Man accused of CTA ‘busjacking’ gets 1-year sentence

A Chicago man who prosecutors said forced a CTA bus operator at gunpoint to drive him to an off-route location has received a one-year prison sentence in a plea deal with prosecutors.

Maurice Lowry, 28, boarded the eastbound #67 bus around 11 p.m. on December 8, 2021, and asked the driver to take him to a specific location, prosecutors alleged.

Maurice Lowry | Chicago Police Department

When the driver told Lowry that the bus didn’t go to his desired destination, he pulled out a gun and ordered two passengers to get off near 69th Street and Western Avenue, officials said.

“Today,” Lowry allegedly told the driver at gunpoint, “you are going there.”

The driver began heading toward Lowry’s desired address until Lowry ordered her to stop so he could go into a gas station, prosecutors said during Lowry’s initial bail hearing. Officials said that surveillance video from the business, located near the 6900 block of South Halsted, shows Lowry hiding a gun on the shelves of an attached convenience store.

Prosecutors initially charged Lowry with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and said they expected to file additional charges in the case. But court records show Lowry was never charged with anything other than illegally possessing a firearm.

The judge who handled Lowry’s bail hearing said he was “allegedly treating a CTA bus as an Uber of sorts.” Lowry’s defense attorney initially suggested that he may have been under the influence of drugs at the time of the allegations.

On December 8, Lowry pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in a vehicle before Judge James Linn. The judge sentenced him to one year in prison with 120 days credit for the time Lowry spent in custody after being arrested.

Lowry’s sentence will be reduced by 50% for good behavior. His parole date is set for February 8, 2023, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records.

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