One of two suspects allegedly involved in the shooting of a driver attempted to flee into Lincoln Square’s busy Giddings Plaza before being arrested in a restaurant full of Chicago police officers Tuesday afternoon, according to prosecutors.
Cook County Judge Mary Catherine Marubio denied bail for 19-year-old Alexandru Mihai, who appeared in court Thursday on charges of attempted murder, possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of a controlled substance.
Cook County prosecutors detailed the chaotic series of events that unfolded in the North Side neighborhood at around 2 p.m. Tuesday.
A 25-year-old man was driving eastbound on Irving Park Road near California Avenue, when he noticed a Porsche SUV allegedly driven by Mihai heading in the same direction. A second defendant who has not yet been arrested or charged was sitting in the front passenger seat, prosecutors said.
The two cars attempted to move around each other until the victim got into a left lane to turn onto Western Avenue. The Porsche made a similar move, and after the victim turned, he noticed the Porsche speeding up behind him, prosecutors said.
The victim moved into another lane to let them pass, but as he did he heard a loud bang and realized he’d been shot, prosecutors said. The victim saw the front seat passenger of the Porsche pointing a gun at him, and then heard three more gunshots strike his vehicle, according to prosecutors.
He pulled over as the Porsche sped off, and a witness who saw the shooting called 911 and gave police a description of the Porsche. The victim had been shot once in the left arm, and was later treated and released from the hospital.
Within 10 minutes of the shooting, officers located the Porsche on Wilson Avenue and attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but the vehicle instead attempted to flee, prosecutors said. Following a brief pursuit, Mihai allegedly crashed the Porsche into a building in Giddings Plaza, and both occupants fled on foot.
The passenger escaped, but Mihai allegedly ran up Lincoln Avenue and into Garcia’s Restaurant — where several police officers were dining. He was immediately apprehended and placed under arrest.
Prosecutors said investigators recovered a bottle of codeine and three key fobs for unknown vehicles on Mihai. Two 9 mm handguns were allegedly found inside the Porsche, one of which had a defaced serial number and a 24-round magazine, along with what investigators believe was oxycodone, ecstasy and 16 grams of cocaine.
Four 9 mm shell casings were later found at the shooting scene, and police discovered the Porsche had been stolen from a driveway in Aurora earlier this month, according to prosecutors.
During Thursday’s hearing, Mihai’s defense attorney Mike Krejci argued that prosecutors cannot prove his client committed an attempted murder, as he is not alleged to have fired a weapon at the victim.
But Marubio said that, based on the evidence presented, it appeared Mihai was a “full participant” in the shooting, as he allegedly maneuvered the Porsche into a position where his passenger could fire shots at the victim.
She also noted that Mihai allegedly attempted to flee repeatedly, and pointed out that the shooting and the subsequent pursuit and crash occurred in highly public areas.
“It’s a miracle the driver was simply struck in the arm and no one else was harmed,” she said, “and that the bodily harm is not greater than it already is.”
Mihai is due back in court on Sept. 1.