Carjacker crashed almost immediately after hijacking a driver in downtown Chicago: prosecutors

CHICAGO — The man who carjacked a driver in the Loop last weekend crashed the car moments later and got arrested while trying to escape on a CTA train, according to prosecutors.

Rodney Henderson, 35, was already on bail for a pending armed violence case when he took the victim’s car in the 1100 block of South Wabash around 7 a.m. on Saturday, January 6, officials said.

The victim drove out of the garage, turned on his hazard lights, and went inside to hand off the garage key to the next shift, according to prosecutors. When he returned to his car, Henderson was allegedly sitting in the driver’s seat.

“Give me the keys, or I’ll shoot you,” Henderson allegedly threatened.

The victim, who recognized Henderson as someone who had struck up a conversation with him shortly before his shift ended, ran away with the keys.

Prosecutors said Henderson chased him down and “pried” the keys from the victim’s fingers.

Rodney Henderson | Chicago Police Department

Henderson returned to the man’s 2015 Volkswagen Passat and sped away, only to crash almost immediately, according to the state’s detention petition. Chicago police officers tracked him with the city’s surveillance camera network, eventually arresting him on a Green Line train at Cermak-McCormick Place, officials said. The victim identified him as the hijacker.

Judge William Fahy ordered Henderson detained as a safety threat, noting that he is a three-time convicted felon who was on pretrial release for two felony cases when the hijacking occurred.

Those pending cases involve charges of armed violence, burglary, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, and possessing a stolen license plate. In those cases, Henderson is accused of having a loaded gun in a duffle bag in the Orland Square parking lot after he got caught shoplifting last summer. Prosecutors said he also had stolen plates on his car.

His convictions include robbery of a person over the age of 60 and aggravated battery of a senior citizen in Blue Island in 2009. He received four years on those charges, according to court records.

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