Chicago man who drove into picnickers faces felony charges

CHICAGO (AP) — A man announced his intent before driving his pickup truck onto a grassy median on Chicago’s North Side and striking two people in a group he labeled yuppies with dogs, Cook County prosecutors said Monday.

Timothy Nielsen, 57, was charged Monday with four counts of attempted murder and ordered held without bond by Cook County Circuit Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke.

Prosecutors say 10 people were celebrating a birthday Sunday when Nielsen drove up to group and complained about the behavior of the group’s dogs. After members of the group asked him to leave, he reversed his pickup and then drove onto the median. A 42-year-old woman, was briefly trapped under the truck and was seriously injured. Another victim was treated at the scene.

During the bond hearing, prosecutors detailed Nielsen’s prior criminal history, including a four-year prison sentence for aggravated kidnapping. Nielsen and another person in 1989 entered a man’s home with guns and, claiming to be police, took the man from his home, said Assistant State’s Attorney Lorraine Scaduto. They took the man to a garage and beat him, holding him for ransom.

Nielson also served a prison sentence for running a loan-sharking operation with his brother that they enforced with violence and death threats.

It wasn't immediately known if Nielson has retained a lawyer to speak on his behalf.

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