Chicago — A Chicago man who carjacked an SUV with two children, including a one-year-old, inside has been given an eight-year sentence.
Omar Soto, 40, pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular hijacking with a passenger under the age of 16 before Judge Sophia Atcherson. Prosecutors dropped eight other felonies in the plea deal, including robbery and kidnapping.
According to police and prosecutors, the trouble began when Soto t-boned another car while driving near the 4800 block of West Fullerton around 11 a.m. on January 8, 2022.
He ran from his car and climbed into the driver’s seat of a GMC Acadia parked in a nearby Walgreens parking lot. Its owner had left it running with her 14-year-old daughter and one-year-old son inside while she went into the store.
The girl told Soto he was in the wrong car, but prosecutors said he ignored her and drove away with the kids. After pleading with Soto to let her and the baby out of the vehicle, the teen Facetimed with her mother, and Soto tried to take her phone away.
Soto stopped the car after a few minutes and told the girl to get out. When she didn’t, he grabbed her by the hair, dragged her across the center console, and pulled her out through the driver’s door, prosecutors alleged. Soto pulled some hair from the 14-year-old’s scalp while removing her from the car, but she was not seriously injured, according to the allegations.
Soto returned to the car and drove away with the one-year-old.
Chicago police found the car in traffic in the 3700 block of West North Avenue and pulled Soto over. They took him into custody and found the one-year-old safe in the back seat.
Soto was on probation for burglary at the time of the hijacking. Police also found Soto’s parole slip at the initial traffic crash site.
His sentence will be reduced by 50% for good behavior, and he received 408 days of credit for time served and other credits earned while in custody before sentencing. His parole date is set for October 27, 2025.