Again: Felon Chased, Gun Recovered, But Charges Are Spiked Due To Slow Fingerprint Testing

For the second time in two weeks, 19th District (Town Hall) cops have chased after a suspect, found a handgun, and then watched as the arrestee went free on misdemeanor charges because the city couldn’t provide timely fingerprint analysis of the recovered weapon.

Essex | Chicago Police Dept

Like the case involving Alfonso “Little A” Fierro, the latest incident has been tagged for “continuing investigation.”

It’s sad, but true: The third biggest city in America—the one with the nagging gun violence problem—just can’t get recovered handguns tested in a timely manner.

Police on patrol in Uptown last Friday reported hearing shots fired in the 4600 block of North Kenmore around 11 a.m. Then, they allegedly saw convicted felon and reputed gang member Donter Essex running from the scene. Cops say they engaged in an “extensive foot chase” of Essex and eventually found him hiding on the second-floor deck of a home in the 4600 block of North Kenmore.

Essex, 29, allegedly jumped from the deck to prevent being captured, but he injured his leg in the fall and was taken into custody.

Cops searched the chase area and found a loaded handgun lying in a backyard about five homes north of where Essex was found. The weapon had been reported stolen in Elkhart, Indiana, police said.

Prosecutors approved two misdemeanor charges for Essex: trespassing for being on the second-floor deck of another person’s home and resisting police. The gun charge was not approved because police were unable to turn around fingerprint tests in a timely manner.

Judge David Navarro set bail at $1,000, which was quickly posted, allowing Essex to go free.

The Darnedest Things

Essex is currently awaiting trial on another incident in Uptown.

Cops on the West Side saw Essex last March and pulled him over knowing that he was wanted for allegedly throwing a handgun onto the roof of a Dunkin’ Donuts while police chased him through Uptown in September 2016.

As cops approached Essex’s car, they saw a large butcher knife sitting on his passenger seat, according to court records. Essex ran into traffic but was eventually captured. Two officers were injured during his arrest.

According to a police arrest report, Essex told cops that he thought he had been arrested for a gun incident “up north” a while back. Essex didn’t recall throwing a gun onto the roof of a Dunkin’ Donuts, though.

A grand jury returned a true bill of Class X felony armed habitual criminal; felony unlawful use of a weapon by a felon; two felony counts of aggravated battery of a police officer; two felony counts of resisting police; and misdemeanor resisting arrest.

Bail was set at $100,000 which was posted by a “friend.”

In a separate matter, Essex is also awaiting trial in a case that has him facing twelve felony counts of aggravated battery to police and two felony counts of resisting.

Following Essex’s arrest last Friday, prosecutors did not bother filing a motion for violation of bail bond in either of his pending felony cases.

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About CWBChicago 4274 Articles
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