CHICAGO (CBS)– The 22-year-old man accused of driving an sport-utility vehicle into the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg earlier this month has been charged with terrorism.
We learned in court today that Garcia searched “Woodfield Mall” 124 times, including aerial views of the mall and stores such as Sears
This was revealed after police searched Garcia’s electronics @cbschicago
— Marissa Parra (@MarParNews) September 29, 2019
Police said Javier Garcia, 22, of Palatine was released from AMITA Health Behavioral Medicine Institute and transferred to Schaumburg police custody on Sept. 27. He appeared for a bond hearing in Cook County Criminal Court on Sunday, where a judge denied Garcia bond.
Garcia was charged with terrorism, which Schaumburg police confirmed is “any act that causes substantial damage to any building containing (5) or more businesses of any type. Substantial damage means monetary damage greater than $100,000.”
He also faces a felony count of criminal damage to property.
CBS 2 learned Garcia searched “Woodfield Mall” 124 times, including aerial views of the mall and stores including Sears. Included in the total searches, “Sears,” specifically, was searched 35 times.
Police said an investigation revealed Garcia acted alone and a motive has not been determined.
“Police have no reason to believe Garcia was targeting any specific person and/or store within Sears or Woodfield Mall,” police said in a press release.
As CBS 2’s Marissa Parra reported, the video out of Woodfield Mall on Sept. 20, two Fridays ago, is gripping. A black sport-utility vehicle barreled through kiosks as hysterical shoppers ran for their safety while the car kept moving.
The4 day of the attack, Garcia was seen on camera in the Sears store at Woodfield, but he didn’t buy anything. Instead, he exited the parking lot and then four minutes later, drove his car through the front of that same Sears store, prosecutors said.
Officials from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office revealed on Sunday that Garcia narrowly missed the train attraction that had children on it at the time of the incident.
Officials also said there were over 100 calls to police from the time of the incident.
The entrance to Sears is still boarded up and it is unknown when repairs will be made.
The driver hit Forever 21 and crashed into kiosks before slamming into a pole in front of the Clark’s Shoe Store.
Three people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. They were not hit by the car.
Police said several shoppers, including two off-duty officers, stopped the driver from leaving.
Garcia’s attorney said “he’s not a terrorist,” and said he finds the terrorism charges surprising given that the 22-year-old has a history of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and paranoia. He said Garcia is currently being treated for these conditions.
Garcia’s attorney, Amil Alkass, said the 22-year-old lived with his sister and his father and they had been trying to get him treatment.
Judge Mary Marubio acknowledged Garcia’s mental health history and lack of criminal background, But ultimately, the judge denied Garcia bond, saying given his actions, he still “poses a danger to the community.”
Garcia is due back in court on Tuesday.