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Chicago area restaurant reopens after car slams into front windows

Chicago area restaurant reopens after car slams into front windows
Chicago area restaurant reopens after car slams into front windows 02:27

POSEN, Ill. (CBS) – A south suburban restaurant is open again Wednesday after a car came barreling through their front windows on Tuesday and sent customers and staff scrambling.

Still, there are questions about the chain reaction leading up to this dangerous event. The owners told CBS 2's Sara Machi it's not the first time they've survived something like this.

Staff cellphone video shows an open sign on the ground before spinning through a doorway to reveal the full extent of the wreckage. A car pushed through the front window of Shark's Fish and Chicken in Posen.

Surveillance video showed the moments before the crash happened.

The car careened over a curb and bounced through the parking lot before it pushed a parked family van through the building. Police followed right behind. Two people bailed from the first car.

"I heard it, but I didn't know what I was hearing," said Stacey Carrell, who owns the car that came through the front façade.

Carrell was on his way to the restaurant to meet his wife.

"It was mayhem, so I didn't understand what's happening," he said.

In the video, a woman in pink was seen running for cover but was hit by debris as she ran.

The building's front wall was boarded up on Wednesday, with dents left on the front counter. Staff are still finding broken glass hidden in corners.

Akram Esily, who co-owns the restaurant, said he's thankful it wasn't worse.

"The cashier is OK," he said. "Everybody's OK. Everybody's going home. That's good enough for me."

Because he knows how bad it can be, Esily showed CBS 2 photos on his phone of another accident in June 2019 when an off-duty Chicago police officer ran into the side of their Auburn Gresham location and killed a customer, Marquita Reed.

A Markham police car was seen in the video of Tuesday's crash. A sergeant told CBS 2 they had tried to pull over the car for a traffic violation, but it took off. The sergeant said officers were not in pursuit, though they determined it was a stolen car.

Markham police would not say anything more about the person taken into custody or any of the charges that might be filed in the case. Esily said an officer told him that the driver was just 14 years old.

CBS 2 reported in June that the loved ones of the 2019 car crash victim, Reed, are still waiting for justice. They said the officer in that case, Terrance Finley, does not have a trial date and is still employed by the Chicago Police Department.

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