Chicago — An 18-year-old who has been adjudicated delinquent in three juvenile gun cases this year is now accused of carjacking a woman on the Northwest Side while armed with an Airsoft rifle.
“How do you all know that was me?” Cross Banks asked at the conclusion of his bail hearing on Friday. “Can you all see my face?”
In fact, prosecutors said, video surveillance showed Banks committing the carjacking and then trying to get its flat tire repaired about 30 minutes later. He was wearing the same clothing and sporting the same multi-colored underwear in both videos, prosecutor Adam Sammarco alleged.
He said a woman parked her 2018 Mercedes outside a Martin’s Supermarket, 5155 West Addison, around 8:40 a.m. Wednesday and was quickly confronted by a man who ran up to her with a “black assault-style weapon or bludgeon.”
The assailant grabbed the woman and forced her against the Mercedes while demanding her keys. She dropped her purse, and the man picked up her keys and phone, then drove away with the vehicle, Sammarco said.
Shortly after 9 a.m., the woman’s Mercedes rolled up to a tire shop in the 1200 block of North Pulaski with a blown tire. While the driver was asking the shop to repair the vehicle, Chicago cops spotted the Mercedes, realized it had just been carjacked, and called for backup.
Banks ran away as police approached him, Sammarco said. But he didn’t get far and had the Mercedes’ key fob and the woman’s credit cards in his pockets. A 23-inch long black plastic Airsoft rifle was found inside the car.
In addition to wearing the same underwear and other clothing as the hijacker, Banks was also wearing one latex glove, just like the hijacker, Sammarco said.
He’s charged with aggravated vehicular hijacking with a weapon, armed robbery, possession of a controlled substance, and three counts of misdemeanor theft.
His defense attorney said he is a high school senior who lives with and helps care for his father. Cross also has a child on the way. And, the lawyer argued, the weapon wasn’t a real firearm.
“The victim doesn’t know whether or not it’s going to function in a manner that would kill them,” Judge Mary Marubio said of the Airsoft rifle. “You have three gun cases just in this year.”
“I’m reluctant to hold someone no-bail who’s only 18, but this offense is incredibly serious,” the judge said before granting the state’s no-bail request.
“Wasn’t me,” Cross insisted before being led out of the hearing.