WICKER PARK — Five young men, including a scholarship college student and a Whitney Young High School graduate with high honors, are charged in a brutal robbery in which the victim was beaten with baseball bats, a metal pole and sprayed with a can of mace at a busy Shell gas station Tuesday afternoon.
A witness to the event told DNAinfo Chicago that the five attackers believed they were taking back a bicycle that had been stolen, and that they had called the police beforehand to report the recovery of a stolen bike.
Prosecutors in court Wednesday said the attackers agreed to meet the victim after the 20-year-old man posted an ad on Facebook selling a bicycle for $500. Prosecutors never mentioned whether the bike was stolen. The victim could not immediately be reached for comment.
When police arrived at the scene on Tuesday, the witness said, the victim had already been beaten bloody, and officers arrested the attackers instead.
In bond court Wednesday, while some of the accused cried, Cook County Judge Peggy Chiampas said, "This is just a tragedy all the way around, honestly ... the GPAs, the scholarships, Michigan ..." she said, referring to one of the defendants who was on his way to University of Michigan's business school.
The situation began when a 20-year-old Humboldt Park man selling his bicycle on Facebook met with the alleged attackers at the Shell gas station, 1950 W. Division St. around 2 p.m. Tuesday, prosecutors said.
Patrick Moran, 18, approached the victim and inspected the bike as if he was buying it, according to Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto. Meanwhile, the other four men charged in the crime, one of whom is a minor and has not been identified, waited in a black Mercedes SUV with tinted windows belonging to the family of Carter Anthony Coates, who was also charged in the attack.
Alisa Hauser describes what the surveillance video shows:
The group of men got out of the car with two baseball bats, a metal pole and a can of mace, Scaduto said, and beat the victim with a bat and pole. The witness told DNAinfo Chicago that the victim was also sprayed with mace.
The attackers then tried to grab the bike, but the victim held on tight and was dragged as the men continued to pull the bike, Scaduto said.
Paramedics treated the victim on the scene, then he was taken to the hospital, Scaduto said. At the bond hearing, Scaduto said she did not know his exact injuries or condition.
The men were hit with two charges each: armed robbery and aggravated battery with use of a deadly weapon — a serious charge considered a Class X felony.
Judge Chiampas set each man's bail at $75,000.
According to Moran's private attorney, the 18-year-old graduated from Whitney Young High School with a 3.88 GPA and high honors. Moran, of the 4800 block of South Cornell Avenue, was admitted to Michigan business school and is supposed to start Sept. 3.
As the attorney went over Moran's background, Judge Chiampas said, "Yeah, I'd be crying if I were you, too, Mr. Moran. Can we have some Kleenex for these young men?"
Also charged was Michael K. Kralis, 18, of the 8300 block of North Keating Avenue in north suburban Skokie, whose private attorney said he works as a building supervisor.
The third accused was Andrew Patterson, 18, of the 1100 block of West Grand Avenue, whose public defender said he graduated from Lincoln Park High School with a 27 ACT score. Patterson works at Mercadito, 108 W. Kinzie St., and was to begin studying at an acting studio in the fall.
Coates, 18, of the 1300 block of North Leavitt Street, also was charged. According to the attorney, he had graduated high school with a 4.3 GPA and was on scholarship at California Polytechnic State University.
Prosecutors said a fifth person, a juvenile, was also charged.
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