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Local

Car stolen from Naperville leads chase from Coal City to Chicago

Michael E. Johnson, 19, Chicago
Michael E. Johnson, 19, Chicago

One man and three boys led multiple police agencies on a chase Tuesday morning.

Coal City police saw a Chrysler stopped in the middle of North Shabbona Street about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday while an individual ran from an adjacent lot to the vehicle, Sgt. Tom Logan said. The vehicle then traveled east on Fourth Street and south on First Avenue.

When the car turned onto First Avenue, it veered into the northbound lane, almost striking a Coal City squad car. Police then tried to initiate a traffic stop, and the car, which police learned was stolen in Naperville, got onto Route 113. The vehicle reached speeds of almost 90 mph in a 35 mph zone, Logan said.

Police followed the car at a distance.

“Anything where it’s a residential area, especially when it exceeds certain speeds, it does become a hazard,” Logan said.

The vehicle stopped in the parking lot of an abandoned restaurant near Interstate 55, and Coal City police again tried to pull it over. The Chrysler took off onto northbound I-55 without lights, exceeding speeds of 100 mph, Logan said.

Channahon police were made aware of the chase about 1:35 a.m. and laid spike strips across I-55 at Bluff Road, Deputy Chief Adam Bogart said.

“That’s an area we plan for and train for,” Bogart said.

The car hit the spikes about 1:40 a.m., and Illinois State Police continued the pursuit. By the time the Chrysler reached its final destination, a parking lot at the McCormick Place convention center in Chicago, it was essentially driving on the wheels’ rims, Logan said.

All of the vehicle’s occupants fled the scene, but state police were able to arrest two 16-year-old boys, one 17-year-old boy and Michael E. Johnson, 19, all of Chicago’s south side Englewood neighborhood. All four were transported to Grundy County. Johnson is in the Grundy County jail, Logan said. They face charges including reckless driving, fleeing and eluding police, and possession of a stolen vehicle, he said.

Bogart said the spike strips did not damage any other vehicles, and he was proud of the collaboration among local police agencies. Will County Sheriff’s deputies also assisted.

“I think it’s a really good testament to cooperation with the Will and Grundy County law enforcement family,” he said.

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