Wheeling man held without bail following last week's attack in River North
A Wheeling man who authorities say was among several people who engaged in an Aug. 28 attack on two men in Chicago's River North neighborhood was held without bail Thursday.
Brandon Jefferson is charged with robbery, aggravated battery great bodily harm and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. If convicted of the most serious offense, he could face up to seven years in prison. Probation is also an option.
Jefferson, 33, was arrested Monday when police discovered him sitting in a vehicle belonging to one of the victims and wearing that man's necklace, according to prosecutors.
According to prosecutors, Jefferson and an unknown individual knocked a 54-year-old man to the ground after he left a River North bar about 1:30 a.m. Jefferson took the man's wallet, which had fallen out of his pants, while he and another person struck the man, breaking his nose, blackening his eyes and causing a concussion, scrapes and cuts, said Assistant Cook County State's Attorney James Murphy.
A 40-year-old man, who was at the same bar, walked by and was "sucker punched from behind and to the side," causing him to fall to the ground unconscious, Murphy said. While a crowd took personal items from the man -- "picking his pockets clean" of his wallet, car keys, crucifix necklace, phones, medication and cash -- Jefferson struck him, breaking his nose and fracturing his orbital bone, Murphy said. An unknown individual took the man's car keys and vehicle, added Murphy.
The attacks were captured by a Chicago Police Department POD camera.
On Aug. 30, police spotted the vehicle at a gas station with Jefferson in the front passenger's seat wearing a necklace taken from the 40-year-old man, Murphy said. Jefferson was arrested after he tried to run, Murphy said.
Jefferson's felony convictions include a 2012 armed robbery for which he was sentenced to seven years in prison. He also has felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance and cannabis and a misdemeanor battery conviction. He had been out on bond on an identification obstruction charge.
His next court date is Sept. 10.