Man who robbed 10-year-old after being released from jail due to COVID concerns, gets 7-year sentence

CHICAGO — A Chicago man who was released from jail due to concerns about the arriving COVID pandemic in March 2020, only to get arrested again for robbing a 10-year-old boy outside Union Station, has received a seven-year sentence.

Mario Williams, 43, accrued enough credits while awaiting trial to completely offset the time he would have spent in prison.

His latest round of legal troubles began in October 2019, when prosecutors charged him with committing a burglary in the South Loop. He was jailed in lieu of a $500 bail deposit. But the pandemic arrived, and authorities released Williams on a recognizance bond in March 2020 to help clear out the county jail, according to records obtained by CWBChicago.

Three months later, he got arrested for trespassing in the Loop but was quickly released again.

And two months after that, he was back in court, accused of robbing the 10-year-old.

Mario Williams | Chicago Police Department; Union Station Facebook account

The boy was sitting in his mom’s car with his four juvenile siblings just after 3 p.m. on August 11, 2022, while his mother and a witness were standing outside the vehicle, officials said.

Williams walked up to the front passenger window and ordered the boy to hand over his money. When the boy didn’t act quickly enough, Williams reached into the car, grabbed $9 from the boy’s lap, and fled, prosecutors said. 

The boy’s mom and the witness saw what happened and began chasing Williams. An Amtrak police officer intervened and held Williams, who was carrying the boy’s $9, for Chicago police.

Williams pleaded guilty on October 23 to unlawful vehicular invasion in the robbery case and theft from a person in the burglary case. Judge Nicholas Kantas sentenced him to consecutive terms of five years and two years, respectively.

That sentence, effectively seven years, was cut in half for good behavior. The remaining 3½ years were offset by 1,320 credit days he earned in jail.

About Tim Hecke 221 Articles
Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is