Chicago — A man who’s on juvenile parole for carjacking is back in custody after he allegedly ran from a freshly-hijacked Cadillac with a gun in his hand and then tried to hide from pursuing police officers by hiding in a dumpster behind Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) — the high-security building where police dispatchers were helping cops track him down.
Officers responded to a five-car crash involving a newly-hijacked Cadillac SUV in the 1200 block of West Van Buren just before 6 p.m. on New Year’s Day.
Two men ran from the wrecked Cadillac, and CPD surveillance officers watching camera feeds relayed the suspects’ locations to patrol officers, prosecutor Rhianna Biernat said.
Cops lost track of one man, but they saw Thomas Battle, 19, jump the fence into the OEMC campus with what appeared to be a gun in his hand, according to Biernat. After losing sight of Battle for a moment, the officers allegedly found him and a loaded 40-caliber handgun inside a dumpster behind OEMC, 1411 West Madison.
Biernat said Battle is on juvenile parole for carjacking and robbery. He is now charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, but not with hijacking the Cadillac.
His public defender said Battle is a recent high school graduate. She argued that the pursuit happened at night, and the officers lost sight of the suspect for a moment while chasing him, so Battle may be the wrong person.
“State,” Judge Barbara Dawkins asked Biernat after the public defender spoke, “he was found in the garbage can with a gun, right?”
“Correct,” Biernat replied.
Dawkins then held him in lieu of $50,000. He must post 10% of that amount to go home on electronic monitoring.