Woman charged with beating, robbing motorist

By Kevin Beese Staff Writer

Marie Velez

An Elmhurst woman is being held in DuPage County Jail after being charged with beating and robbing a motorist.

Marie Velez, 40, who appeared at First Appearance Court on Thursday, Jan. 11, was charged with one count of robbery of a victim over 60 years old, a Class 1 felony; one count of aggravated battery in a public place, a Class 3 felony; and multiple misdemeanor offenses including theft and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

A Class 1 felony is punishable by a mandatory minimum of four to 15 years in prison. A Class 3 felony is punishable by five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

Judge Joshua Dieden granted the state’s motion to deny pre-trial release for Velez.

Two juveniles, ages 12 and 15, have also been charged and detained until at least their next court appearances. The juveniles are each charged with one count of robbery, a Class 1 felony; two counts of aggravated battery in a public place, a Class 3 felony; and one count of misdemeanor theft.

Shortly before 10:45 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9, Elmhurst police were dispatched to the Extended Stay America hotel for the report of a robbery. Upon their arrival, officers found the victim, a 63-year-old man, seated in his vehicle bleeding from the head and with swelling on his face. Following an investigation into the matter, it is alleged that the victim was traveling eastbound on Grand Avenue near the Interstate 290 overpass when he observed a group of three individuals, later identified as Velez and the juveniles, standing nearby on Grand.

Police said Velez stepped into traffic, causing the victim to stop his vehicle. After the victim stopped, the defendants opened the driver’s side door and began punching the victim in the head and face, according to police.

It is alleged that after the beating, the defendants stole the victim’s wallet and fled the scene.

Through their investigation, authorities identified Velez and the juveniles as suspects in the case, police said. All three defendants were taken into custody a short time later from the Extended Stay America hotel.

“The allegations that a grown woman enlisted the help of two juveniles and together they robbed and beat an innocent man are outrageous,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said. “The type of brazen, unprovoked attack alleged against these defendants will not be tolerated in DuPage County and will be met with the full force of the law. I thank the Elmhurst Police Department for not only their work in identifying and apprehending the defendants in this case, but also for their ongoing efforts in keeping our neighborhoods safe.

“It is extremely troubling that an adult responsible for supervising the minors in her care, instead, allegedly participated with them in a violent robbery upon an innocent motorist who stopped for them in the middle of the night,” Elmhurst Chief of Police Michael McLean said. “I thank our officers and detectives for their coordinated response to the scene and thorough investigation, leading to the swift apprehension of the defendants staying at the hotel nearby. I also thank State’s Attorney Bob Berlin and his staff for their legal guidance in this case.”

Velez’s next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 5 with arraignment in front of Judge Mia McPherson.

The next court date for the juveniles was scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 16. Results of their court appearances were not available as of press time.