Man gets 12 year federal sentence for armed carjacking, crashing into Divvy biker

A federal judge has sentenced a Wicker Park man to more than 12 years in prison for carjacking a man’s SUV and slamming it into a Divvy biker at nearly 50 miles per hour.

Prosecutors said Elias Quinones-Figueroa and an unidentified 16-year-old displayed handguns and carjacked a Chevy Tahoe as its 45-year-old owner cleaned it in the 1200 block of North Cleaver around 3:23 p.m. on May 27, 2020.

Elias Figueroa (inset) and the crash scene. | CPD; U.S. District Court records

Figueroa sped away after seeing a Chicago police unit on patrol in the 1300 block of West Hubbard. According to federal prosecutors, the CPD unit’s lights and siren were not activated, but Figueroa sped away and ran several red lights to avoid the officers.

Figueroa struck the rear wheel of the bicyclist as he drove the Tahoe through a red light at Ogden and Hubbard, prosecutors said. The bicyclist flew into the air, sailed over a pickup truck, and slammed onto the truck’s fender as he fell to the ground. 

Prosecutors claim the cyclist broke several bones and is still unable to move all of his limbs as he once did.

Witnesses estimated that Figueroa was driving at 80 MPH when, 150 feet past the bicyclist, he slammed into a red Chevrolet SUV parked on Hubbard Street. Prosecutors included a picture of the wrecked Chevy sentencing memorandum:

The wreckage of the parked SUV that Figueroa allegedly crashed into. | U.S. District Court records

Prosecutors said Figueroa and the 16-year-old had to climb out of the Tahoe’s windows because they could not operate its doors after the crash.

A good Samaritan tackled Figueroa and held him until police arrived. Chicago cops recovered two firearms at the scene.

In a sentencing memorandum, federal prosecutors said that Figueroa never finished high school and grew up without knowing his father. Nonetheless, Figueroa told investigators that his mother was strict and that he had a “pretty good childhood” until the age of 18, when he became involved with gangs.

In 2018, Figueroa was arrested for an attempted carjacking in which the victim was shot. According to the memorandum, police said he had a face mask that matched a mask worn by one of the attempted hijackers, but state prosecutors never charged Figueroa with the crime.

Figueroa pled guilty to federal charges of carjacking and brandishing a firearm during a violent crime. Prosecutors said in a press release that U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Kendall sentenced him to seven years in prison for the gun charge, followed by five years and seven months for the carjacking. Kendall also ordered him to pay $5,000 in damages to the bicyclist and $1,000 to the carjacking victim.

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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