(CBS) – An 18-year-old suspect charged in the December mugging of Mayor Emanuel’s teen son was ordered held in custody following a juvenile court hearing Monday.

CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports.

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The suspect was 17 in December, when the assault against the mayor’s son, Zach, took place. He benefits from a change in state law.

“Now, if you’re 17, you’re a juvenile. A year ago, you’d be an adult and he’d be sitting in bond court at 26th and California,” CBS 2 legal analyst Irv Miller says.

The battery and aggravated robbery happened just steps from the mayor’s Ravenswood home.

Prosecutors say the offender admitted punching Zach Emanuel twice in the face, stealing his phone and demanding the pass code to it. Reports at the time of the crime indicated two suspects ganged up on the mayor’s son, but only the unnamed suspect has been arrested.

“You really have a difficult time controlling your behavior. You’ve had 32 contacts with police in the last year,” Judge Lori Wolfson said in ordering the 18-year-old defendant held.

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Police officers and prosecutors filled half the courtroom, which demonstrates the careful attention being given to what authorities call a “heater” case.

“I think they’re going to bend over backwards to be tough, but be as tough as they would be on a normal case,” Miller says.

The mother and step-father of the accused suspect scurried from the juvenile courthouse, saying nothing to reporters.

The suspect had been awaiting sentencing for possession of a stolen vehicle when he was arrested for assaulting the mayor’s son. His next court date is March 9.

If he is found guilty as a juvenile he could be locked up until age 21.

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Over the weekend, Mayor Emanuel and his wife thanked police for making an arrest.