Around 10 p.m. June 3, the woman, identified in court by her initials, was leaving her job with another coworker at Manor Care Health Service, 9401 S. Kostner Ave. As she walked to her ride where her young children and new partner were waiting, a man, later identified as Thomas, pistol-whipped the woman and forced her into his rented car at gunpoint, the prosecutor said.
>>> Woman Kidnapped Near Nursing Home In ‘Domestic Dispute:’ Police
Inside the rented Nissan Altima, the prosecutor said Thomas implemented the child locks in the back seat, so the woman could not get out. He cocked his gun and threatened to kill her as they drove into the city, the prosecutor said. During that time, Thomas stopped the car several times to beat the woman and bit her, according to the charges.
Oak Lawn police went to the nursing home in response to a 911 call about a man with a gun was at the facility. The soon learned that an employee leaving her shift had been abducted, the prosecutor said.
Police called the woman’s cell phone several times. With a gun in his lap, the prosecutor said Thomas forced the woman to tell officers that she was fine and did not know the whereabouts of her alleged kidnapper.
According to the charges, Thomas parked in a lot on the 3800 block of South Michigan, where he forced the woman out of the car. He allegedly hit the woman with gun, knocking her to the ground. The woman pretended to have a seizure. The prosecutor said Thomas called an ambulance, but before fleeing the lot, he took $1,500 cash from the woman’s purse. CFD paramedics arrived, and took the seriously injured woman to University of Chicago Hospital.
Oak Lawn police were able to track the woman’s phone to the vicinity of the hospital, where she was being treated in the ER. She identified Thomas as her former boyfriend and abductor, the prosecutor said, as did several witnesses at Manor Care. While at the hospital, the prosecutor stated the woman received two text messages from Thomas, stating that he let his emotions get the best of him and that he was sorry.
Over the next five days, Oak Lawn detectives learned that Thomas had rented a 2020 Nissan Altima from Enterprise. They located the car, which had dried blood in the back seat.
On June 9, Oak Lawn police, with assistance from the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Canine Unit, placed a vehicle reportedly belonging to Thomas near 37th Street and Wabash Avenue in Chicago. After several hours of stakeout, Thomas was arrested leaving a restaurant in Chinatown, according to Oak Lawn police.
The woman is being treated for a fractured orbital eye socket, multiple facial fractures, bite marks and a large facial laceration that required two staples and eight stitches.
The prosecutor said that Thomas has a history of violence, including a 2015 conviction for unlawful use of a weapon by felon, for which he received 4.5 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, and a 2007 conviction for aggravated discharge of a weapon, for which he received a 7-year sentence. Thomas is currently on bond for possession of cocaine with intent to deliver in Wisconsin.
Thomas was also charged with domestic battery in 2020 involving the same woman, for which charges were reduced.
The assistant public defender stated that Thomas has four children with another on the way. Thomas’s family were present in court and by Zoom. Thomas’ public defender said he would request a bond review and that the charges were accusations. The attorney also objected to an order of protection.
“This defendant has a pattern of violent criminal behavior, not only to the victim but also to other members of the community,” the prosecutor said. “Through his consistent and violent behavior, he shows that it possesses a real and present danger to the victim and to the community.”
O’Garek concurred and ordered Thomas held without bail. Thomas is due back in court July 8 in Bridgeview.