Prosecutors have charged a 19-year-old man with battering and carjacking a man at gunpoint in Chinatown on March 27. While prosecutors said the case is Dante Williams’ first arrest, the judge who handled his bond hearing dropped the hammer.
“I want to reiterate,” Judge Susana Ortiz said, “I find him to be an extreme danger to the community.”
She then ordered Williams held in lieu of a $500,000 cash bail, meaning he must post the full half-million amount to get out of jail. Should he do that, he will go on electronic monitoring, Ortiz said. The judge noted she could not hold Williams without bail because prosecutors didn’t ask her to.
He’s charged with aggravated vehicular hijacking with a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon.
The carjacking occurred at 7:10 p.m. on March 27 on the 2400 block of South Canal, according to CPD records.
A 48-year-old man was trying to park when he saw two men walking toward him through an alley, Assistant State’s Attorney Jacqueline Simon said. Williams allegedly displayed a handgun as he walked to the passenger side while the other ran to the driver’s door.
The other hijacker punched the victim in the face as both offenders ordered him to get out of the car, Simon continued. A nearby surveillance camera recorded the crime.
When police located the hijacked Acura MDX on April 1, Williams was sitting in the car alone, Simon said. He allegedly jumped out as police approached and ran away while holding his waist. Cops caught up with him and then retraced their steps, looking for a handgun he may have ditched. They found one in some bushes. Williams later admitted he had the pistol, according to Simon.
She said the victim identified Williams as the carjacker who displayed a gun during the hijacking.
Williams’ public defender said he is trying to build a dog training business.
He remains in the Cook County jail as of Thursday evening, according to sheriff’s office records.
A couple of days after Williams was jailed, Streets and Sanitation worker Tommy Duddleston found a bloodied man lying on the 2500 block of South Princeton in Chinatown. That’s about three blocks from where Williams allegedly carjacked the other driver in late March.
Duddleston called for police and EMS. They took the victim to Stroger Hospital, where he was admitted as a “John Doe” because he did not have any identification. Doctors performed emergency brain surgery.
Family members later identified him as Jin Lew, a 61-year-old chef who they reported missing when he didn’t show up for a meeting last Friday. Lew remains in a coma with severe head injuries. Besides his wallet, Lew’s car is also missing. His family believes carjackers horribly beat him on the street.
Coincidentally, Lew raised his family near 24th and Canal streets, the Sun-Times reports. That’s right where the earlier carjacking took place.
Lew’s family launched a GoFundMe to help with medical bills and other expenses.
“As a father, he provided all he could to ensure my brother and I got a good education,” Lew’s son wrote on the campaign’s page. “In the Chinese restaurant community, he was a well respected head chef who over 40 years gave many new immigrants their first starts and trained them in his kitchen. Many of these colleagues went on to be restaurant leaders across Chicago.”
Armour Square, the community area that includes Chinatown, recorded 16 carjackings this year through April 6. That’s up from three during the same period last year, two in 2020, and one in 2019, according to the city’s data portal.
In fact, there have been almost as many carjackings reported in Armour Square this year as in all of 2021. There were 21 total cases last year, 13 in 2020, and five in 2019.