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Man Charged With Shooting Robbery Victim in Eye With BB Gun, Blinding Him

By Erica Demarest | October 30, 2015 9:36am | Updated on October 30, 2015 5:37pm
 William Sims (l.), Makiah Burns (top right) and Tiara Collins have been charged with robbery.
William Sims (l.), Makiah Burns (top right) and Tiara Collins have been charged with robbery.
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Courtesy Chicago Police Department

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A suburban man partially blinded one of his victims during a recent North Side robbery spree, prosecutors alleged Friday.

William Sims, 23, is accused of brandishing a pellet gun and robbing four people in Wicker Park, Avondale and Logan Square on Oct. 5 and Oct. 8. Three of the robberies happened within 55 minutes.

According to prosecutors, the first robbery happened about 9:05 p.m. on Oct. 5 when Sims pointed what looked like a silver revolver at a 21-year-old man in the 3200 block of North Drake Avenue.

The victim had just gotten off a bus and was walking home with a pizza, Assistant State's Attorney Erin Antonietti said during a bond hearing Friday.

As Sims held the gun, an accomplice rifled through the victim's pockets and stole cash, a wallet and a cell phone — before grabbing the man's pizza and running away, prosecutors said.

At 9:32 p.m. on Oct. 5, Sims and two accomplices beat a 23-year-old woman as they robbed her in the 2900 block of North Ridgeway Avenue in Logan Square, according to prosecutors.

The trio stole the victim's cell phone, and Sims struck her in the head with a pellet gun, Antonietti said. The victim was treated for lacerations to her face, mouth and the top of her head.

One of the accomplices, Makiah Burns, was arrested earlier this month and held on $250,000 bail.

The third incident on Oct. 5 happened 20 minutes later in Bucktown. As a 32-year-old man walked toward his car, he heard voices behind him in an alley in the 2000 block of West Concord Place, Antonietti said.

Sims pointed a pellet gun in the victim's face and fired a single shot, according to prosecutors. The pellet passed through the man's left eyelid and eyeball and lodged in his cheek, Antonietti said. As a result, the victim is blind in that eye and needs surgery to have the pellet removed.

In that attack, Burns acted as the getaway driver, prosecutors said, and another accomplice, Tiara Collins, 18, stole the victim's laptop and wallet. Collins was charged earlier this month and held on $250,000 bail.

The alleged robbers were later caught on camera using the victim's credit card at Walmart, Antonietti said.

The fourth and final attack happened three days later, on Oct. 8, in the 2100 block of West Schiller Street in Wicker Park. Sims targeted a 23-year-old woman walking home from a store; she was carrying an umbrella and her cell phone, prosecutors said.

Sims grabbed the woman's neck and waved his pellet gun near her face, Antonietti said. He grabbed the woman's earrings and cell phone before running off.

According to prosecutors, Sims, who lives in suburban Harvey, admitted to committing the four robberies. He is charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and four counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon.

According to his public defender, Sims works as a painter, is a high-school graduate and lives with his family.

Cook County Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil ordered Sims held without bail.

She looked him in they eye in court Friday and said she couldn't ignore the fact that "You're the one who's wielding the gun. You're the one who's accosting people going about their business. ... They didn't ask for it."

Contributing: Kelly Bauer

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