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Suspect charged after attempting to climb into ceiling of CPD interrogation room

No bail for suspect accused of trying to escape through ceiling of police station
No bail for suspect accused of trying to escape through ceiling of police station 02:33

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A suspect is facing multiple charges after attempting to escape police custody by climbing into an interrogation room ceiling – and police went in to find him, in a chain of events leaving the police station damaged.

Chicago police have charged Tajze Mullins, 23, with four felony counts, including attempted first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault to a peace officer, and escaping a peace officer; and one misdemeanor count of obstructing identification. He was ordered held without bond at his bail hearing on Sunday.

His attempt to escape through the ceiling of a police interview room happened after he was taken into custody Friday night, accused of hitting an officer with his car on DuSable Lake Shore Drive.

As CBS 2's Sara Machi reported Saturday night, word of Mullins' escape attempt first came to CBS 2 News through a police source – who said one of two people arrested Friday night in a police chase climbed into the ceiling while unattended – causing serious damage. Prosecutors later confirmed that account at Mullins' court appearance.

Video taken at the Area 3 Police Headquarters, 2452 W. Belmont Ave., shows piles of dust and debris. 

Supplied to CBS 2

A hole is visible in the drop ceiling of an interrogation room before the camera spins around to show the extent of the damage scattered throughout the office.    

Supplied to CBS 2

A police source told us Mullins climbed into the ceiling, trying to make an escape after being taken into custody Friday night.

As the video continues, the damage left behind is shown – with different parts of the ceiling torn apart. The police source says there was nowhere to go once the suspect was in the ceiling – and no access to the outside.

All this stems from a search Friday night involving two separate crime scenes.

Suspect charged after climbing through ceiling of police station 01:21

Prosecutors said Mullins was driving a BMW 750i wanted in connection with a case of aggravated battery to a Cook County Sheriff's police officer on March 9.

A license plate reader scanned the BMW while Mullins was driving south on DuSable Lake Shore Drive, and as he approached the red light at Roosevelt Road, officers pulled up to him and got out of their vehicles, and ordered him out of the car.

Mullins then threw the car in reverse and sped off, hitting an officer standing near the back of his car, and knocking him into the side of another car, before he fell to the ground, according to prosecutors. Both a Chicago police POD camera and a video camera in a nearby Uber car recorded the incident.

The officer suffered a broken leg, and received several stitches for his injuries.

Mullins continued backing up until he hit a Chicago police truck positioned behind him, nd then he began weaving through traffic in an effort to escape.

Another officer standing near Mullins' car fired his weapon, striking a Lyft car in the rear passenger side door frame, but no one was injured, prosecutors said.

Mullins kept weaving through traffic and headed onto the Stevenson Expressway, and then onto the southbound lanes of the Dan Ryan, where a police helicopter and other police cars chased him to 71st Street, where he exited and headed north on Vincennes Avenue, and into a parking lot at 50 W. 71st St., where both he and his passenger ran off, according to prosecutors.

Officers caught up with Mullins at 7120 S. Lafayette, where he was hiding under a porch. He still had the BMW's key fob with him when he was arrested.

After being taken to an interview room at Area 3, Mullins pulled a vent cover off the ceiling and climbed into the ceiling, prosecutors said. Police officers went inside and saw ceiling tiles falling, and were able to get Mullins down from the ceiling. His recapture was recorded by police body camera, but that footage has not yet been released.

Prosecutors said Mullins caused extensive damage to the ceiling, duct work, and electrical work while in the ceiling.

At Mullins' bond hearing, the judge said he also has two arrest warrants in Texas for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and engaging in organized crime. Texas also requested he be held without bail.

Prosecutors said Mullins' passenger, 29-year-old Shaquille Fisher, was found with a loaded gun in a bookbag. He is facing weapons charges, and was ordered held on $75,000 bail.

Mullins and Fisher are due back in court on Tuesday.

We took the video of the aftermath of Mullins' escape attempt to Arthur Lurigio, a professor of criminology and psychology at Loyola University Chicago.

"Highly unusual," Lurigio said. "If there's damage, it's not that extensive."

Lurigio said he does not think he's ever seen anything like this. He was surprised that someone was able to attempt an escape given the severity of the crimes involved.

"So you would think that the officers involved would have taken the precautions necessary to ensure that they were restrained to the greatest degree possible without infringing on their constitutional rights," Lurigio said.

We're told the injured officer is expected to make a full recovery and in good spirits. Under Chicago Police policy, because an officer fired their weapon at Mullins, any officers involved will be placed on administrative duties for 30 days while the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.

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