A 21-year-old Chicago man was charged with aggravated assault and other offenses after he allegedly drove away from a Riverside crash scene Tuesday morning and then spun his vehicle around recklessly trying to dislodge the victim, who had chased him down and then jumped on the hood of his car to stop him from getting away.
Police received several 911 calls at about 9:15 a.m. on Oct. 11 from people reporting a man stuck on the hood of a 1992 Honda at the intersection of Harlem and Ogden avenues.
By the time police arrived, the driver of the Honda, identified at Jacob D. Joyce, was out of his vehicle, reportedly threatening a 44-year-old Chicago man, who later was determined to be the victim, with a crow bar.
The victim was not injured and refused medical attention at the scene, said Police Chief Thomas Weitzel.
According to police, the whole incident started on Harlem Avenue just south of the BNSF Railroad tracks, when Joyce’s car changed lanes and struck the victim’s 1999 Toyota van.
The two vehicles pulled over to the side of the road, but when the victim got out of his van, said police, Joyce drove off. The victim got back into his van and followed Joyce and called 911.
At Ogden Avenue, with Joyce’s car stopped at the light, the victim jumped out of his van and jumped onto the hood of Joyce’s car to keep Joyce from going any further. At that point, say police, Joyce began performing U-turns in order to throw the victim from the hood of the car.
A witness who was doing some repair work on the roof of White Castle, on the northeast corner, took out his phone and snapped photos of the incident, which showed the victim on top of the car. He later forwarded the photos to police, which were key in charging Joyce, Weitzel said.
Joyce eventually got out of his car with a tire iron and the two men reportedly faced off in the street as police arrived.
Police said Joyce had lived in Chicago for only a couple of months. His car still bore New Jersey plates and his New Jersey driver’s license was suspended at the time of the incident, according to police.
He was also charged with hit and run, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, driving on a suspended license and several other traffic offenses,
While no one was hurt in the incident, Weitzel cautioned people against chasing down offenders and jumping on hoods of cars, in particular.
“I encourage anyone who is a victim of a crime and decides to follow the offender to call 911 immediately and either copy down a description of the vehicle including license plates [or] follow them at a safe speed,” Weitzel said. “Never attempt to engage an offender that you have seen commit a crime as you do not know what their state of mind is. The police can always do a follow-up investigation in an attempt to make an arrest.”