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Man Rams Police Car, Hits CTA Bus on High-Speed Chase, Prosecutors Say

By Erica Demarest | October 2, 2015 7:17pm
 Prosecutors said Vincente Atwood, 26, led police on a high-speed chase through Englewood and Woodlawn on Thursday night.
Prosecutors said Vincente Atwood, 26, led police on a high-speed chase through Englewood and Woodlawn on Thursday night.
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DNAinfo; Chicago Police Department

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — An Englewood driver rammed into a police car and sideswiped a CTA bus during a South Side chase that ended in gunfire Thursday night, prosecutors said.

Vincente Atwood, 26, drove into oncoming traffic, ran several red lights and drove as fast as 80-90 mph as he tried to evade police about 6:30 p.m. Thursday, prosecutors said.

But everything came crashing to a halt — literally— when Atwood zipped into an alley, only to be blocked by a car that was already there. One of the police cars chasing Atwood slammed into Atwood's 2000 Buick Regal, according to an arrest report.

Atwood ran away, and one of the officers, who thought he saw Atwood reach for his waistband, fired several shots, police and prosecutors said. Atwood wasn't hit.

Police arrested him a few minutes later when they found him hiding under a back porch, court records show. Two passengers who'd been in the Buick with Atwood were able to escape, according to police and prosecutors.

Just eight days before the chase, on Sept. 23, Atwood was released on parole for several drug convictions. He had been sentenced in 2012 to seven years in prison and credited with the year he served awaiting trial, according to court records.

The chase started around 6:30 p.m. Thursday when officers in an unmarked police car tried to curb Atwood for running a stop sign, police said. He allegedly sped off, and a marked car joined the chase.

Atwood ran several stop signs and red lights along 87th Street before eventually crossing into oncoming traffic and getting on the Dan Ryan Expressway headed north, the arrest report said.

It was there that Atwood drove 80-90 mph in an effort to evade police, Assistant State's Attorney Erin Antonietti said during a bond hearing Friday.

At two different points in the chase, which spanned Woodlawn and Englewood, one of the police cars pulled up alongside Atwood — and Atwood purposefully rammed his Buick into them, Antonietti said.

Atwood got off the expressway at 59th Street and headed west — eventually crashing into a moving CTA bus near 58th Street and Racine Avenue, according to the arrest report.

The impact forced the hood of Atwood's Buick to pop up, making it difficult for him to see, police said.

Atwood tried to enter an alley near 58th and Peoria streets, but was blocked by oncoming traffic, court records show. Atwood stopped abruptly and one of the police cars chasing him crashed into the back of the Buick, police said.

At that point, Atwood and both of his passengers ran off in separate directions, Antonietti said.

Police found Atwood hiding in a residential backyard in the 5800 block of South Morgan Street, court records show.

Atwood, of the 5700 block of South Paulina Street, was charged with aggravated fleeing and two counts of aggravated assault to a police officer with a motor vehicle. He was also cited for driving on a revoked license, running a stop sign, going the wrong way down a one-way street and running red lights.

Cook County Maria Kuriakos Ciesil on Friday ordered Atwood held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

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