CHICAGO - A food delivery driver who ran over a restaurant employee in Lake View East and dragged her several feet with the vehicle he was operating was allegedly working for Grubhub under someone else’s account.
Aamir Mohammed, 30, also has never held a valid driver’s license and didn’t have one when he struck the woman outside Ms. T’s Southern Fried Chicken, 3343 N. Broadway Street, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.
Bijan Choya Early, 24, survived but suffered several broken bones as a result.
Mohammed went to the restaurant around 6 p.m. to pick up a delivery, but was told by the staff that because of social distancing guidelines, he needed to wait outside until his order was ready, Murphy said during Mohammed’s bond hearing that was live streamed on YouTube.
Instead of waiting outside, Mohammed demanded his order and then “aggressively” kicked and slammed shut the front glass door of the restaurant, Murphy said. He then went back to the car he was driving and tried to leave, but restaurant staff came outside and told him to wait for police.
A video shared with the Chicago Sun-Times shows Early standing in front of Mohammed’s car, blocking his path until police arrived, Early’s mother, Angenita Tanner, said.
Mohammed can be seen on the video yelling outside the car window. After allegedly threatening to run over Early, prosecutors said he drove forward and struck her. He continued driving 20 to 30 feet with Early’s body on top of the car, dragging her legs underneath, Murphy said.
Mohammed allegedly slowed down until Early fell off, and then drove over her body. He then sped away down Broadway Street, Murphy said.
Early was hospitalized with two broken shoulders, a broken arm and pelvis, lacerations and bruises across her body, Murphy said. She remains in an intensive care unit.
Mohammad, who turned himself in Saturday, was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, failure to report an accident and leaving the scene of the hit-and-run.
Mohammad has lived in Chicago for two years, and currently lives with a roommate, an assistant public defender told Judge Mary C. Marubio.
Marubio ordered Mohammad held on $5,000 bail and recommended he be placed on home electronic monitoring if he was able to post bond.
“I find that you’re a flight risk,” Marubio told Mohammad, pointing to how he allegedly fled the scene of the crime. “And electronic monitoring is the least restrictive means to make sure you show up in court.”
Mohammad was not the registered owner of the vehicle he was driving but that the vehicle was registered to a third party company that loans vehicles to Grubhub drivers for a 50-percent cut of delivery profits.
Mohammad is not an authorized driver with Grubhub and had been using another driver’s account, a spokesperson for the company said. That authorized driver has been terminated and banned from the platform.
“We support efforts to prosecute both the individual charged with the crime and the driver who owned the account to the full extent of the law,” the Grubhub spokesperson said in a statement. “We run rigorous background and motor vehicle checks before contracting with any driver, among other security features. We are committed to continuously reviewing and evolving our practices to prevent fraud and ensure safety and security for the Grubhub community.”
Mohammad is expected back in court on May 27 in Skokie.