Thomas Santiago | Homicide Watch Chicago news about Thomas Santiagoen-usWed, 07 May 2014 14:45:53 -0500Prosecutors: Thomas Santiago drove SUV over curb, grassy area to run over Antonio Mendez<p><img src="" alt="Thomas Santiago / Photo from Chicago Police" width="100%" height="auto" class="size-full wp-image-5764" /><br /> Thomas Santiago / Photo from Chicago Police</p> <p>BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN<br /> Chicago Sun-Times</p> <p>A motorist who Cook County prosecutors said intentionally ran over and killed a man with his SUV over the weekend was ordered held in lieu of $900,000 bond Wednesday.</p> <p>Although prosecutors and police didn’t give a motive for Saturday morning’s incident in McKinley Park, police did say the victim — <a href="">Antonio Mendez</a> — was a gang member.</p> <p>Initially, 20-year-old <a href="">Thomas Santiago</a> swerved his white SUV multiple times in an apparent effort to strike a Chevrolet Cavalier in which Mendez was a passenger as both vehicles traveled on Archer Avenue, Assistant State’s Attorney Glen Runk said.<br /> <span id="more-5752"></span><br /> Eventually the driver of the Cavalier pulled off the road and stopped near 1841 West 33rd Pl., Runk said.</p> <p><iframe src="" width="100%" height="350" frameborder=0></iframe></p> <p>Mendez, who was in the back seat, and his two friends then got out of the car, Runk said.</p> <p>But Santiago accelerated toward the Cavalier, drove his SUV over the curb, sidewalk and grassy area before ramming into Mendez, Runk said.</p> <p>Mendez, 24, of the 2200 block of West 35th Place, died at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County less than a half hour later, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.</p> <p>Santiago, of the 1100 block of West 32nd Street, allegedly fled and was later seen driving off the Stevenson Expressway so he could check the SUV for front-end damage.</p> <p>He then got back in the car and stated that he had hit someone, Runk said.</p> <p>Santiago, whose nickname “Scrappy,” was allegedly identified by witnesses as the driver who struck Mendez. </p> <p>The defendant, a father of three, is a forklift operator at UPS, according to defense attorney Tod Urban.</p> <p>He has crown tattoos with the number “33” on both of his lower legs, according to a police report.</p> Michael LansuWed, 07 May 2014 14:45:53 -0500 MendezThomas Santiago