Man, 18, stole Cook County judge’s vehicle during 3-day ‘crime spree,’ prosecutors sayon April 5, 2021 at 1:46 am

An 18-year-old man was ordered held without bail Sunday after prosecutors alleged he carried out a brazen three-day “crime spree” last month that included stealing a Cook County judge’s vehicle.

Antonio Butler was arrested Friday and charged with felony counts of aggravated vehicular hijacking, armed robbery with a firearm and receiving or possessing a stolen motor vehicle. During Butler’s initial court hearing Sunday, prosecutors noted that some of his alleged crimes remained under investigation, leaving the door open for additional charges.

The alleged crime spree started March 25, when Butler allegedly stole an Audi A4 that was later used in an armed robbery early the following morning in the 3700 block of West 16th Street.

Officers responded to the scene of the robbery but the Audi was able to get away, according to Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy. Murphy said the Audi was then used that day in a pair of thefts at gas stations, a carjacking and an armed robbery, among other alleged crimes.

The following morning, officers responded to a call of a suspicious vehicle in the 3300 block of West 19th Street and found Butler sleeping in the Audi, Murphy said. When Butler disobeyed the officers’ commands, they broke out the car’s windows. Butler then allegedly took off, crashing into two marked Chicago police vehicles during his escape.

Butler later posted a livestream to Facebook that showed him smoking marijuana with a gun in his lap as he bragged about losing the cops, Murphy said. In the video, the Audi’s windows were clearly smashed.

Just before noon on March 27, Butler allegedly used the Audi to pull up alongside the judge’s vehicle at a gas station, Murphy said. He then crouched down, got into the judge’s vehicle and took off, leaving the Audi behind.

Last Friday, Butler was taken into custody after officers identified him as a suspect in the crime spree during a traffic stop. During the stop, the driver of the vehicle took off, striking two police cruisers and two other vehicles before he and Butler were apprehended.

Murphy noted that Butler had an extensive criminal history as a minor and was sentenced to over a year in the Juvenile Department of Corrections in a 2016 gun case. Butler’s public defender described his client as a high school senior and lifelong Chicago resident who works odd jobs.

Judge Susana Ortiz denied him bail and set his next court date for Friday.

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