Felon’s gun fired as cops chased him from a hijacked car in Rogers Park, prosecutors say

A man who’s on bail for a felony gun case accidentally fired a shot while trying to dump a handgun as cops chased him for driving a hijacked car in Rogers Park this week, prosecutors said. (Read through to the end of this story. We’ve told you about this guy once before.)

A carjacker took the 2018 Honda Accord at gunpoint from a woman on the 800 block of West Randolph around 8:21 p.m. on February 11. On Thursday, she notified police that a tracking service located the car on the 6900 block of North Glenwood. CPD used its surveillance network to keep an eye on the vehicle. At one point, officers allegedly saw John Carew, 23, get out of the driver’s seat and walk away.

John Carew (inset) and the gun that allegedly fired as he threw it during a foot chase. | CPD

CPD sent undercover units to the area to maintain surveillance on the vehicle.

Around 1 p.m. Thursday, they tried to detain Carew as he returned to the car and began to sit in the driver’s seat, Assistant State’s Attorney Loukas Kalliantasis said. Carew allegedly ran away with officers chasing him on foot.

During the pursuit, Carew pulled a gun from his jacket and threw it toward an embankment that supports the Red Line tracks, said Kalliantasis. The gun allegedly fired one round as he tossed it.

Cops arrested Carew after he fell while trying to jump a fence. Officers recovered the gun and one shell casing from near the embankment, according to the Kalliantasis.

Carew is not charged with hijacking the woman “at this point,” Kalliantasis said. But he is charged with reckless discharge of a firearm, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, and aggravated possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

Kalliantasis said the gun charge will be upgraded to unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.

Carew is currently on bond for a pending charge of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon. Kalliantasis said court records indicate Carew is supposed to be on electronic monitoring for that case. In 2017, Carew was convicted of reckless discharge of a firearm and possessing a defaced firearm in Stevenson County, Kalliantasis said.

Assistant Public Defender Suzin Farber said Carew lives with his wife and two-month-old child. She said he works full-time with a theater program for teens who have juvenile criminal cases.

Judge Maryam Ahmad set Carew’s bail at $450,000. She also ordered him held without bail for violating the bond terms in his pending gun case.

Déjà vu

Carew’s story may be familiar to longtime CWB readers. We reported a remarkably similar story involving him almost four years ago.

In April 2018, two women had just stepped out of a 2011 Ford Focus in the 1100 block of West Diversey when four offenders approached them, pointed handguns at their faces, and announced a robbery. The victims, ages 19 and 21, turned over their wallets, phones, and keys to their car.

Cops arrested Carew the next day when he was allegedly driving the carjacked vehicle in the 6400 block of South Martin Luther King Drive. Prosecutors charged him with aggravated possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

“So far, no one has been charged with the actual carjacking,” we wrote at the time.

The outcome of that case was not available on Saturday.

This excerpt at the end of our 2018 report shows how little has changed in Chicago over the past four years.

Some Chicago politicians are hoping to strengthen laws against carjacking and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

“When somebody is stopped today [after] police pursuit of a stolen car, what often people are saying is, ‘I borrowed it from somebody else.’ Or, I got it from somebody. I don’t know his name.’ Or they say nothing,” Walter Katz, [Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s] deputy chief of staff for public safety [told the Sun-Times in February].

“The evidence is really clear based upon the person’s actions that they had a clear intent to have this stolen car. That’s what we’re trying to go after.”

Katz noted that the current law requires proof that the person in possession of the stolen car “knew it was stolen.”

“We’re trying to address that issue by providing more tools for prosecution to hold such folks accountable,” he said.

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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 news@cwbchicago.com