Cops: Man with 3 previous gun convictions is found with gun near Lakefront Trail

Police who responded to calls of a man accosting women on the Lakefront Trail downtown ended up arresting a suspect who was carrying a handgun in his backpack, according to prosecutors.

Schatabeus Heard, age 41, is charged with being a felon in possession of a weapon. Prosecutors said they will be upgrading the charge to Class X felony armed habitual criminal based on Heard’s three previous gun convictions.

Schatabeus Heard | CPD

“All I ever did was try to protect my life from being on the streets of Chicago,” Heard said during bond court, against the advice of his defense attorney.

Several women reported encountering a man who was acting aggressively on the bike trail near Monroe Harbor around 11 a.m. Tuesday. Police officers who were monitoring CPD surveillance cameras directed patrol units to Heard, who matched the descriptions provided by 911 callers, prosecutors said.

Heard ran up a ramp onto Lakeshore Drive, threw a backpack onto a parking lot below, and tried to escape, according to police. Officers arrested him nearby. Cops found a loaded handgun in the bag that Heard allegedly ditched.

Following his arrest, Heard told officers that he needed the gun for protection, but said he didn’t hurt anyone with it, according to prosecutors.

Heard has five felony convictions, including gun cases in 1999, 2002, and 2009, prosecutors said.

Judge John Lyke ordered him held in lieu of  $75,000 bail and ordered Heard to go onto electronic monitoring if he can post the $7,500 deposit bond.

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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