HAMMOND — Police have secured charges against three teenagers accused of carjacking a Lyft driver Saturday at gunpoint in Hammond, leading state police on a pursuit and crashing the vehicle in Markham.
Travell Edwards, 16, and James Allen, 16, both of Chicago, and Christian Frowner, 17, of Markham, Illinois, are charged in Lake Criminal Court with one count each of armed robbery, a level 3 felony, and auto theft, a level 6 felony, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Thursday.
Hammond Police Lt. Steven Kellogg said Thursday night the juveniles' cases have been waived to adult criminal court due to the severity of the crime. Edwards was listed as having a Hammond address but police say he had been living in Chicago at the time of the carjacking.
The victim told police he works part-time for the Lyft ride-sharing service driving a Dodge Caravan and was alerted at 1:03 p.m. Saturday to pick up a person named "Passion" in the 7200 block of Monroe Street in Hammond.
When the Lyft driver picked up Edwards, the teen said he needed to make a couple of stops and pick up some people "in the city," the affidavit stated.
They drove together to 69th Place and Stoney Island Avenue in Chicago, where Edwards went into a residence and came out with four other people.
After another stop, the Lyft driver traveled to the Riverdale neighborhood, where one of the four people exited the car and went into a residence, the affidavit stated.
The driver was then directed to make "one last stop" in the 7400 block of Madison Avenue in Hammond, the affidavit stated. There, Edwards allegedly exited the car and walked to the back of a residence. Upon his return, he allegedly handed something to another passenger who was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt, the affidavit stated.
Edwards then allegedly opened the car door, "put a large black gun" in the victim's face and demanded he get out and leave his phone and wallet.
Another person, later identified as Frowner, jumped into the driver's seat, while another suspect in a red sweatshirt, identified as Allen, pointed a gun at the Lyft driver and demanded he give him everything he had, according to the affidavit.
The victim told police they "started pulling at his clothes," and asking him what else he had on him, the affidavit states. One of the teenagers allegedly told the Lyft driver they would "kill him" right there.
Within 20 minutes of police being called, Illinois State Police said they pursued the driver's stolen 2013 blue Dodge Caravan when it crashed at 163rd and Hermitage in Markham and that five people were in custody.
Upon arrival, police found a cellphone and the victim's wallet and the Dodge Caravan, doors open, with a weapon with an extended magazine located in the front passenger floorboard, the affidavit stated. Three of the suspects had allegedly committed a home invasion after running from the van, police said.
One of the passengers, who was in the vehicle during the carjacking and robbery, confirmed the details of the case to police, and no charges have been filed against him, according to the affidavit.
A fifth person arrested that day was picked up after the robbery, but no charges were filed.