A 19-year-old man from Riverside has been charged with armed robbery, kidnapping, unlawful restraint, intimidation and aggravated assault with a weapon after allegedly threatening his mother with a machete and then holding her hostage inside a car after she refused to buy him items on eBay.
Police swarmed the car where Aaron M. Perez sat with his mother in the parking lot of the North Riverside Police Department shortly before 8 p.m. on Feb. 28, taking him into custody unarmed and without incident.
Perez appeared in court Monday, where a judge set his bond at $50,000. However, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s website, Perez appears to have posted bail and is free while awaiting trial.
“This is one of the most bizarre domestic situations I have ever seen in my 30 years at the Riverside Police Department,” said Police Chief Thomas Weitzel.
According to police, the trouble started about 7:30 p.m. when Perez and his mother got into an argument over online purchases — including some baseball cards and a “Predator” mask — Perez wanted to make. Weitzel said the mother refused because the mask was listed for sale at $4,000.
Perez responded by reportedly grabbing a machete, robbing his mother of $130 and them locking her in her bedroom, taking her cellphone and ordering her to buy the items on eBay.
To show her he was serious, Perez allegedly slashed apart the sheets on his mother’s bed.
Perez’s mother was able to escape from the bedroom and fled to the car in the driveway. She locked herself inside the vehicle, while Perez followed her outside, reportedly still carrying the machete.
Police said she was able to convince Perez to drop the machete, and his mom allowed him inside the car, telling him she wanted to drive him to a relative’s house to cool off.
As his mother began to drive north on Desplaines Avenue, crossing 26th Street, Perez reportedly ordered his mom to stop. Another argument ensued, during which Perez’s mother repeatedly dialed 911; the calls went to the North Riverside dispatch center just a block north.
Perez’s mother then decided to drive to the North Riverside Police Department parking lot where she again called 911 and reported a hostage situation. Officers ran out of the police station, where they were joined by Riverside police, who previously had been called to the 200 block of Desplaines Avenue by others reporting a domestic incident there.
Police reported recovering a machete outside the Perez home, the money Perez allegedly took from his mother and the shredded bed sheets.
“To think that this entire incident took place over the purchase of a movie mask on eBay … is simply astonishing,” Weitzel said.