Prosecutors on Wednesday charged an 18-year-old man with dragging a woman with his car as he grabbed the strap of her purse during a robbery on the parking lot of a Home Depot store near Goose Island in March.
Cortel King was on juvenile parole for vehicular invasion and possession of a stolen motor vehicle and on bond for an adult charge of criminal trespass to a vehicle when he robbed the woman, Assistant State’s Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said.
Within days of the robbery, and in violation of his parole, King moved to Arizona to live with his brother because, his defense attorney said, his mother wanted him to get away from the “danger of the city.” Scaduto suggested that he went to Arizona to escape prosecution.
Shortly after noon on March 1, a 64-year-old woman was walking on the Home Depot lot at 1232 West North Avenue when a man reached out of a passing car to grab her purse with both hands, Scaduto said. The driver of the car continued driving, dragging the woman by her purse, causing the strap to break, and slamming the victim to the pavement, according to Scaduto.
It was unclear from Scaduto’s presentation if King is accused of being the driver, the person who grabbed the victim’s purse, or both. She said Home Depot security footage shows one man in the car wore a red sweatshirt and the other wore a yellow sweatshirt.
Investigators later found video footage that shows King buying a baseball hat at Lincolnwood Town Center with one of the woman’s stolen credit cards, Scaduto said. He’s wearing a red sweatshirt and is accompanied by a man in a yellow sweatshirt in the footage, she said.
A short time later, he used the woman’s card to make purchases at a gas station while wearing a red sweatshirt and the hat he bought minutes earlier, Scaduto said. Police used video from the gas station to identify King by his face and a “Rugrats” tattoo on his neck, she said.
King subsequently moved to Arizona, where he allegedly crossed paths with cops within a matter of days. They took him into custody on an arrest warrant in a different case, and he was extradited to Chicago on March 25.
You may remember reading about the other case on CWBChicago. In it, King’s accused of stealing a woman’s car in Evanston. Police identified him because he stared into the camera of a FaceTime conversation that was active on the victim’s phone, which she left in the car, according to prosecutors. He also allegedly sent that victim an Instagram follow request.
During the booking process in March, authorities logged two new tattoos that King got on his neck since his last arrest in December — including the Rugrats ink. Police later connected the new tattoo information to the Home Depot case.
In addition to being on juvenile parole for two felonies, King also has a juvenile adjudication for aggravated robbery and an adult misdemeanor conviction for attempted identity theft for using a credit card that was stolen during a vehicular invasion, Scaduto said.
Prosecutors on Wednesday charged King with robbery of a victim over the age of 60, aggravated battery causing great bodily harm to a victim over the age of 60, and unlawful possession of a credit card.
His public defender pleaded with Judge Arthur Willis to deny the state’s request to have King held without bail.
“There’s still a chance to be able to help this young gentleman go forward,” the attorney said. “Keeping him incarcerated isn’t the way to help this young man go forward.”
Willis, noting that King “already fled the state once,” denied her request and held him without bail.
Scaduto said the Home Depot victim suffered severe bruising to her face, a broken rib, and a broken collarbone. The woman’s shoulder injury cannot be fixed with surgery and she continues to undergo physical therapy to regain movement of her shoulder, according to Scaduto.
Chicago police released a community alert on March 2 that linked the robbery to two armed carjackings that occurred one day before the robbery, but King has not been accused of participating in the hijackings.