The father of a 16-year-old who was killed in a South Side crash that stemmed from a police pursuit last August is blaming the death on the city and two men convicted in the incident.
Waldo Flex, the father of Wally Flex, filed the lawsuit Friday in Cook County Circuit Court for the Aug. 14, 2014, chase that ended in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood.
Chicago Police officers were patrolling an area when they saw a red Monte Carlo circling the area of a recent gang-related shooting, authorities and prosecutors said at the time. Wally Flex was riding in the backseat.
The officers curbed the car, but as they approached, the driver — 19-year-old Gabriel E. Johnson — sped off, prosecutors said. The car blew through two stop signs as police chased it.
After several blocks, the Monte Carlo careened into a light pole and flipped near 80th and Lowe, authorities said.
Flex suffered a broken neck and was dead at the scene, authorities said.
Johnson later tested positive for marijuana, and first responders found a revolver tucked in his waistband, prosecutors claimed. They also said passenger Dontrell Reese, 22, threw away a .32 caliber revolver after climbing out of a window.
Johnson, of the 6800 block of South Champlain, was sentenced in February to four years in prison after pleading guilty to reckless homicide, aggravated DUI and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, according to court records.
Reese, of the 7500 block of South Eggleston, was also handed a four-year sentence for being a felon in possession of weapon.
The suit blames Johnson for driving recklessly, but it also said that the vehicle belonged to Reese. It alleges that Johnson didn’t have a license, and Reese should not have let him drive.
The suit additionally claims that officers scared off Johnson because they approached the vehicle with their guns drawn and didn’t immediately identify themselves. That likely caused him to speed off “in fear for his own safety,” the suit said.
Flex is survived by his parents and five siblings, the suit said.
A spokesman for the city’s law department said it had not been served with the suit Friday evening.
The three-count suit is claiming wrongful death and negligence and is asking for more than $150,000 in damages.