Prosecutors said a man being sought for a downstate murder briefly escaped from Chicago police by bolting out of an Uptown hospital where they took him for treatment after he was arrested in connection with an armed robbery on Thursday.
Kyle Escoe, 18, was recaptured a short time later and is now held without bail for the robbery, escape, two previously-pending felony cases, and the murder warrant.
Authorities in Decatur, a town of about 70,000 people east of Springfield, have been looking for Escoe since a 24-year-old man was killed during a street gathering in their city on August 14. CWBChicago reported on August 31 that Decatur authorities believed Escoe was in Chicago.
The events leading to his capture began around 8:45 p.m. Thursday when a pizza delivery driver returned to their car after dropping off an order in the 1500 block of West Fargo in Rogers Park.
Prosecutor Zachary said the delivery driver noticed a black Honda with Virginia license plates parked in front of his car. Escoe exited the Honda’s driver’s seat with a handgun as a juvenile accomplice got out of the passenger seat, also with a gun, he said.
They were both wearing ski masks as they pointed guns at the delivery driver’s head from less than three feet away, Peasall continued. Escoe took about $150 from the driver as the juvenile snatched a gold chain from the victim’s neck. Then, they drove away in the Honda.
But the delivery driver memorized the Virginia license plate number, and Chicago police began tracking the car through its network of license plate readers. The vehicle was stolen in Uptown earlier in the week as another robbery spree unfolded across the city, but Escoe is not charged with any of those incidents.
A law enforcement task force, assisted by federal and CPD helicopters, located the car in the Austin neighborhood around 11:15 p.m. Thursday. They arrested Escoe and the juvenile after Escoe crashed the vehicle, Peasall said.
Investigators found a gun on the passenger seat and another gun along Escoe’s flight path. Escoe and the juvenile had black ski masks and a total of $253 cash, Peasall said.
On Thursday afternoon, Chicago police officers took Escoe to Thorek Hospital in Uptown after he complained about suffering injuries during the earlier car crash.
When an officer partially removed Escoe’s handcuffs so he could sign hospital paperwork, Escoe bolted from the waiting room and headed into the nearby neighborhood, Peasall said.
Police swarmed the area and located Escoe in the 4100 block of North Clarendon. He was still “partly cuffed,” according to Peasall.
On Sunday, prosecutors charged Escoe with robbery, escape, and misdemeanor criminal trespass to a vehicle. He was already on bail for possessing a stolen motor vehicle and manufacture-delivery of cannabis, both felonies, Peasall said.
Judge Susana Ortiz granted the state’s motion to hold Escoe without bail on the new charges.
A second man being sought in connection with the downstate murder, Omari Walker, 18, remains at large. Decatur police believe he may be in Chicago, too.
Editor’s note: Escoe is accused of murder outside of Chicago, so he will not be included on our list of people who are accused of committing violent crimes such as murder and shootings in the city while on felony bail. He does, however, get a “dishonorable mention.”