Man who struck Chicago officer with car attempts escape through interview room ceiling
Tajze Mullins caused extensive ceiling, electrical and duct work damage to the Area 3 headquarters room
By William Lee
CHICAGO — A South Side man wanted on two Texas arrest warrants backed his registered BMW sedan into a Chicago police officer in an attempt to flee an investigative stop on DuSable Lake Shore Drive, touching off the first of two dramatic flight attempts, prosecutors said Sunday.
The first escape attempt occurred seconds after the 39-year-old officer fell to the ground with a broken left shinbone during the stop at a red light on the southbound outer drive near Roosevelt Road Friday around 8:15 p.m.
After striking the officer and a police vehicle, the driver, Tajze Mullins, 23, sped into traffic in the BMW 750 containing passenger Shaquille Fisher, 29, weaving between cars toward the Stevenson Expressway feeder ramp, authorities said during a roughly 30-minute bail hearing broadcast on YouTube.
Another officer fired a single shot at the fleeing sedan. No one was hit, but the bullet struck a Lyft car’s rear passenger side door frame, Assistant State’s Attorney Jack Ruggiero told the court.
The car, tailed by a police helicopter, eventually stopped in a lot and both men were arrested after running from the vehicle, authorities said.
The second attempt occurred following Mullins’ arrest, when he attempted to escape a detective’s interview room at police Area 3 headquarters through a ceiling grate. “Officers found the defendant in the ceiling and placed him into custody,” Ruggiero said.
Mullins’ second escape attempt through the station’s drop ceiling caused extensive damage to the ceiling, electrical and duct work, Ruggiero added.
Fisher, who was arrested with a loaded Glock handgun with a laser sight in his backpack, was charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.
Mullins faces multiple charges including attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault of a police officer and felony escape, according to court records.
Officers approached Mullins’ vehicle because of an alert related to an incident earlier this month where his sedan allegedly struck a Cook County sheriff’s deputy, authorities said. A license plate reader captured Mullins’ vehicle on DuSable at Chicago Avenue minutes before the stop.
While in police custody, Mullins gave a fraudulent name and date of birth, until a law enforcement database search revealed his two active Texas warrants for engaging in organized crime and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to court records
Judge Charles S. Beach II ordered Mullins held without bail for the active warrants and the new criminal case, saying Mullins’ actions toward the officer and high-speed chase from police endangered the public.
“Your selfish acts — as the best way to describe them — put everyone in danger in the vicinity of your car. Therefore I do believe you’re a danger to the community,” the judge said.
Fisher was given house arrest after he posts $7,500.
Both men are scheduled to return to court Tuesday.
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