Cops find car, identify driver who plowed into River North crowd

Chicago police know the identity of the driver who sped through a bustling River North crosswalk to escape from a traffic stop on Saturday evening, leaving a 5-year-old girl, a woman, and a CPD sergeant injured. Police have not announced his arrest, however.

Officers stopped the driver of a red Hyundai Kona on the corner of State and Grand around 8 p.m., police said. He refused to step out of the car and sped into a crowd of passersby who were crossing the street directly in front of him, according to police and surveillance video of the incident.

But he left his driver’s license in the hands of a police officer, so police know exactly who they’re looking for, according to a CPD report. The 24-year-old suspect lives on the city’s West Side. His most recent arrest in Chicago was two years ago — for driving on a suspended license and operating an uninsured motor vehicle, police records show.

Surveillance video shows that both of the car’s doors were open when the car sped away. The driver’s door appears to strike a police officer, knocking him to the ground a split-second before the vehicle slams into a group of pedestrians.

CWB Chicago is not identifying the driver by name because he is not charged with a crime.

Investigators found the man’s car, which bore license plates frequently used by rental vehicles, on the 200 block of West Superior shortly after Saturday’s incident. No one was inside.

EMS took the girl to Lurine Children’s Hospital in good condition, according to a CPD statement. Police said ambulances took the woman to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in good condition and the sergeant’s injuries were “non-life threatening,” according to a CPD statement.

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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