Bail set at $100,000 for man charged after SUV runs over baby

SHARE Bail set at $100,000 for man charged after SUV runs over baby

A South Shore man accused of battering his girlfriend and her son before running over her 8-month-old daughter’s legs with an SUV was ordered held on $100,000 bail by a Cook County judge on Tuesday — a day after purported footage of the domestic dispute surfaced on YouTube.

The online video captures an expletive-filled shouting match between the driver of an idling SUV and a woman standing in the street. As the yelling continues, a young child is handed to the woman from inside the SUV.

“Don’t throw my mother f – – – – – – daughter,” the woman shouts, scuffling with the driver, who police identified as Joseph Fults. Moments later, the baby drops to the ground and the woman takes a swing at the man through an open window. Almost immediately, the SUV can be seen surging forward, rolling over the little girl’s legs.

Police said Fults, 46, was arrested shortly after the 2:40 a.m. incident on Monday, which happened near Cottage Grove and 75th Street. He was charged with misdemeanor battery and misdemeanor domestic battery and appeared Tuesday in domestic violence court before Judge Diana Kenworthy.

The dispute between Fults and his 23-year-old girlfriend began before camera footage started to roll. Police said Fults punched his girlfriend while she was still inside his SUV. When her 7-year-old son tried to intervene, Fults — who is not the father of either of the children — allegedly struck the boy, too.

Chicago Police initially said Fults threw the baby from the SUV. But they later clarified that Fults handed the child to his girlfriend, and the baby dropped to the ground moments before Fults accelerated.

Both children had bruises and were taken to University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital with injuries that weren’t life-threatening, police said.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Children and Family Services could not say whether the state welfare agency is investigating the incident.

Court records show Fults, of the 7400 block of South Phillips, has previously been charged with battery and assault.

In May 2002, he was charged with domestic battery, but charges were dropped when the complaining witness did not show up in court, records show.

He was charged with simple assault in September 2005, though the outcome of that case wasn’t clear from court records.

In 1994, Fults was sentenced to two years in prison after he was found guilty of felony unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.

Contributing: Ashlee Rezin

Email: bslodysko@suntimes.com

Twitter: @BrianSlodysko

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