|Nunez (inset) is accused of running from cops and having a defaced handgun in his possession.|
The Town Hall Police District’s efforts to reduce nighttime violence along Recreation Drive paid dividends early last Tuesday.
Officers patrolling the street and parking area near Rec Drive’s tennis courts and baseball fields at 2:30 a.m. came across a parked car occupied by two men.
The cops said they approached the car and smelled a strong odor of burning cannabis emanating from the vehicle. When they asked the occupants to step out, 19-year-old Alberto Nunez took off running while holding his side, police said. Running while holding one’s side is frequently a sign that the person has an unholstered gun in their waistband.
Nunez ran across the traffic lanes of Lake Shore Drive and was taken into custody in the 500 block of West Addison.
Arresting officers found a loaded 9-millimeter Ruger with a defaced serial number in Nunez’ possession, prosecutors said. Nunez allegedly told police that he kept the gun for protection.
He’s charged with felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon—vehicle; felony possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number; misdemeanor possession of ammunition without a firearm owner ID card; misdemeanor reckless conduct; and being on Chicago Park District property after hours.
Judge Stephanie Miller set bail at $10,000. Court records show that Nunez has no previous arrests in Cook County.
Recreation Drive provides access to the lakefront and park areas between Addison and Irving Park Road. It has long been a popular after-hours hangout for gang members and partiers. Two people were shot along Rec Drive in separate incidents last year.