In Chicago, Accused Gun Offenders Walk Free While Purse Thief Is Smacked With $10K Bail And Electronic Monitoring

Time for another look at how accused gun offenders are being treated by Cook County judges. Be sure to stick through to the end. There’s a nifty little tidbit down there.

• Tony McCoy Jr, 25, was arrested in the 2300 block of North Lakewood at 10 p.m. on Tuesday. Officers investigating a call of a man sleeping in a car woke McCoy up and asked him if he had anything in the car. His answer, according to police: “I have a small gun for protection.” Officers found a loaded 32-caliber handgun stuffed between McCoy’s driver’s seat and the center console, prosecutors said. Judge Stephanie Miller ordered McCoy freed on a recognizance bond without electronic monitoring.

An example of a sawed-off shotgun from Wikipedia

• Also on Tuesday evening, according to police records: Cops pulled over a car with malfunctioning headlights in the 8500 block of South Martin Luther King Drive. Aziz Muhammad, 28, was in the passenger seat. In the back seat, cops say, was a blue gym bag containing Muhammad’s Social Security card, a probation drug test receipt in Muhammad’s name, and a 14-inch sawed-off 20-gauge shotgun. Muhammad said the weapon was “an old ass gun at my grandma’s house and I was just getting it out of there.” Judge Miller ordered him released on a recognizance bond.   PS—In 2013, Muhammad received two-year’s court supervision for possessing a firearm and ammunition without a Firearms Owner ID (FOID) card.

• On January 10, cops in Rogers Park arrested 22-year-old convicted felon Julian Macedo for allegedly carrying a loaded handgun. Prosecutors charged Macedo with being a felon in possession of a firearm; possessing a firearm without a FOID, and possessing ammunition without a valid FOID. Miller released him on a recognizance bond with electronic monitoring and told him to stay in the house from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

• Last Wednesday, police arrested Noe Guitierrez De La Cruz, 40, in the 7400 block of North Western after a 911 caller reported that a man had pulled out a gun on the sidewalk. Officers found a .385 handgun with a defaced serial number, on De La Cruz,  prosecutors said. Guitierrez allegedly told cops that he “found” the gun two days earlier. He’s charged with felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possessing a firearm with a defaced serial number, and possession of a weapon without a FOID. Judge Sophia Atcherson set bail at $10,000, which means Guitierrez will be released if he posts a 10% deposit of $1,000.

For Comparison


Here’s a case that has nothing to do with guns. It’s just for comparison: On January 13, Michelle Cook stole a purse from under the chair of a woman who was eating at Petterino’s restaurant in the Loop, prosecutors say. The 52-year-old, who hadn’t been arrested in Cook County since 1995, was taken into custody at a nearby Target store after she used the victim’s credit cards to make $1,159 in purchases, police said. Cops reportedly found a Michigan ID in Cook’s purse that belonged to a woman named “Emily Chen.” A picture of Cook’s face had been glued over Chen’s, according to police.

Judge Mary Marubio ordered Cook held in lieu of $10,000 bail and ordered Cook to go onto electronic monitoring if she posts 10% bond.

So, in Chicago, accused gun offenders may walk free on recognizance bonds without electronic monitoring while a woman gets a $10,000 deposit bond for stealing a purse and using the victim’s credit cards?

“Affordable Bail”

Since mid-July, Cook County judges have been under orders from Chief Judge Timothy Evans to issue “affordable” bail amounts to the accused.

“Monetary bail is inappropriate,” Evans told CBS2 last summer. “It ought to be based on whether somebody is a danger to society or not. If they’re not, then they should be released.”

“Often, as I’m walking through the jail, I’m talking to people who are no more dangerous to society than you and I,” Sheriff Tom Dart said last year. “People are in here because they committed an insignificant crime and can’t pay an insignificant bond because they’re poor.”

Welcome to Chicago, where a little old lady accused of stealing a purse is “a danger to society” while a guy who’s accused of having a sawed-off shotgun is sent home on his own recognizance.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is