Two Chicago officers were charged Wednesday in connection to the January beating of a 17-year-old carjacking suspect who allegedly rammed a stolen vehicle into a patrol car and pointed a gun at police.
Officers Jeffery Shafer and Victor Guebara, each charged with felony counts of aggravated battery and official misconduct, were taken into custody and are expected to appear for a bond hearing Wednesday, the Chicago Tribune reported, citing court records and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. The charges stem from a Jan. 10 incident in the Woodlawn neighborhood.
Neither the Chicago Police Department nor the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office have publicly disclosed details about the officers’ actions, but records indicate both Shafer and Guebara were stripped of their police powers on Jan. 20 and have remained on paid administrative desk duty.
While out on patrol, Shafer and Guebara, assigned to the Grand Crossing patrol district at the time, learned about a stolen 2012 Chevrolet before noon on Jan. 10 and tracked the vehicle to 65th and Drexel Avenue, meeting it “front end to front end,” according to records obtained by the Tribune from Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) through a public information request.
But the 17-year-old behind the wheel of the Chevrolet rode around the squad car, and officers pursued the suspect heading east toward Kenwood Avenue. The driver rode onto the sidewalk and made a left turn, striking the passenger side of the squad car, according to COPA records.
It was unclear at what point the suspect also allegedly pointed a gun at officers, before Shafer and Guebara placed him under arrest, and in doing do, allegedly struck the teen in the head or face, pushed his head into a metal fence and the sidewalk and used excessive force “without justification,” Fox 32 Chicago also reported.
COPA records indicate two other officers at the scene were facing possible disciplinary action for failing to intervene and not reporting the “unjustified use of force” to superiors. COPA obtained surveillance video of the alleged beating, but all four officers failed to activate their body cameras.
The 17-year-old suspect was arrested and faced several charges in Cook County Juvenile Court, including aggravated battery for allegedly ramming the stolen vehicle into the squad car. The status of that case was not immediately clear Wednesday. Court documents indicate the same teen was arrested on June 7, 2020, for allegedly carrying an illegal gun.
This comes after Chicago police Superintendent David Brown said Monday that there have been 911 carjacking arrests in 2021, so far within three categories: 218 were vehicular hijackings, 258 were possession of a stolen vehicle, and 442 were criminal trespass to vehicle.