Sixty-five-year-old Vietnam vet and retired factory worker Willie Haynes was just trying to pick up his cousin from a doctor's appointment but ended up needing one himself after two robbers “jumped him’’ early Friday on the Near West Side.
The two suspects, Eric L. Thomas and Elon Love, were apprehended by police and appeared in court today, charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated battery to a senior citizen.
In court today, Judge James Brown set bails at $100,000 each for Thomas and Love.
“I didn’t deserve this,’’ Hayes said when reached by phone this afternoon. “I couldn’t believe it was happening to me.’’
Haynes had parked his van on the street as close as he could to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital and was walking to pick up his 66-year-old cousin, who was there for X-rays, when two men attacked him near Polk Street and Damen Avenue about 12:30 a.m.
“I saw two guys on the corner. They walked across the street and they came up from behind me and jumped me,’’ said Haynes, of the South Side.
Haynes said one of them hit him in the head a few times, dazing him and causing him to fall down. While he was trying to get off the ground, he could hear the other one say: “Just get his money,’’ Haynes said.
“I was on my knees and then he kicked me in the face and I went down again,’’ said Haynes, a retired factory worker and Army veteran who served one year of active duty during the Vietnam War.
The men fled after taking about $100 from him and left Haynes there by himself, injured. He said he was knocked out for about 30 seconds, but was finally able to get up.
He said he looked over at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center across the street and considered getting help there, since that is where he had gone for medical attention for past 30 years, but then noticed a University of Illinois at Chicago police officer.
“I was disoriented, they took my money and put my wallet back in my back pocket,’’ he said. “I was staggering around until I saw the UIC police officer.’’
He flagged him down and the officer assisted him.
Inside one hour, by 1:15 a.m., Thomas and Love were placed under arrest by a UIC officer in the 2200 block of West Campbell Park Drive, according to Chicago police.
Thomas, 18, of the 0-100 block of West 114th Place, and Love, 17, of the 3800 block of South Wabash Avenue, were each charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated battery to a senior citizen, police said.
Thomas was also charged with theft of lost or mislaid property, police said.
Haynes said he wasn’t injured badly during the incident, but suffered a “severe headache’’ and was treated at Stroger Hospital. “They took a CAT scan,’’ he said.
When asked if he was scared during the ordeal, he said not really.
“It was more like shock that it was happening,’’ Haynes said. “I didn’t have a cell phone and I saw a UIC police officer and waved and he stopped.’’
Haynes said he was extremely grateful the officer was there to help him. “I told the guy, thanks. Thanks a million times.’’
|Liveleak on Facebook|