Men who were accused of robbing bicyclists in the Loop get probation in plea deals

Remember last summer, when the latest craze appeared to be robbing Loop bicyclists? Two people charged in connection with two of those incidents have accepted plea deals from prosecutors. They both received probation.

A group of men riding Divvy bikes approaches a bicyclist who is about to be robbed in the Loop on June 16, 2021. | Provided

Princeton Rogers Jr. was supposed to attend his high school graduation on June 18, 2021. He was instead in Chicago’s Central Bond Court, facing robbery charges.

During the hearing, prosecutors said the bicyclist was riding southbound on Wabash at Madison around 11:30 p.m. on June 16 when seven people approached and told them they wanted his bike. The biker tried to maneuver around the group.

According to the allegations, Rogers, wearing bright red pants and a bright long-sleeve sweatshirt, used both hands to grab a bicyclist by his backpack and throw him to the ground He then struggled with the alleged victim for control of the bike and eventually rode away with it, according to the state’s allegations.

The incident was captured on video by a nearby surveillance camera. Watch:

The bicyclist chased the group for a short distance and flagged down a CPD squad car for help, prosecutors said. Officers arrested Rogers nearby.

According to defense and prosecuting attorneys, Rogers had no other arrests in his background.

He has pleaded guilty to one count of theft from a person, which was reduced from robbery, according to court records. Judge Angela Munari-Petrone sentenced him to two years of second-chance probation and 50 hours of community service.

Within 10 minutes of the robbery seen on video, another bicyclist reported being battered and robbed by seven men who surrounded him and took his Divvy bike on the 100 block of North Dearborn, a CPD spokesperson said last year. Rogers was not accused of participating in that incident.

Those offenders struck the bicyclist in the face, knocking him to the ground. They continued to beat the man, and one of them rode away westbound with his Divvy bike. Other members of the group also reportedly fled on Divvy bikes.

Then, on June 19, 2021, police arrested two suburban men after another bicyclist was attacked and robbed by a group of people in the 1000 block of West Monroe.

Police said the 29-year-old victim was docking his Divvy bike around 11:30 p.m. when a group of 8 to 10 people approached him, punched him several times, and took his bicycle at gunpoint. Officers responded and found a group of suspects in the area.

Prosecutors charged 19-year-old Anthony Glees Cole of Park Forest with felony robbery and felony unlawful use of a weapon. The victim identified Cole as the offender who repeatedly punched him in the face and took his Divvy bike, prosecutors said during a bail hearing last year. Officers allegedly found a loaded handgun in his possession during a search.

Coles had never been arrested before.

In a deal with prosecutors, Cole pleaded guilty to aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and received a sentence of two years of first offender gun probation from Judge Steven Watkins, according to court records. Prosecutors dropped robbery, unlawful restraint, and three other gun charges in the agreement.

Also arrested was 25-year-old Taurus Haywood of University Park. Police chased Haywood on foot and saw him throw an object into an alley as he ran, prosecutors said last year. According to the allegations, cops returned to the alley after he was in custody and found a loaded handgun. The victim identified Haywood as one of the men who approached him at the Divvy docking station, prosecutors said.

Another man charged in the case, 25-year-old Taurus Haywood of University Park, is still fighting the allegations. He is due back in court next month.

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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