Police say Deangelo Fountain, 18, a student at Metro Prep in Arlington Heights, is charged with aggravated vehicular hijacking, aggravated kidnapping and possessing a stolen vehicle.
Fountain was scheduled to appear at a bond hearing Saturday at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse.
Surveillance video from a storage facility in Des Plaines, a witness and an incident at an Arlington Heights school that morning helped break the case, Park Ridge Police Chief Frank Kaminski said.
Kaminski said investigators have been able to piece together that Fountain, a student at Metro Prep High School, a special-needs school in Arlington Heights, had reportedly been involved in an altercation with a teacher and left the school that morning.
Around 11:45 a.m., Des Plaines police were called to a storage facility on the 1800 block of Busse Highway for a report of a suspicious person, asking for a plastic bag to put over himself because it was raining. When Des Plaines police arrived, the man was gone, but police reviewed surveillance footage from the facility and later identified the man as Fountain.
Eventually, police say, Fountain made his way to the 1700 block of Good Avenue where he saw the Audi unlocked and running in the driveway and jumped into the driver's seat. Drake Whitker was asleep in the back seat while his mother was carrying items into the home, police said.
Drake's mother also opened the driver's side door and attempted to pull the man out of the car, Kaminski said, but he drove away.
Park Ridge police alerted all police departments in the area and a state-wide Amber Alert was later issued. A person who had heard the Amber Alert found the Audi in a Skokie alley, with Drake safe and inside.
After ditching the car, Kaminski said Fountain is believed to have taken a bus back to his Evanston home, located 3.5 miles away from where the Audi was found in Skokie.
Police took Fountain into custody Thursday night and began questioning him, Kaminski said. On Friday morning, police announced that a "person of interest" was in custody, and charges were filed later that day.
Fountain has given "a signed confession about the facts of the case," Kaminski said.
"I can't tell you how proud I am of my staff who did an excellent job," the police chief told the media Saturday morning, as several detectives and officers who worked on the case stood by. "When you've got good people working for you, it's just amazing the results you can get. This is an example of great efforts."
The Amber Alert has been credited with Drake's safe recovery. Drake and his family were not present at the press conference.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire - Copyright Chicago Sun-Times 2014.)