A 19-year-old man charged with attacking and carjacking a real estate agent in Lincoln Park this week — while free on bail for a felony drug case — tried to convince a judge that he’s a good guy.
“I’m trying all my best,” Emanuel Rivera told Judge Charles Beach during a bond hearing Thursday. Beach was, to say the least, unconvinced.
According to prosecutors, the 59-year-old victim parked his Lexus on the 600 block of West Webster and turned on its flashers as he prepared to show an apartment to prospective tenants around 6:52 p.m. Monday.
He walked into a gangway to retrieve a key from a lockbox. Rivera struck the victim from behind, knocking him down two stairs to the ground, prosecutors said.
The victim looked up and saw three people standing at the top of the stairs, and one of them demanded his car keys. When one of the men moved slightly, the victim seized the opportunity to bust through the men and ran away while screaming for help.
He fell on Orchard Street, suffering cracked teeth and an injured knee. The three carjackers caught up with him and again demanded his keys, according to the allegations. He complied.
Prosecutors said that the victim saw all three offenders leave the area in his Lexus with Rivera behind the wheel.
A CPD license plate reader spotted the hijacked SUV traveling through Greektown on Tuesday evening. Cops moved in and arrested Rivera, who was driving it, according to the allegations. He later admitted to punching the victim in the back, following the victim after the initial attack, and driving the car away from the scene, prosecutors said.
Assistant Public Defender Suzin Farber tried to make the best of the situation by pointing out that the hijacking allegations don’t involve any guns.
Prosecutors charged Rivera with felony vehicular hijacking. They said he was on bail for a pending manufacture-delivery case at the time of the alleged crime, and he was adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile for aggravated battery.
Before Judge Beach ordered Rivera held without bail, he laid out the reasoning for his decision, including his opinion that Rivera is a danger to the community.
“Are you a danger to the community? Again, my answer, in short, is yes,” Beach said. “I know you’re nodding your head ‘no,’ and I know you’re 19 years of age, but here’s the problem, Mr. Rivera: You’ve got an aggravated battery in your background.”
“That was old,” Rivera countered. “That’s when I was 15.”
“It’s not that old,” Beach volleyed. “That was four years ago. Most people make it their entire lives without having an aggravated battery in their background.”
“I’m trying all my best,” said Rivera.