CHICAGO (CBS) — Clarence Ray’s sport-utility vehicle was stolen and was involved in a police pursuit, before it crashed into a house on Wentworth Avenue in Fernwood last week.
On Tuesday night, Ray told CBS 2’s Jermont Terry why he doesn’t want to press charges against the other two teens who were in the SUV and who were survived.
Ray can honestly say he did not have plans to get new wheels. As of Tuesday night, he was still working on getting as new car.
A teen stole Ray’s Jeep last week from a strip mall. He would not see the Jeep again until two days later.
“When they woke me up, they told me to look at the news,” Ray said.
Ray’s Jeep ended up in a police chase on Thursday night when the teen driver lost control and slammed into a house near 102nd Street and Wentworth Avenue.
“It looked really bad when I first saw it,” Ray said.
Ray would later learn that the same 17-year-old driver who police say stole his Jeep died in the chase and crash.
The other two teens who went along for the ride survived. Ray refused to press charges for one reason.
“Someone loves them – that’s what it is,” he said. “I wasn’t pressing charges because they’re babies. I don’t want them going through life with life with a black eye.”
Ray admits to leaving the Jeep running while he ran into the T-Mobile store near 95th Street and Jeffery Boulevard. He ran out in time to see the teen backing away, and their eyes met.
“When he pulled off, I knew he was going to hurt himself the way he pulled off,” Ray said.
While Ray suspected something, he didn’t think the teen’s actions would take his life, nor displace an entire family. The house the teen crashed into had to be torn down.
“I just want them learn from his mistake, because you’re just taking cars – because you can hurt yourself,” Ray said.
The surviving teens, ages 16 and 17, have been released from the hospital. It is unclear if they knew the Jeep was stolen from the lot at 95th and Jeffery.
Ray believes they now have the chance to correct their wrong if knew it was stolen.