There is never a shortage of stories to tell about people being accused of heinous crimes while free on affordable bail or parole. But Tuesday’s bond court hearings in Chicago produced a cornucopia of examples. Legitimate turkeys of justice. We’ll be telling you about them today. Example one is available here and number three is here.
On March 10, police arrested 21-year-old Kamari Pleasant after allegedly finding a handgun in his car during a traffic stop. On November 2, he pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a weapon in exchange for a sentence of probation from Judge Carol Howard.
Nineteen days later, on November 21, Pleasant fired 19 rounds from an automatic-firing handgun at cops who were chasing him on the Far South Side, prosecutors said Tuesday. He’s now charged with three counts of attempted murder of a police officer.
“I’m quite certain Judge Howard will be interested in seeing you,” Judge John Lyke told Pleasant after hearing the latest allegations.
Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said police went to Fernwood Park in the Roseland neighborhood around 10 p.m. Saturday after a witness reported that three men were going into the park with guns to shoot gang rivals.
Upon arriving at the scene, officers saw a man sitting in a red car. As they began speaking with its driver, Pleasant, a 17-year-old, and another man walked out of the park, Murphy said. According to Murphy, the cops activated their squad car’s lights, and the three men turned around and ran back into the park.
The officers chased them, and all three men fired rounds at the cops — 25 shell casings were later found at the scene. But police did not fire a single round back at the men, Murphy said.
Officers took cover then continued their pursuit of the shooters.
“These are the real heroes,” Lyke said. “This is truly putting your lives on the line.”
Cops found Pleasant hiding under a pile of leaves, Murphy said. Nearby, officers allegedly found a handgun that had been converted to fully-automatic fire. It was equipped with a 22-round magazine. Tests revealed gunshot residue was on Pleasant’s hands, and 19 shell casings found in the park are “a ballistics match” to the gun, Murphy continued.
The juvenile was also arrested. His gun was jammed, and he may not have successfully fired any rounds, Murphy said. Six shots were apparently fired by the third gunman, who remains at large.
In addition to the attempted murder counts, prosecutors charged Pleasant with three counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm toward a police officer and being a felon in possession of a weapon.
Lyke reiterated Murphy’s claim that no police officers filed back at the gunmen.
“I’m blown away,” Lyke said. “[That] shows the utmost professionalism and training.”
He then ordered Pleasant held without bail.