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Suspect Claims He Didn’t Know Armed Pursuers Were FBI Agents

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Theft suspect William Tapes turns himself in to the FBI. (CBS)

Theft suspect William Tapes turns himself in to the FBI. (CBS)

Mai Martinez Mai Martinez
Mai Martinez co-anchors CBS 2 Chicago’s weekend evening newscasts and...
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(CBS) – A Chicago man on the run from the FBI for three days following a chase and shooting is in federal custody.

Federal prosecutors charged William Tapes with assaulting a federal officer. He allegedly tried to hit an FBI agent with a car as he was trying to get away after stealing two hubcaps outside a Near West Side Jewel-Osco on Monday.

Tapes doesn’t deny stealing the hubcaps, but he has said he had no idea the three men trying to stop him were FBI agents.

Tapes, who was grazed by a bullet, fled and turned himself in Thursday night. He talked with CBS 2 on the way in to FBI headquarters.

Tapes faces a felony offense.

“It’s too early to start making determinations on what happened and what was intended or what really went on,” his defense attorney, Matt McQuaid, tells CBS 2’s Mai Martinez.

Alfreda McLaurin says she was in the car with Tapes and contends he had no idea the men were law enforcement. But according to the feds and at least one witness, all three agents shouted they were FBI.

The feds also say Tapes almost hit one of the special agents with the car as he drove off, prompting another agent to open fire — hitting the car, Tapes and a male passenger in the front seat.

“He was scared. After being shot at 16 times, I would be scared, too,” McLaurin says.

If convicted, Tapes could face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

An FBI spokesperson says every shooting involving an agent is reviewed. She declined to comment on this particular instance.

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