Authorities appear mystified by the motivations of a 22-year-old man who crashed his SUV into the entrance of the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, approximately two weeks ago. For reasons that are still unclear, the young man continued to drive around the mall, knocking over kiosks and menacing shoppers. One witness likens the driver’s behavior in rolling the SUV through the retail center’s hallways to pushing a shopping cart.
Authorities initially refused to charge the man with criminal wrongdoing until after an evaluation at a mental health facility. The specific results of the evaluation are not available, but the facility reportedly released him back into the custody of law enforcement once it was complete. Shortly thereafter, the man attended a hearing where a judge denied him bond.
Authorities have charged the man with criminal damage to property. He also faces felony terrorism charges because he reportedly caused more than $100,000 worth of damage to a building containing five or more businesses. Nevertheless, law enforcement has found no connection between the man and known terrorist groups, and an investigation has reportedly revealed that he acted alone. A statement from law enforcement indicates that there is no reason to believe that the driver was targeting a specific store or particular individual.
There is no report of serious injury in connection with the incident. Nevertheless, eyewitness video later posted to social media shows shoppers scrambling out of the way of the SUV. Shouts of alarm and pleas for the driver to stop are audible on the recording, as is screeching of the SUV’s tires as the driver navigated around the store.
Whether the damage was accidental or intentional, people injured in a vehicle collision have the right to pursue a personal injury claim. Representation by an attorney may be helpful in this regard.