Convicted sex offender being questioned in West Loop kidnapping attempt was released on a felony recognizance bond less than 24 hours earlier

Chicago police are questioning a registered sex offender in connection with Sunday’s attempted kidnapping of a woman in the West Loop, according to law enforcement sources. 

And, CWBChicago has learned that the man was released on his own recognizance by a Cook County judge less than 24 hours before the attack after he appeared before her on an outstanding warrant and a felony charge of failing to register as a sex offender.

More: He is required to register as a sex offender because he was convicted of accosting women on the street in the South Loop in 2017.

CPD surveillance images of the West Loop kidnapping suspect. | CPD

We are not naming the man because he has not been charged with the West Loop attack or a similar incident that occurred minutes later in the South Loop.

However, on Saturday afternoon, the man appeared before Judge Maryam Ahmad in Chicago’s felony bond court.

Prosecutor William Lacy told Ahmad that the man walked into the Chicago Police Department’s Englewood (7th) District station on Friday to turn himself in for an outstanding misdemeanor battery warrant. When cops ran his name, they learned that he was non-compliant with the state sex offender law, and prosecutors charged him with a felony for failure to register, Lacy said.

“I just got out of the penitentiary on September the 2nd,” the man told Ahmad. Lacy confirmed that information and told Ahmad that prison staff told the man he had to register by September 5.

“Ok, here’s what I’m going to do,” Ahmad told the man. “I’m gonna give you an I-bond on this registration case.”

She told him to return to court on Tuesday, September 27, to have the felony matter reviewed.

“I’m going to hear your case in Branch 66 on Tuesday. So, make sure you come here to 26th and California… on Tuesday,” the judge told him.

Then Ahmad took it a step further. She quashed the outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrant, which was supposed to hold him on $1,500 bail. Instead, she told him to go home and go to court on Wednesday, the 28th, to get it resolved.

Less than 24 hours later, a man driving a stolen minivan grabbed and apparently tried to kidnap a woman in the 200 block of South Sangamon in the West Loop. A few minutes later, a man driving a similar minivan grabbed a woman as she walked in the 100 block of West Roosevelt in the South Loop, according to a CPD report.

Both women fought their way free, and the maroon minivan, which was stolen, crashed moments after the South Loop attack. The driver fled the scene.

About 15 minutes after the crash, CTA cameras captured images of the West Loop attacker at the Jackson Red Line station. Chicago police released some of those pictures to the public on Monday in an effort to identify him.

The man seen in the CTA surveillance images bears a very, very strong resemblance to the man who appeared before Ahmad.

According to court records, the man most recently served a set of concurrent three-year prison sentences for aggravated battery of a peace officer and other charges.

In the summer of 2017, he was charged with criminal sexual abuse and other crimes for allegedly grabbing women as they walked in the South Loop. Court records show that he got a three-year sentence for sexual abuse and another two years for aggravated battery.

The outstanding warrant that Ahmad quashed stems from an incident outside the Cook County jail in March 2020. In that case, he was charged with three counts of misdemeanor battery and two counts of criminal damage to property, according to court records.

He was released on his own recognizance less than six hours later.

And records show that, less than 11 hours after getting out, he was arrested again on felony charges of aggravated battery of a nurse and aggravated battery of a peace officer. He received a set of concurrent three-year terms after pleading guilty, according to court records, and was released earlier this month.

But the misdemeanor case remained active, and a judge issued a warrant for his arrest in February while he was still in prison.

CWBChicago will post updated stories as events develop.

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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