No bond for man charged with running down 66-year-old Willie Owens while fleeing traffic stop

Chicago Sun-Times

Paul Forbes | Chicago Police

Paul Forbes | Chicago Police

A Roseland man eluding police crashed into other motorists during the South Side chase, killing 66-year-old Willie Owens and injuring four others, including an elderly woman who ended up paralyzed as a result of the injuries she suffered, prosecutors alleged on Thursday.

Paul Forbes, who was driving on a suspended license, ran two red lights in Monday’s incident and almost struck a CTA bus at 75th and King Drive.

Instead, Forbes crashed into two cars at a high rate of speed, causing a deadly chain reaction that claimed the life of Owens, Cook County prosecutors said at a bond hearing for Forbes.

Officers were chasing the 26-year-old after he fled away at a high rate of speed when they tried to stop him for a traffic violation in the 7500 block of South St. Lawrence, authorities said.

Forbes initially slowed down, but as one officer got out of the squad car, he zoomed off in his silver Pontiac, Assistant State’s Attorney Kim Przekota said. He was traveling up to 80-90 mph, according to data obtained from his car’s airbag control module, Przekota said.

Forbes first hit a Saturn that was occupied by a 71-year-old woman and her 88-year-old mother, Przekota said. The Saturn went airborne and ended up striking a fence, Przekota said. The women were taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. The younger woman suffered multiple spinal and rib fractures. Her mother was treated for broken vertebrae and spinal injury causing paralysis.

Forbes also hit Owens, who was standing in the roadway tending to the front bumper of his truck, which had become disabled earlier, Przekota said. Owen’s leg was severed from being pinned between the two cars and the rest of his body was flung 15 feet in the air.

During that collision, Owens’ truck was pushed into a Chevrolet sedan that had two people inside, Przekota said. Those victims suffered minor injuries and were treated and released from Jackson Park Hospital.

Forbes was also taken to an area hospital where he was treated for minor injuries.

Forbes, of the 10300 block of South Rhodes, was ordered held without bond Thursday.

He is charged with murder, aggravated fleeing and aggravated battery causing great bodily harm. Forbes was also charged with misdemeanor driving with a suspended license, and cited for disobeying a red light.

His driver’s license is currently suspended for moving violations and insurance-related matters, Przekota said.

Forbes has a previous drug conviction from LaSalle County.

He also had a warrant for his arrest for a 2014 home invasion. That charge stemmed from an incident in which Forbes barged into an ex-girlfriend’s home with a gun and threatened to shoot, Przekota said.

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