Carjacker pistol-whips woman during struggle in Lakeview, police say

A woman was pistol-whipped and fell to the ground as she struggled with a carjacker in Lakeview on Thursday evening, police said. The offender got away with her car, which cops later found abandoned on the South Side. No arrests have been made.

Officer Jose Jara said the victim parked her car around 8:30 p.m. and noticed a man standing on the corner of Addison and Southport. That man walked up to her and demanded her car keys at gunpoint, Jara said.

She refused to comply and tried to kick the man, who then struck her on the forehead with the barrel of his gun, Jara continued. The hijacker drove away with the woman’s Subaru after she fell to the ground.

A passerby stopped to help the woman as she sat holding her head on the curb, Jara said.

Carjacking reports citywide declined 23% through February 3 compared to the same time last year — 177 cases down from 229. According to the city’s data, there were 77 hijackings during the period in 2020 and 52 in 2019.

In Lakeview, carjacking reports doubled last year, to 30 cases from 15 in 2020. The area had six hijackings in 2019.

Thursday’s carjacking is the second successful hijacking of the year for Lakeview.

On January 6, three men confronted a woman at gunpoint and took her Hyundai Tuscon on the 700 block of West Briar, police said. Minutes earlier, the same crew, using a Porsche Cayenne getaway car, unsuccessfully tried to carjack another woman near Sheffield and Sheridan.

Chicago police found the Cayenne, the Tucson, and a Jeep allegedly stolen from Wilmette inside a Rogers Park garage less than 45 minutes later after a passerby reported ten people acting suspiciously with the vehicles.

Officers arrested five people, but only one was charged with a felony: the Jeep’s driver, 19-year-old Victor Costello of Wilmette. Prosecutors said the SUV he was driving had been reported stolen in Wilmette three days earlier. He is currently serving a five-year probation out of Georgia for a cocaine-related offense.

“I want this young man in the house 24-7, no exceptions,” Judge Susana Ortiz said as she ordered Costello to pay a $1,000 bail bond deposit to go home on electronic monitoring.

The other four were each charged with one misdemeanor count of criminal trespass to a vehicle and reckless conduct: Zyavion Randolph, 18; Taijay Brown, 19; an unnamed 16-year-old boy; and 22-year-old Tristan Nichols-Sanders, according to a CPD spokesperson.

Nichols-Sanders and a different 16-year-old boy were charged in 2017 with violently robbing a 15-year-old in Evanston, according to an archived Sun-Times story:

They rode up to him on bicycles about 8:30 p.m in the 800 block of Dobson Street and asked him what grade his was in and if he was at a park earlier, according to police.

He kept walking and turned north on Ridge Avenue when the two ran up to him, tackled him to ground from behind and began to kick and punch him in the head and body, police said. While he was on the ground, the two robbers took his cell phone and cash from his pocket and ran away.

In that case, prosecutors entered into a plea deal with Nichols-Sanders that allowed him to plead guilty to a reduced charge of felony theft in exchange for a sentence of two years second-chance probation in December 2018.

Four months later, while on probation, he allegedly committed another robbery in Skokie. He received a four-year sentence from Judge Timothy Chambers and is currently on parole for that case, according to court records.

On July 10, Nichols-Sanders was arrested in Rogers Park and charged with criminal trespass to a vehicle, but prosecutors dropped the charges three weeks later, records show. The reason for the dismissal was not immediately available.

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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