A four-time convicted gun offender who was free on a recognizance bond for allegedly injuring two officers who tried to escort him out of a hospital in March nearly killed two more cops with his car last week as he tried to escape a traffic stop, prosecutors said. And the man allegedly had another gun when police caught up with him on Tuesday.
Jermaine Little is the 37th person accused of killing, trying to kill, or shooting someone in Chicago this year while on felony bond.
On March 27, Judge Arthur Willis gave Little a recognizance bond after prosecutors said he injured two officers who tried to escort him out of the University of Illinois Medical Center. According to the allegations, police went to the hospital because staff members activated a panic alarm when Little became aggressive and refused to leave after they declined to treat him for a recent gunshot wound because he showed up 20 minutes late for an appointment.
“I’m giving him an I-bond,” Willis said after hearing the allegations. “He should have gotten treatment even though he showed up 20 minutes late. He should have acted better when they denied him treatment. So, I’ve taken all of that into consideration in giving this I-bond.”
Little then pointed his finger at Willis as the judge explained bail conditions.
“You don’t point a finger at me when I’m trying to tell you something,” Willis said before sending Little on his way.
Last Friday evening, police officers responding to a ShotSpotter gunfire alert in Englewood pulled Little over because he was driving away from the area where shots were detected at a high speed shortly before 7 p.m. on August 13, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.
Three fully-uniformed officers began speaking with Little, 35, and noticed the strong smell of burnt marijuana and saw a joint in his center console, Murphy said.
When one of the officers opened his driver’s door and tried to remove him from the car, Little pulled his arm away, grabbed the steering wheel with both hands, and threw the car into reverse, according to Murphy.
The passenger-side door allegedly hit one officer, who managed to get out of the way. But Murphy said another officer, trapped by the driver’s door, was dragged backward by the car. That cop fired one shot at Little, but missed, according to Murphy.
Little continued to drag the cop with the car until they slammed into a concrete lane divider and an SUV, Murphy said. Little then allegedly drove forward and fled the scene. Police later found the Malibu abandoned.
The entire encounter was recorded by the officers’ bodyworn cameras, according to Murphy. And police have had Little’s driver’s license ever since he gave it to one of the officers during the ill-fated traffic stop, Murphy said.
He said the officer who was dragged suffered bruising to his entire lower body and cannot bear weight on his right ankle. The officer has been discharged from the hospital but remains on pain medications, Murphy said.
On Tuesday, police reportedly followed up on a tip and found Little hiding in the back seat of a car that was parked at a South Side Burger King. A backpack next to Little contained a loaded handgun, Murphy said. The same backpack was allegedly in Little’s car when police stopped him last week. Both the car’s owner and Little said the bag belonged to Little, according to Murphy.
Murphy said Little’s felony convictions include gun cases in 2017, 2011, 2008, and 2004.
Prosecutors on Wednesday charged Little with two counts of attempted murder, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, and aggravated assault of a peace officer.
His public defender, who said Little has two children and a girlfriend who is expecting, told Judge Susana Ortiz that he has been shot three different times since 2013, most recently last year.
The lawyer argued that Little might have a self-defense claim, depending on the timing of the officer’s gunshot. Murphy countered that the officer only fired a shot because he was potentially being “dragged to his death.”
Judge Susan Ortiz ordered Little held without bail for violating the terms of release in his pending felony resisting case. She said she would hold Little without bail for the attempted murder charges if the law allowed her to do so. But, she said, the law does not allow that. Instead, she ordered him held in lieu of $500,000 on the new allegations. He will need to post a $50,000 deposit to get out of jail if he becomes eligible for release.
Editor’s note: This report continues our coverage of individuals who have been charged with murder, attempted murder, or trying to kill a person while on bond for a pending felony case. CWBChicago began our series of reports in November 2019 after Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans publicly stated, “we haven’t had any horrible incidents occur” under the court’s bond reform initiative.
The actual number of murders and shootings committed by people on felony bail is undoubtedly much higher than the numbers seen here. Since 2017, CPD has made arrests in just 4% of shootings and 31% of murders, according to the city’s data. You can support CWBChicago’s work by becoming a subscriber today.
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