Parolee hijacked car with baby inside, drove 2 blocks with the father on the hood

Prosecutors say a Chicago man on parole for armed robbery carjacked an SUV with a 2-month-old baby in the back seat, then drove two blocks with the child’s father clinging to the vehicle’s hood.

Pherris Harrington, 26, was ordered held without bail by Judge Charles Beach on Tuesday afternoon. According to media reports, Harrington was charged with robbery in Connecticut on October 26.

The child’s mother and father left their Honda CR-V running with the baby strapped into a car seat while they picked up a bakery order in the 1500 block of West Lawrence around 11 a.m. Sunday.

Pherris Harrington and the scene of the alleged carjacking. | CPD; Google

Surveillance video shows Harrington getting into the car and driving away while the baby’s mother desperately tries to open the back door. The father mounted the vehicle’s hood, prosecutors said.

The 37-year-old mother fell to the ground and injured her leg and ankle. Her 41-year-old husband was about two blocks away when he fell off the hood, injuring his rotator cuff and bruising both legs.

Chicago police used the city’s network of cameras and license plate readers to locate the stolen vehicle in the 100 block of North Wacker Drive about 20 minutes later. Prosecutors said Harrington crashed the car into several vehicles and a cement wall before running from the car in the Loop. Police arrested him nearby.

Police found the baby boy lying on the floor in the back of the SUV, but he was not injured, prosecutors said. His car seat, which had been facing the back of the vehicle before it was hijacked, was facing the driver’s side when cops inspected the car.

Prosecutors said some 40-caliber bullets fell from Harrington’s pocket when police arrested him, but no gun was located.

He was released from prison on December 23 after serving half of a 17-year sentence that he received for a 2014 armed robbery. According to prosecutors, the state is moving to revoke his parole in light of the new allegations. Harrington was adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile in 2013 for burglary, multiple gun violations, and a robbery charge that began as a vehicular hijacking.

Prosecutors have charged him with aggravated vehicular hijacking, aggravated kidnapping of a child younger than 13, and several misdemeanors, including possession of ammunition, resisting police, battery, and leaving the scene of an accident. 

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