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Man accused of beating Grindr date with hammer, spraying cops with bear repellant

Cedric Johnson, 29, allegedly hit a 47-year-old man with a hammer June 14 in Lake View after meeting him on a dating app.

Cedric Johnson
Cedric Johnson
Chicago police

A felon was ordered held without bail after allegedly taking a hammer to a man he met on a dating app Friday and later attacking officers and spraying them with bear repellant when they tracked him down using the man’s stolen cellphone.

Cedric Johnson, 29, of Uptown, was charged with eight counts of aggravated battery to a peace officer and individual counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, theft and possession of a controlled substance, all of which are felonies, according to Chicago police and Cook County court records. Judge Arthur Wesley Willis denied Johnson bail at a hearing Sunday, calling him a threat to public safety.

About 6:30 p.m. Friday, Johnson used the dating app Grindr to connect with a professor who teaches at a local university, prosecutors said. After hanging out for several hours and having sex at the professor’s apartment in the 600 block of West Aldine, an argument broke out when Johnson “began to act possessive” of the other man, according to authorities and court records.

Johnson then grabbed a hammer and struck the man at least five times in his head and face before running off, authorities said. Neighbors eventually heard the professor’s cries for help and called police.

The man was rushed to Illinois Masonic Medical Center and treated for a large contusion, swelling to his cheek and three lacerations on his head that required 15 stitches, authorities said.

When the man returned home, he realized his iPhone and speakers had been stolen. The man used an app to track the device to the 800 block of West Roscoe, only a few blocks from his apartment, then called police, authorities said.

Hours after the initial attack, the man met officers there and immediately recognized Johnson and pointed him out, authorities said. Johnson took off and sprayed the bear repellant at the officers who gave chase.

After punching an officer several times and striking him over the head with the can of bear spray, Johnson was arrested and found with the phone and speakers, prosecutors said. As Johnson was being placed in a squad car, he started resisting and knocked another officer to the ground using his shoulder, authorities said.

Four officers were treated at Illinois Masonic Medical Center for various injuries; four other injured officers refused medical treatment, court records show.

During Sunday’s hearing, Johnson interrupted Assistant State’s Attorney Dominique Marshall as she described his apprehension.

“That’s a f------ lie,” he said.

Nevertheless, prosecutors claimed the entire incident was captured on a police POD camera and said Johnson admitted discharging the bear spray, attacking the professor with the hammer and stealing his phone.

Johnson has two felony convictions: for robbery in 2013 and drug possession in 2012, according to prosecutors. The public defender assigned to Johnson said his client is a lifelong Chicago resident with a high school diploma and currently unemployed.

After denying him bail, Willis set Johnson’s next court date for Friday.

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