Man accused of driving SUV through Woodfield Mall pleads not guilty

Javier Garcia

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. — A man accused of ramming his SUV through an entrance door at Woodfield Mall pleaded not guilty in court Thursday.

Javier Garcia, 23, of Palatine, is charged with two counts of terrorism and one count of criminal damage to property.

He spent a week at a suburban psychiatric hospital after the incident last September, and is now being held without bail in Cook County Jail.

No one was hurt in the mall incident, and police said they don’t believe Garcia was targeting any specific person or business. They also said he does not have ties to any terrorist organizations or a criminal record.

At Thursday’s arraignment in Rolling Meadows court, a behavioral clinical exam was ordered.

Garcia’s sister Noemi Garcia has said he is bipolar and suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

“I don’t think my brother belongs in jail,” she said. “He needs a place he can get his medications and treatment he needs.”

Garcia’s next court appearance is Dec. 16.

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