A North Side man has been sentenced to probation for attacking and robbing a man who asked him to maintain social distancing as they stood inside an Uptown sandwich shop during the early days of the COVID pandemic.
Alijay Jenkins pleaded guilty to felony charges of robbery and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, according to court records. Judge Michael Hood sentenced him to two years probation and 30 hours of community service.
The 50-year-old victim was exiting the store early on May 7, 2020, when Jenkins, now 21, and four friends wearing surgical masks tried to walk in, Assistant State’s Attorney Katherine Hegarty said at the time.
When the man asked Jenkins and his friends to step back and maintain safe distancing, Jenkins punched the victim in the face, according to a police spokesperson.
Jenkins’ friends then began punching and kicking the victim as he laid on the ground, Hegarty said. The man tried to call 911, but Jenkins allegedly took his phone and then fled the scene with the other men. A nearby CPD surveillance camera captured portions of the attack.
Police responded to the scene after one of the victim’s friends called for help. Officers then searched the area and found Jenkins near his home on the 800 block of West Eastwood. Cops arrested Jenkins after a brief foot chase. They said he had a loaded handgun tucked in his waistband.
No charges were ever announced against other attackers.