors said.
All of the offenders piled into the victim’s car, and Daniels allegedly drove it away. About two hours later, a police squad car’s license plate reader recorded a hit on the stolen car’s license plate. The stolen car sped away from the CPD unit and crashed nearby. Officers saw Daniels bail out of the driver’s seat and run away, prosecutors said. Police arrested him and the 11-year-old moments later.
When cops detained Daniels, he was wearing the same clothes as one of the men in the video, according to prosecutors. He allegedly admitted to taking the man’s keys and driving the stolen car. His public defender, Genevieve O’Toole, noted that Daniels is not accused of being the person who punched the victim.
Daniels has “a lot of mental health issues,” O’Toole said. “He needs help. He doesn’t need to be thrown in jail and throw away the key.”
Prosecutors told Judge Beach about another carjacking that Daniels was allegedly linked to in February. You may remember reading about it on CWBChicago.
In that case, two hijackers took a 28-year-old man’s Lexus at gunpoint as he tried to shovel out a snowy parking spot on the 1400 block of North Cuyler. Less than two hours later, police found the stolen car in traffic on the 5100 block of West Madison and pulled it over. Officers detained the four occupants, including the driver — John Daniels.
While police were processing Daniels at the station, the victim’s driver’s license, debit card, and medical marijuana card fell out of his pants, according to a CPD arrest report. But the victim reportedly told police that he “felt sorry for” the people who took his Lexus and said, “they probably need a car.”
He then refused to file any complaints. Cops released the three people who were inside the Lexus with Daniels. Meanwhile, Daniels was hauled in front of a judge for failing to appear in court on a pending felony retail theft case. Judge Edward Maloney released him again.
The felony theft charge is still pending. In that case, Daniels is charged with participating in a group retail theft from the Jordan Store, 32 South State, on August 5. Police said surveillance video showed a man wearing a multi-colored hoodie carrying a duffle bag containing six Jordan shoes out of the store along with other men.
When police stopped Daniels nearby, he was wearing a multi-colored hoodie and was carrying a new box of Jordan shoes, according to CPD records.
Last June, Daniels’ own mother had him arrested for allegedly breaking out the front window of her home, according to police and court records. The case was dropped in November.
Daniels was also arrested on June 1 by officers who were trying to protect the area around 59th Street and Ashland from looters. Cops said he was with a group of people who wandered in and out of traffic and refused to comply with orders to stay out of the street. The city dropped those charges on November 5.
Prosecutors on Monday charged Daniels with felony vehicular hijacking and misdemeanor reckless driving in connection with the Uptown carjacking. The 11-year-old is charged in juvenile court with vehicular hijacking and criminal trespass to vehicle. Police have not yet located the third suspect.
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