Overpowering his guards and handcuffing them, terrorizing two women and stealing their cars, robbing a bank, leading police on a two-day manhunt climaxing with a chase and crash of a stolen car ...
On a scale of bad decisions, it ranks pretty high - and Robert Maday acknowledged as much Monday.
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"I've made a lot of mistakes ... but the events of Sept. 17 and Sept. 18 were the most colossal I've ever made," Maday said in pleading guilty to charges of aggravated vehicular high-jacking and attempted armed robbery.
A heavy guard of U.S. marshals and Cook County deputies kept an eye on the 39-year-old at the Rolling Meadows courthouse as he listened stoically to Judge Thomas Fecarotta Jr. hand down a 30-year prison sentence.
The ruling came in addition to a 13-year term he received last year for a series of aggravated robberies in the Northwest suburbs that had led him to be in police custody in the first place.
En route to the courthouse Sept. 17 for sentencing, the former Elk Grove Village resident managed to grab a handgun from one of two Cook County state's attorney's officers transporting him and locked them inside their vehicle at a Meijer store in Rolling Meadows.
Next, he pulled the weapon on a woman in the parking lot and forced her to turn over the keys to her car.
Maday continued his crime spree Sept. 18, catching a Hoffman Estates receptionist by surprise early in the morning when she showed up for work. He threatened her with the gun and took off in her vehicle, crashing it into a light pole in West Chicago while trying to elude police later that day. The receptionist, Domenica Saverino, told the Herald her insurance didn't cover the full cost of the wrecked Volkswagen Jetta and she was stuck paying it off.
Maday also robbed the First American Bank in Bloomingdale Sept. 18, authorities say.
The two officers were fired that November after officials said they violated procedures for transporting prisoners.
Maday told the judge, "I never meant to hurt anybody," he said. "I want to say I'm sorry."
Fecarotta said he appreciated Maday's comments, but added, "Have you heard the term career criminal? You are a perfect example of that.
"Your conduct has changed so many lives," he continued. "Two individuals lost their jobs - they have families to support."
As for the women whose cars Maday snatched, "picture what their lives are like every time they get out of a car," the judge said.
Maday must serve the 30-year prison sentence consecutively with the 13-year sentence Fecarotta previously assigned. He also has a pending federal case on bank robbery charges.
He was first convicted in 1987 for robbery, kidnapping and burglary in Florida. In 1994, Maday was twice convicted of separate bank robberies in Pennsylvania.