Loop: Man With Gun Arrested On Bus After CTA Driver Uses “Shooting Gestures” To Summon Cops On Patrol

Joseph Ryan was arrested Tuesday morning in the Loop, police said. | spablab

A CTA bus driver who had a man with a gun on his bus summoned help from police on Tuesday by making shooting gestures at passing patrol officers in the Loop, police said.

Cops saw the driver making gun gestures and pointing behind him as the bus rolled through the 400 block of South Michigan around 10 a.m. Officers boarded the bus and saw 39-year-old convicted felon Joseph Ryan sitting directly behind the driver, police said.

Ryan, 39, was pulled off the bus and cops listened to the driver’s story:

He said he was in the parking lot of a McDonalds on 79th Street when Ryan approached him, pulled a gun from a backpack and said, “you owe me $100. You’re going to give me $100 or I’ll blow your brains out.”

This is the actual gun that police say Ryan was carrying aboard the bus. | Chicago Police Department

The driver, 36, invited Ryan to “ride with me to sort it out.”

Both men boarded the bus and the driver started heading toward the Loop, police said.

Officer said they found Ryan in possession of an unloaded revolver with an 8-inch barrel.

Prosecutors charged Ryan with felony unlawful use of a weapon, misdemeanor reckless conduct, and misdemeanor possession of a firearm without a Firearm Owner ID card. Ryan’s bail was set at $50,000 by Judge Stephanie Miller. He will be required to go onto electronic monitoring if he posts bond.

The driver refused to sign complaints against Ryan, but the state pursued the weapons charges and a CTA supervisor signed a complaint for reckless conduct, according to court papers.

Lavontay Bell was arrested in the 800 block of North Cambridge on Wednesday. | CPD

Another Near North Gun Arrest

Just five days after a man was arrested with a handgun following gunfire in the 800 block of North Cambridge, Chicago police on Wednesday arrested another man with a gun on the same block, police say.

Officers responding to a call of a man sitting with a gun shortly before 3 p.m. saw a man running from the scene and jumping a fence. A sergeant saw the man throw something into an alley, police said.

The running man, 23-year-old Lavontay Bell, was caught by police. On top of a fence in the alley, cops found a loaded handgun, a bag containing 18 small baggies of suspected crack, and a bag containing seven small baggies of suspected heroin, according to police records.

Back at the patio where the 911 caller initially saw the man with the gun, cops found another bag that contained 25 small baggies of suspected cocaine.

Bell is charged with felony aggravated unlawful used of a loaded firearm and two felony counts of possession of a controlled substance. He was not charged in connection with the drugs found on the patio. Bell’s bail was set at $50,000 by Judge John Lyke. He will be required to go onto electronic monitoring if he posts bail.

Police said Bell is a member of the Gangster Disciples street gang.

In 2012, Bell received six months probation for illegally possessing a handgun in the 3200 block of North Clark near Boystown, according to court records.

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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 news@cwbchicago.com