Tavon Baylock went viral in 2019 with a Facebook Live video that showed him playing with guns in a car and threatening to shoot a Chicago police officer who pulled up next to him in traffic. He eventually received a four-year sentence.
Not long after that case was resolved, a judge put him on electronic monitoring when prosecutors charged him with a new case alleging unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and obstruction of justice.
On March 9, prosecutors say, Baylock cut off his ankle monitor and disappeared.
When sheriff’s officers responded to his home upon receiving an alert from his monitoring band, they were met by his brother. He handed over Baylock’s severed ankle strap and told the officers that Baylock wanted him to give it to them, Assistant State’s Attorney Danny Hanichak said.
Investigators think they know where the 23-year-old spent some of his time on the run: In Iowa, where he is now charged with attempted murder for allegedly opening fire on two men outside a daycare center in June.
In late January 2019, a video of Baylock began circulating on social media. It showed him streaming on Facebook from the passenger seat of a car traveling near 95th and Halsted streets, Hanichak said. As Baylock waved two guns around with a third weapon nearby, a Chicago police squad car pulled up next to him.
Baylock told his Facebook viewers that he was going to kill the cop, and he instructed his driver to chase the officer, Hanichak said. The video stream ended a few moments later.
Investigators contacted Baylock, who promptly live-streamed more threats to kill Chicago police officers, according to Hanichak.
Baylock, who previously served eight months for a felony juvenile gun case, eventually received a four-year sentence.
Off to Iowa
After cutting off his ankle monitor in March, Baylock seemingly disappeared. Federal and Iowa investigators now say he spent some of his time in Dubuque.
On the evening of June 23, Baylock drove onto the parking lot of a convenience store in the Iowa town, which lies on the Mississippi River west of Rockford. He got out and spoke with a man. Officials said they separated, and Baylock went to a house and changed clothes.
About 20 minutes later, Baylock drove to another location where the man he spoke with in the parking lot was sitting in a car with another person. Baylock allegedly got out of his vehicle and began shooting at the man, who ducked and pressed the accelerator of his car, which crashed into Romper Stompers Childcare Center. In July, Iowa authorities issued a warrant for Baylock’s arrest on charges of attempted murder, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, reckless use of a firearm, and other counts.
Investigators learned that the car Baylock allegedly drove is registered to a woman in Calumet City. A US Marshals task force staked out her home.
On Monday, the task force saw Baylock walk out of the woman’s residence and drive away in a car. He sped from officers, ran more than 25 stop signs, struck a sheriff’s police squad car, and continued to drive until the vehicle became inoperable, Hanichak said.
Police arrested him and allegedly found a loaded handgun under the driver’s seat.
On Tuesday, Judge Kelly McCarthy held Baylock without bail for violating bond conditions in his already-pending gun case. She set bail on the new gun charge at $500,000.
Wednesday, Baylock appeared in court again to face the Iowa warrant and a new escape charge. Judge Maryam Ahamad set bail at $600,000 in the escape case. She also held him without bail on the Iowa warrant.
His public defender said he has one child and another is on the way.
Editor’s note: Because the alleged attempted murders occurred outside the city of Chicago, Baylock will not be included in CWBChicago’s list of people who have been charged with shooting, killing, or trying to shoot or kill people while on felony bond. He will, however, get a “dishonorable mention.”