May 8, 2017 – Oak Park Police are investigating a carjacking early yesterday evening near Roosevelt Road and Harlem Avenue that resulted in the death of a Westchester man who tried to stop the thief.
Christopher Daniel Florez, 24, of the 2800 block of Downing Avenue in Westchester died from injuries he sustained when he fell from the side of the moving vehicle as the carjacker fled the scene.
A person of interest is being held for questioning and the vehicle, a 2016 Dodge Challenger, has been recovered.
Investigators determined that the vehicle had been left running and unattended as Florez, a friend who owned the car and her young daughter were at an outdoor DVD rental box a few feet away in front of the Jewel food market at 7036 Roosevelt Road at about 6:40 p.m.
Witnesses told police that when a man entered the vehicle, Florez ran to the driver’s side, reached through the open window and grabbed the steering wheel as the thief accelerated west on Roosevelt Road at a high rate of speed.
Florez apparently clung to the side of the vehicle as it turned north onto Harlem Avenue, but was thrown into the southbound lanes of Harlem near Fillmore Street. He was transported to Loyola Medical Center in Maywood where he died of his injuries about three hours later.
Witnesses described the carjacker as a black male, about 30 to 40 years old with a thin build and short braids, wearing a dark sweater.
Anyone with information is urged to call 708.386.3800. Anonymous tips can be left at 708.434.1636 or online at www.oak-park.us/crimetip.