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18-year-old charged in the brutal beating of Chef in Chinatown

Chicago Police announced attempted murder and other charges against an 18-year-old man yesterday in connection to the carjacking and brutal beating of a 61-year-old Chef in Chinatown last April.

Chicago Journal
Chicago Journal
| 5 min read
18-year-old charged in the brutal beating of Chef in Chinatown

Update: Prosecutors told the court Saturday that Patterson, currently a high school student, was on bond for possessing a stolen vehicle at the time of this incident. He and his co-offenders allegedly pulled Mr. Lew from his vehicle and beat him with their hands and feet. He later used Mr. Lew's credit card to spend $20 at a gas station and $49 at Riverside Mall. Bail was denied.

CHICAGO - Chicago Police announced attempted murder and other charges against an 18-year-old man yesterday in connection to the carjacking and brutal beating of a 61-year-old Chef in Chinatown last April.

Termaine Patterson, 18, of the 1100 block of Laflin Street on the city's Near West Side, was reportedly arrested Thursday and charged with 8 felonies, including attempted murder, in connection with the violent carjacking and brutal beating of a 61-year-old Chinese-American chef in the Chinatown neighborhood last April.


Termaine Patterson
Termaine Patterson, 18, of the Near West Side was charged with 8 felonies in connection with the violent carjacking and brutal beating in Chinatown last April. | Photo: CPD Book.

As we originally reported in breaking this story, with the help of the Twitter account @CPD1617Scanner and in coordination with some of their sources, as well as information provided to us by the family of the victim, we were able to help piece together what happened to Jin Lew, 61, in the Chinatown neighborhood from late April 6 through April 9th earlier this year.[1]

Here's what we reported at the time:

  • 11:00 p.m. - Wednesday, April 6th: Jin Lew was last seen leaving one of his son's homes in the South Loop.
  • 7:00 a.m. - Thursday, April 7th: An unknown Asian male is found robbed of his belongings and beaten unconscious near the intersection of W. 25th Place and S. Stewart Avenue (EDITOR'S NOTE: We later learned it was closer to S. Princeton Avenue). The 'John Doe' was taken to Stroger Hospital where he underwent an emergency decompressive craniectomy and remains in a coma.
  • Evening - Thursday, April 7th: Jin Lew was scheduled to meet a friend but did not show up to that meeting. The friend contacted Jin Lew's sons out of concern.
  • Late - Thursday, April 7th: After trying to reach their father for several hours, the family decides to call police and make a missing person's report.
  • Early Morning - Friday, April 8th: The family makes a missing person's report.
  • Day - Friday, April 8th: The family posts a plea on Facebook for help finding their father.
  • 6:37 p.m. - Friday, April 8th: According to a source, Jin Lew's missing vehicle was spotted on a camera in the Austin neighborhood on the city's west side.
  • 7:00 p.m. - Friday, April 8th: Someone sees the family's Facebook plea and recognizes Jin Lew as similar in appearance to the 'John Doe' that arrived at Stroger the previous morning. They contact the family to tell them to check Stroger Hospital.
  • Evening - April 8th: The family finds their father at Stroger Hospital.
  • Saturday, April 9th: The family was informed by their insurance company that the vehicle was recovered. The insurance company told the family they contacted police and got the info that it was recovered, but the family has not yet heard from CPD regarding the recovery of the vehicle.

After a 5 month investigation, police have now released further details about what happened that night.

According to Police, after Mr. Lew left his son’s home in the South Loop, another vehicle, which had also been carjacked, began to follow him. Chief of Detective's Brendan Deenihan told reporters Friday that when Mr. Lew's vehicle reached the above location of the incident, three people jumped out of the vehicle that was following him and ran toward the victim's car (a driver remained in the following vehicle). While cameras did not capture the actual incident, according to Deenihan, Mr. Lew’s vehicle and the other car were captured on camera fleeing the scene shortly after.

The rest of the above report remains true, with the exception being that Mr. Lew was reportedly found around 4:45 a.m. and not closer to 7:00 a.m. as we originally believed.

Police eventually found both cars and, using the history of the use of Jin Lew's credit card and by tracking down the surveillance video from various locations where that card was used, detectives were able to piece together the offenders, Deenihan said.


Jin Yut Lew
Jin Yut Lew, 61, after he was found robbed of his belongings and vehicle, and beaten into a coma on a street in Chinatown last April. | Photo: Family Provided.

The victim, Jin Lew, was born in the Guangdong region of China and first came to America direct to Chicago in the early 1980's with his parents, two brothers, and two sisters. The family said they came for a better future and more opportunity. They settled in Chicago's Chinatown neighborhood, quickly laid down roots, and became active in the community.

Jin Lew worked in restaurants and, according to his family, was head chef at Chi Tung Restaurant in Evergreen Park for almost 30 years. He was not currently with Chi Tung Restaurant at the time of the attack but he was working on developing a new restaurant project with a friend and has helped many in the community get their start in the business.

Today, Mr. Lew is alive and his family says he's improving but he continues to require 24 hour care. It is still unclear if he will ever be able to return to a somewhat normal life.

Termaine Patterson is officially charged as follows:

  • One (1) felony count - Attempted Murder in the First Degree
  • One (1) felony count - Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking
  • One (1) felony count - Vehicular Hijacking
  • One (1) felony count - Aggravated Battery of a Victim older than 60+
  • Two (2) felony counts - Aggravated Battery causing Great Bodily Harm
  • One (1) felony count - Robbery
  • One (1) felony count - Using a Stolen Credit/Debit Card

Patterson is due in court this afternoon.

Three other suspects are still being sought, Deenihan said, though they have not yet been identified.


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Notes & References


  1. Chicago Journal. “61-Year-Old Chef Found Robbed and Beaten into Coma, Family Finds Him through Facebook as 'John Doe' at Stroger.” Chicago Journal. Chicago Journal, April 14, 2022. https://www.chicagojournal.com/61-year-old-chef-found-robbed-and-beaten-into-coma-family-finds-him-through-facebook-as-john-doe-at-stroger/. ↩︎

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