Cops arrest CTA robber after his own mother turns him in, prosecutors say

Jacarri Kelly | CPD

A man who’s on bail for a felony gun case faces robbery charges after his own mother recognized him in a CPD public safety bulletin and turned him in, according to prosecutors. Jacarri Kelly, 21, is the second person charged in the robbery, which unfolded early on September 6 at the Jackson Red Line station.

According to police and prosecutors, a man who wore a white shirt over his face demanded the 54-year-old victim’s phone and wallet as they stood on the platform around 12:30 a.m. When the victim refused to comply, a man wearing a red and black jacket, allegedly Kelly, walked up and began fighting with him.

Prosecutors said that the previously-arrested man, Lamonte Taylor-Gwin, took the victim’s wallet from his back pocket as he struggled with Kelly. CTA video allegedly shows Taylor-Gwin going through the man’s wallet and then tossing it on the ground.

A man who wore a t-shirt over his face — reportedly a jailhouse friend of Taylor-Gwin’s — took the victim’s phone and forced him to give up his passcode before fleeing with Kelly, according to the allegations. The third man has not been arrested.

Kelly’s mother recently saw a “seeking to identify” bulletin that police released shortly after the robbery. She contacted CPD late last week to tell them one of the suspects is her son, Assistant State’s Attorney Calvin Astrella said. Cops arrested Kelly the next day.

Police released these surveillance images of three men who are being sought in connection with a robbery at the Jackson Red Line station on Monday night, September 6, 2021. | CPD

The robbery took place about two weeks after Kelly stopped showing up for court in a pending felony gun case, according to court records. He also has a criminal damage case pending, records show.

Assistant Public Defender Courtney Smallwood said Kelly is the father of two, and she pointed out that Kelly is not accused of personally taking the victim’s property.

Judge Maryam Ahmad set bail for the robbery at $20,000, meaning Kelly must post $2,000 to get out of jail while the case is pending. Separately, she ordered him held without bail until the judge who’s handling the gun case has an opportunity to hold a hearing.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is