Two men have been charged with vehicular hijacking after they allegedly beat and forced a woman out of her car outside a Niles fast food restaurant last week.
Niles police said the 25-year-old woman had just exited the drive-thru at McDonald’s, 8460 W. Dempster St., at 1:40 a.m., Oct. 11, and drove to the parking lot’s exit when she was approached by two men. One of the men, later identified as Edward Gonzalez, 20, of 9656 N. Park Lane, unincorporated Maine Township, reportedly opened the passenger side door and ordered the woman out of the vehicle before allegedly punching her repeatedly in the head. The second man, identified as Eduardo Medina, 19, of 8820 Root St., Niles, opened the driver’s side door and attempted to pull the woman out of the car, police said.
After pressing the seat belt release, the men removed the woman from her car and threw her to the ground, police said. They then allegedly jumped in the car, a 2009 Mitsubishi, and fled the area.
Officers from the Morton Grove Police Department located the vehicle minutes later in the area of Shermer Road and Madison Street. The occupants exited the car at that time, but were apprehended by police.
Both have been charged with felony vehicular hijacking and remain in Cook County Jail.
Niles Police Sgt. Robert Tornabene said Gonzalez is a known gang member, but the carjacking incident is not considered gang-related.
The female victim was taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital where she was treated for a head injury and an injury to her right arm.
The woman did not know her attackers, Tornavene said.
“There is nothing that indicated there was any interaction between the victim and the offenders — other than the fact that they wanted the car,” he added.