Cook County leaders have repeatedly told concerned citizens that people on bail for felonies don’t commit a significant amount of crime in Chicago. Those leaders should swing by the criminal courthouse at 26th and California to observe the daily bond court sessions, where the reality is much different from what they say.
On Thursday, 16 adults made appearances for new cases in Chicago felony bond court — and 7 of them were on bond for another felony when they allegedly committed the new crime. An eighth defendant, charged Thursday with a November carjacking, was on bond for a misdemeanor when he allegedly committed that hijacking along with five others and seven armed robberies.
Now, judges don’t see 50% of felony bond court defendants with pending cases every day — 25% to 30% is more typical lately. But we thought you’d like to hear more about some of Thursday’s cases.
FBI in the sky
Less than three weeks ago, Malik Robinson posted a $300 deposit to get out of jail after prosecutors accused him of having a gun in a backpack during a traffic stop. Yesterday, he was accused of having several guns in a car after an FBI helicopter allegedly saw him interacting with the occupants of a stolen car.
The FBI’s violent crimes task force, Illinois State Police, and Chicago police were tracking a stolen Audi as part of a major auto theft investigation on Tuesday, Gnilka said. When the Audi pulled into a parking space behind a home in Bronzeville, the FBI’s aviation unit saw Robinson get out of a nearby SUV, make contact with the occupants of the Audi, and then return to the SUV with some “items,” Gnilka said. When officers moved in, they found three handguns on the front passenger seat of the SUV and two more on the floorboard, according to Gnilka. Robinson allegedly had the SUV’s keys in his pocket.
Robinson, 24, denied having anything to do with the vehicle until police told him that an FBI helicopter was watching with high-powered cameras, Gnilka said.
Navarro ordered Robinson held without bail for violating the terms of bond in his August 2 gun case. He set bail on the new charges at $25,000 and ordered Robinson to go onto electronic monitoring if he can post a 10% deposit.
Timothy Barfield, 27, was on bond for another stolen vehicle case when he allegedly crashed a stolen Cadillac Escalade through a Loop parking garage gate and then set the vehicle on fire in front of the Chicago Theatre on Tuesday night. Here’s a video of the blaze:
After nearly running over a 42-year-old parking garage security guard while driving through the gate, Barfield pulled the stolen SUV into the median, poured a liquid on it, set it ablaze, and then ran into a nearby Red Line station, Gnilka said.
Police found him at the station, allegedly reeking of burnt material. The Cadillac was stolen from a dealership in the north suburbs, according to Gnilka. Navarro ordered Barfield held without bail for violating the terms of release in his earlier stolen car case. Bail in the new matter was set at $250,000.
Prosecutors said that William Warrior, who had seven outstanding warrants for multiple aggravated fleeing cases, escape, felony criminal damage, and possessing a firearm, secured another gun illegally while on bail and used it to pistol-whip his father. On another occasion, he threatened to shoot his father, according to the new allegations. The 25-year-old had a gun in his pants pocket when police arrested him, Assistant State’s Attorney John Gnilka said. Judge David Navarro ordered him held without bail on most of the pending cases and set bail at $250,000 in the new allegations.
Twice-convicted gun offender Rashawn Young was on bail for a pending felony gun case and aggravated fleeing when he carjacked a woman at gunpoint near Midway Airport on August 9, Gnilka said Thursday.
The woman was inside her garage with the door open when a man wearing a ski mask jumped over the hood of her Jeep Cherokee and pointed a handgun with an extended magazine at her. Then, a woman walked into the garage and demanded her money. The woman searched the victim for valuables and found her car keys and wallet on a shelf before they climbed into her car and drove away.
Police later determined that the woman’s car had been used in a series of robberies later the same day, but someone attached a different license plate to it. On Tuesday, cops spotted the car with the stolen plate in traffic, and a law enforcement helicopter followed it to the 5600 block of South Campbell. When cops moved in, Young bolted from the car, Gnilka said. When cops arrested Young nearby, he had the car’s keys, a ski mask, and 22 bags of cocaine, according to Gnilka.
The victim identified Young in a photo line-up, and Young identified himself as the person standing next to the stolen car in a surveillance photo taken the day after it was hijacked, Gnilka said.
Young is now charged with aggravated vehicular hijacking, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, possession of a controlled substance, and possessing an altered or stolen title. Navarro ordered him held without bail on the new allegations and on the pending case from last July.
Joshua Johnson, 25, was charged with his fifth carjacking case Thursday. You may remember reading about him on CWBChicago in December when he was arrested after he allegedly carjacked a Lyft driver but only drove 100 feet before running away because he didn’t know how to drive a stick shift.
Since then, prosecutors have charged Johnson with a series of similar hijackings and robberies during November, many of which targeted rideshare drivers. In the latest allegation, Gnilka said Johnson and an accomplice forced a man out of a car at gunpoint in Mount Greenwood and robbed him of his phone, cash, and debit cards on November 25. He made the driver give him the cards’ PIN before driving away, according to Gnilka.
Johnson, who has been jailed since late last year, is now charged with nine separate incidents involving five carjackings and seven armed robberies. He was on bond for misdemeanor criminal trespass to a vehicle when all of those crimes unfolded. Navarro ordered him held without bail.
Stay tuned. Some of the other “encore performers” from Thursday’s bond court session will be featured in separate upcoming stories on CWBChicago.