Defendant bolts from Chicago courtroom but doesn’t get too far

SHARE Defendant bolts from Chicago courtroom but doesn’t get too far

Martell Pettis | Cook County Sheriff’s office

Perhaps Martell Pettis should have listened to his fiancée.

She tried in vain to stop Pettis as he bolted out of a second-floor courtroom Tuesday morning at the George Leighton Criminal Court Building — apparently upset that Cook County Judge Timothy Joyce had just revoked his bond and ordered sheriff’s deputies to lock him up.

Pettis, awaiting trial for a drug possession charge, tore past his fiancée, flew down two flights of stairs and bolted out of the courthouse into the sunlight. The 29-year-old Chicago man didn’t get far.

“Cars everywhere and a whole flood of sheriff’s deputies — everybody was running after this guy,” said one courthouse regular who didn’t want his name used.

Deputies scooped up Pettis a few minutes later in a backyard in the 2500 block of South California, said Cara Smith, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s chief policy officer.

Pettis was originally arrested on the drug charge in April. Before he fled the courthouse, he’d been free on $10,000 bond. But then the judge learned during a hearing Tuesday that Pettis had failed to report to Cook County’s pre-trial services as required under the terms of his release. That prompted Joyce to order Pettis locked up.

That’s when he bolted.

“It was a very unfortunate decision on Mr. Pettis’ part,” said Smith, noting that Pettis is now facing a likely escape charge.

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