FOX 32 NEWS - A man is charged with two armed carjackings which injured a police officer and an innocent bystander in Orland Park last fall.
On Wednesday, he appeared in federal, not state court, as prosecutors employ new tactics against carjackings.
Prosecutors say 23-year-old Brian McKenzie was in the midst of a violent double carjacking last October in Orland Park. McKenzie's mother, Kimberly Wheeler, says that's not her son.
“He knows where he was at. My son was at the barbershop when that happened. They just putting a face with a case. That's what they doing,” she said.
McKenzie is accused of two armed carjackings. He allegedly took a couple's Dodge Charger from a restaurant parking lot and sped away at 135 miles per hour, until he hit and injured a construction worker. Prosecutors say he then ran away on foot until he carjacked another car.
When an Oak Forest officer tried to stop him, prosecutors say, he backed up over the officer’s leg and escaped. McKenzie was arrested several weeks later and charged under federal, not state, carjacking laws.
FOX 32: do you think that's fair?
“No I do not. I'm wondering why it's a federal case. How a carjacking ends up as a federal case,” Wheeler said.
McKenzie's mother said her son has had a difficult couple of years because his brother was shot in the head and killed a couple of years ago.
“It affected our life, I lost my child, he lost his brother. I had to call him in jail and tell him his brother had been murdered. It affected him,” Wheeler said.
In court, prosecutors said the dashcam photo and numerous witnesses identify McKenzie as the carjacker. They also said McKenzie's previous convictions and parole violations should prevent his release on bond. Judge David Weisman agreed.