Man who drove through Woodfield indicted on charges of terrorism, criminal damage

Cook County prosecutors announced an indictment against a Palatine man charged with driving his SUV into Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg last month.

Javier Garcia, 23, faces terrorism and criminal damage to property charges related to the Sept. 20 disturbance that authorities estimated caused more than $110,000 in damage but resulted in no serious injuries.

Authorities say Garcia entered Woodfield on foot through the Sears entrance, walked through the store and left. Minutes later, he drove his SUV from the parking lot into the entrance at an "exceedingly high rate of speed," according to police.

They say Garcia drove more than halfway through the mall, striking columns and kiosks before coming to a stop. Two off-duty police officers detained him until Schaumburg police arrived. Garcia subsequently was admitted to an Amita Health Behavioral Medicine Institute for several days, according to authorities.

Defense attorney Amil Alkass said prosecutors "overreached" with his client, who according to him did not possess the requisite intent to sustain terrorism charges.

"He would have had to do this knowingly," said Alkass of Garcia, who he says has mental health issues.

Garcia is being held without bail in Cook County jail.

He will next appear in court on Oct. 30 for arraignment. Alkass says he expects his client to enter a not guilty plea.

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A photo from video taken by Ronin Diedenhofen shows an SUV careening through Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg last month. Courtesy of Ronin Diedenhofen
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