Feds accuse Chicago man of kidnapping 3 drivers in 2021, including an Uber driver who was raped and robbed

A Chicago man who allegedly raped, robbed, and kidnapped an Uber driver in the suburbs, then forced her to drive him to Little Village, was charged Friday with federal kidnapping, carjacking, and gun offenses.

Cook County prosecutors charged Andrew Anania with the crimes against the Uber driver two years ago, and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Chicago took the case to federal court in October 2021. It is still pending. Now, the feds are accusing Anania of even more crimes. He was AWOL on a pending federal gun charge at the time of the offenses, officials said.

In a press release issued Friday afternoon, the U.S. Attorney’s office said the new charges accuse Anania of kidnapping the Uber driver on March 8, 2021, and other drivers in Chicago on February 27 and Cicero on March 10 of that year.

“On two of the occasions, Anania also stole the victims’ motor vehicle with intent to cause death and serious bodily harm,” the press release said.

Andrew Anania | Chicago Police Department

One of the charges in the new indictment involves alleged crimes against the Uber driver. It is nearly identical to the indictment returned in July 2021 but adds sexual abuse as one of his purposes for allegedly committing the crime. The other two counts are new charges.

Background

Back in 2014, Anania was charged with murdering a 16-year-old rival gang member, but he later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. Records show that his ten-year sentence was reduced by 50% for good behavior, and the balance was largely offset by the time he spent in jail awaiting trial.

While on parole in that case in 2019, Chicago police allegedly caught him with a firearm in Little Village. The U.S. Attorney’s Office took that matter into federal court, and Anania remained in custody until a federal judge released him to await trial in the fall of 2020.

Federal court transcripts show an assistant U.S. attorney argued strenuously against defense efforts to release Anania due to concerns about COVID in the Metropolitan Correctional Center downtown.

“The community would be at heightened vulnerability if Mr. Anania were released,” a federal prosecutor said during a September 2020 hearing. He pointed out that a different federal judge previously found no conditions that could reasonably assure the public’s safety if Anania were released.

Countering a contention that Anania’s illnesses required him to walk with a cane, the prosecutor said CPD bodyworn camera footage shows Anania “sprinted down for two blocks” as police chased him in the gun case.

A warrant for Anania’s arrest was issued on February 2, 2021, for violating the terms of his release, records show. Less than two weeks later, he began committing the crimes that are part of the new federal indictiments.

On March 8, 2021, Anania allegedly ordered an Uber to pick him up from a Mexican restaurant in suburban Darien and then held the driver at gunpoint while forcing her to drive to Summit.

There, he sexually assaulted the woman in the back seat of her vehicle before forcing her to drive to Stickney, state prosecutors said after he was arrested. He raped her again upon arrival and then forced her to drive into Chicago, where he robbed her of cash and got out near the 2400 block of South Albany in Little Village, according to the allegations.

U.S. Marshals and police officers from Chicago, Stickney, and Summit arrested Anania after a brief standoff at his home in mid-March 2021. Later that year, he pleaded guilty to the federal gun charge that was pending at the time of the newly-charged crimes. A federal judge sentenced him to 40 months in prison on February 14, 2022, officials said.

If convicted of the crimes, Anania could be sentenced to longer prison terms because he was on pretrial release at the time of the offenses, the U.S. Attorney’s press release said.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com