CHICAGO — Two 18-year-olds “terrorized” two men looking for a Tinder date hook up who instead were attacked from behind, beaten, kidnapped and robbed in Chicago's Kenwood neighborhood earlier this week, prosecutors said Friday.
Jahziah McDonald and Jeremiyah Mannie were denied bail Friday by Cook County Judge Arthur Willis during a hearing audio streamed live on YouTube.
The suspects, both of whom have no adult criminal background, were charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated vehicular hijacking and aggravated robbery, all felonies. Manny has a pending juvenile charge of possession of a stolen motor vehicle.
Prosecutors told Willis the men acted together, using the “same modus operandi” in an “organized strategy” during the two attacks, which happened 45 minutes apart at the same location.
A girl, 17, was also accused in the attacks, charged with driving a car during a criminal trespass to a vehicle, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated vehicular hijacking and aggravated robbery. She was scheduled to appear in juvenile court. A fourth man arrested with them was released without charges, police said.
McDonald and Mannie are accused of carjacking and kidnapping a 21-year-old man after he went to the block where Mannie lives, the 4700 block of South Ingleside Avenue, about 10:15 p.m. Tuesday, then forcing him to go to an ATM to withdraw money.
The two are also are suspected in an earlier, related attack on another man who also was robbed after trying to get together with a person he thought was a woman he met on Tinder.
The 21-year-old man arrived at the home under the guise of connecting with a woman he’d met online.
The man was “immediately attacked,” according to a police statement Wednesday. The attackers “punched him numerous times in the face,” and while he ran away, the attackers “caught up to him” and threatened him.
The attackers told him they would kill him if he yelled or ran, according to prosecutors.
The attackers put a gun to the 21-year-old man’s back, forced him into his tan Dodge Nitro and drove him to the 6700 block of South Stony Island Avenue in the Grand Crossing neighborhood, where they forced him to withdraw money from an ATM, police said.
After getting $100 cash, they drove to a gas station where they bought cigars and drinks with the victim’s credit card. They kicked the man out of the car in the 6700 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue and took his wallet.
The man’s mother traced her son’s phone to its location, and when police got there, the 6700 block of South Rhodes Avenue, they saw the two all “still sitting in the victim’s vehicle,’' with proceeds from both robberies with them, prosecutors said.
After emergency crews found him, he declined medical treatment, officials said.
The other man, 23, who was attacked Tuesday night about 9:30 p.m., went to the same home on Ingleside Avenue and was greeted by a person he thought was a woman had met on Tinder.
She led him into the home and downstairs to the basement, where four men in ski masks were waiting — at least one of them armed with a handgun, police said. Prosecutors said the man was punched and kicked and hit in the head from behind with a “metal object’' prosecutors said.
When the man fell and began to cover himself, the attackers went through his pockets, took his car keys, phone, his Apple watch, a ring and a wallet. They told him not to run or scream, because they had a pipe.
The man was forced to sit in the back seat with both attackers next to him, pushing his head down to prevent him from looking around, prosecutor said.
After the attack, he was forced back into his own 2014 white Jeep Wrangler and the attackers drove him to the 7800 block of South Saginaw Avenue in South Shore, where they took his phone and kicked him out of the SUV, police said.
When he was out of sight of the robbers, he borrowed the phone of a stranger to call 911, officials said.
Fire Department paramedics arrived and took the man to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was initially listed in fair condition, officials said. Prosecutors said he had to have staples close several head wounds and suffered numerous bruises and a hematoma to his ear.
Manny’s lawyer said he completed the 10th grade at Innovations High School, has “self published’' a book about living his life without his father and has suffered from attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity. He is seeing a therapist, though he is not taking his prescribed medications. Manny’s mother holds a master’s degree in clinical mental health, is a life coach and a domestic violence advocate. His aunt is a Chicago police officer, and he has an adult sister, and all those family members reside on the same block as Manny, according to his lawyer.
Jessica Hunter, McDonald’s attorney, took exception to the identification of the suspects because her client did not see the attacker’s face, only their clothing.
Hunter, who said McDonald lives with a friend and is a high school graduate, added she didn’t believe the state presented “overwhelming" evidence that McDonald was involved.
Before denying bail for both men, Willis said the defendants are alleged to have “terrorized these individuals ... striking them when they thought they were meeting up with someone for a relationship.’'
Mannie and McDonald, of Killeen, Texas, are due back in court March 29.