Two 18-year-olds are charged with carjacking a Lyft driver in Andersonville and then crashing his car into a fire hydrant as Chicago police closed in minutes later. Hansen Dandridge Jr. and Cormarion Watkins have no criminal background whatsoever, prosecutors said.
The 65-year-old Lyft driver pulled over on the corner of Foster and Clark to pick up a passenger when Dandridge and Watkins allegedly stepped from the back seat of a Cadillac sedan that pulled up next to him around 12:15 a.m. Friday.
The Cadillac was taken in an armed carjacking in River North less than an hour earlier, according to CPD records, but Dandridge and Watkins were not charged with that offense.
Prosecutors said Watkins pointed a gun at the Lyft driver, opened his door, and ordered him out of his Hyundai Elantra. Dandridge jumped into the front passenger seat and the two drove away with the car, according to the allegations.
The victim ran across the street and called 911. Cops spotted his car minutes later and tried to pull it over. Now in the driver’s seat, Dandridge sped away, ran a stop sign, and disregarded a red light before crashing into a hydrant in the 1600 block of West Thorndale, a CPD report said.
Cops arrested them after brief foot chases. As he ran away, Dandridge allegedly threw a loaded handgun with a defaced serial number into a yard.
Prosecutors said the Andersonville carjacking and the crash were recorded by CPD surveillance cameras.
They charged Watkins with aggravated vehicular hijacking with a firearm. Dandridge is charged with possessing a stolen motor vehicle, possessing a firearm with a defaced serial number, aggravated fleeing, and possessing a firearm without a license.
An assistant public defender said both men are high school graduates. Dandridge attends Truman College, and Watkins has college plans for the fall.
Judge Susana Ortiz set bail at $750,000 for Watkins and $500,000 for Dandridge. They must post 10% of those amounts to go home on electronic monitoring.