Chicago — Three men face felony charges after a series of stunt driving, donut-spinning, car “sideshows” left several Chicago police squad cars damaged and a CPD sergeant injured over Thanksgiving weekend.
Up to 200 cars and hundreds of spectators were involved in some of the intersection-blocking incidents, as souped-up vehicles spun circles around rings of fire, a passenger blasted a flamethrower into the air, and some drivers did donuts around a Chicago police squad car.
Bystanders threw chunks of asphalt at police cruisers and punched and kicked CPD squad cars as officers tried to disperse the growing crowds.
Here are some social media videos to give you a taste of what happened.
A man deployed a flamethrower from a sports car while his driver and another vehicle spun donuts in the intersection of Ogden and Kostner early Sunday morning:
Shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday in the 4300 block of South Pulaski, sideshow spectators threw objects at Chicago police, kicked the squad cars, and tried to break the windows of police units:
Here’s another view from Twitter.
At the Pulaski Sideshow, Chicago police arrested two men on felony charges. During a bail hearing for the men on Monday afternoon, prosecutor Adam Sammarco stated that approximately 200 cars were involved in the incident, during which spectators threw vehicle parts and beer bottles at police cars and kicked CPD vehicles.
Police saw Demitrian Perez and Johnathan Hernandez, both 21, try to flee from officers in a car, Sammarco said. At one point, Perez allegedly put his vehicle in reverse to try to hit a squad car following him with its lights and sirens activated. According to Sammarco, he missed the CPD unit but struck another vehicle.
Once Perez finally pulled over, he again put his car into reverse and accelerated toward an officer at high speed, Sammarco said. The cop moved out of the way and took shelter behind another vehicle, but Perez continued on, slamming into another occupied squad car, said Sammarco.
Prosecutors charged Perez, who lives in Lemont, with two counts of aggravated assault of a peace officer, mob action, criminal damage to government property, and aggravated fleeing, all of which are felonies. He is also charged with misdemeanor reckless driving, driving without a license, and vehicle violations.
Hernandez, who has been on bail since September on a felony charge of possessing a firearm with a defaced serial number, is charged with felony counts of mob action and possessing a controlled substance. Police said they found cocaine in his possession.
Judge Mary Marubio ordered Perez to pay a $5,000 bail deposit to get out of jail. She held Hernandez without bail for violating bond in his pending gun case.
Another man was arrested at a third sideshow that popped up at 24th Street and Archer Avenue around 2:15 a.m. There, Jesus Ramos, 31, of DuPage County was one of the on-lookers who threw asphalt at Chicago police, Sammarco alleged.
Officers who arrived at the scene found about 50 cars and 100 spectators blocking the intersection. Police used loudspeakers to order the crowd to disperse, but that’s not what happened.
“Be advised,” a Deering (9th) District sergeant radioed, “I have a car doing donuts around me. I could use another car or two.”
“It’s gonna be a Cadillac,” the sergeant said after the car finished spinning circles around him. “It’s probably doing about 100 [mph] now toward the first district on Archer.”
Several people began throwing objects, including asphalt, at the police, and Ramos specifically threw a chunk that hit the sergeant’s hood and bounced up onto the windshield, Sammarco alleged.
Ramos ran from the scene but “collided into a fixed concrete structure” and fell, Sammarco said. The police tased him three times before they could get him under control.
The sergeant who chased Ramos suffered injuries to his thumb and knee. Ramos was hospitalized on Monday, awaiting surgery for an unspecified condition, according to an officer who appeared during his bail hearing.
Judge Marubio ordered him to pay a $5,000 bail deposit to be released on electronic monitoring. He is charged with felony counts of aggravated assault of a peace officer, resisting arrest, and criminal damage to government property.
He has convictions in DuPage County for arson and battery, Sammarco said.