Courtroom gavel
A courtroom gavel. File photo

 A woman who drove an SUV over a man after he confronted her for beating a child in an apartment complex parking lot near the Lincoln Park neighborhood is slated to be sentenced next month to nine years in state prison.

Tantrina Spencer-Simmons, 26, pleaded guilty last week to assault with a deadly weapon and hit-and-run charges for running over the then-50-year- old victim in August 2019.

The man was one of several people who heard a child — later identified as the defendant’s 8-year-old sister — screaming in a parking lot in the 300 block of 47th Street, according to police.

Prosecutors allege that the victim saw Spencer-Simmons striking the girl with a belt, told her to stop and took out his cell phone to call police.

The defendant responded by deliberately striking the man with her SUV, dragging him over 40 feet before completely him running over, according to Deputy District Attorney Brian Erickson.

The suspect drove off, but turned herself in later that day.

The prosecutor said the victim, who has undergone “countless surgeries and hospitalizations” since the endeavor, “is now paying a steep price for doing the right thing.” Erickson said the victim is “forever disfigured and can still not walk further than a block with the assistance of crutches or a walker.”

Spencer-Simmons was initially charged with attempted murder and was set to go to trial on that count this week prior to her plea. She did not face child abuse charges in connection with her sister, but Erickson said that the victim and other neighbors who intervened “most likely saved the sister from a more severe beating.”

–City News Service



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Ellen Bullock