Rogers Park: 3 arrested, gun recovered at memorial service for car crash victims

Three men are facing felony charges after one of them was found carrying a handgun at a memorial service in Rogers Park for two men who died in a fiery car crash on Lake Shore Drive over the weekend, according to prosecutors.

Jatwaun Smith, 22, and Leroy Francis, 25, died after their car collided with a barrier and burst into flames near the S-curve at 1000 North Lake Shore Drive, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office and social media.

Both men were “middle to high-ranking” gang members based in the Rogers Park neighborhood, according to a police department source. Cops found a loaded handgun and a 30-round ammunition magazine at the crash site, according to a CPD report.

When friends and family members of the two men gathered for a memorial service Sunday evening in the 7700 block of North Paulina, police kept an eye on things via a nearby CPD surveillance camera, prosecutors said.

Around 5:20 p.m., the camera team allegedly saw 21-year-old Charles Moore concealing a firearm in his waistband. Patrol officers went to the scene and found a loaded 9-millimeter handgun with an extended ammunition magazine in Moore’s waistband during a search, according to prosecutors.

Left to right: Gary Norman, Charles Moore, and Anthony Morris | CPD

Moore is charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon. Judge Charles Beach ruled that he could get out of jail on electronic monitoring by posting a $500 deposit bond.

Two other men who allegedly tried to intervene in Moore’s arrest are charged with battering police and resisting arrest.

Gary Norman Jr., 26, punched an officer twice in the face and injured two other cops who tried to arrest him, prosecutors said. He’s charged with three felony counts of aggravated battery of a police officer and three counts of resisting police.

His attorney said the crash victims were Norman’s close friends.

Anthony Morris, 20, allegedly kicked an officer who was trying to arrest Norman. Prosecutors charged him with aggravated battery of a police officer and resisting police.

Morris’ defense attorney, Andrea Bonds, said the “incident escalated by police presence” and she read part of a statement that Ald. Maria Hadden (49th) released after the arrests were made: “I wish that people could gather to mourn and not have to worry about police coming to arrest anyone.”

Bonds omitted the next sentence of the alderman’s statement: “I also wish that people could gather to mourn and that no one would show up carrying weapons.”

Beach ruled that Morris can go home on an 11 p.m. to 1 p.m. curfew by posting a $500 deposit bond.

Norman was ordered held without bail on a parole violation warrant. State records show Norman was released from prison early after serving half of a one-year sentence for resisting police last year. Beach set bail for Norman in the new case at $100,000 and ordered him to go onto electronic monitoring if he can clear up the parole violation and post a $10,000 deposit bond.

The medical examiner ruled that Smith died from thermal- and crash-related injuries, but the office has not yet released a cause of death for Francis.

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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