A suburban man who’s accused of running onto the field during a White Sox game Friday evening got a good taste of Chicago’s judicial system priorities when a judge ordered him held on a higher bail than some accused gun offenders received during the same felony bond court session.
Now, you might think that judges in Chicago — where just under 1,000 people have been shot already this year, 178 fatally — might consider illegal gun possession to be a greater concern to the community than a Sox fan’s rollick across Guaranteed Rate Field. But Judge David Navarro apparently disagrees.
Navarro on Saturday ordered 19-year-old Liam Wolfer held in lieu of $5,000 bail on a charge of criminal trespass to a place of public amusement after prosecutors said the Plainfield resident dodged security officers while dashing from one foul pole to the other as the South Siders faced the Texas Rangers.
Wolfer, who prosecutors said has a pending misdemeanor DUI case in Will County, had to post a $500 deposit to get out of jail.
During the same hearing, Navarro released no fewer than three men accused of felony illegal gun possession on their own recognizance — no money down, according to court records. Navarro allowed three other alleged gun offenders to go home for the same amount Wolfer had to pay.
Another defendant during Saturday’s court session was allegedly caught on video as he looted a Walgreens in Old Town during widespread unrest on August 10, 2020. Navarro put him in the same class as Wolfer, too: $500 to go home.
The judge placed only slightly higher prices on the release of two men charged with more serious gun violations.
One, a three-time convicted felon, was charged with having a gun under his driver’s seat during a traffic stop. A CPD surveillance camera allegedly recorded the other as he fired a gun on the street. Navarro let them each go home for $1,000 — equal to two dashes across a baseball field, apparently.
Records maintained by CWBChicago show that at least 17 people have been charged with murder, attempted murder, or shooting someone while out of jail on affordable bail amounts set by Navarro since 2019. That’s far more than any of the other five judges who handle Chicago’s felony bond court hearings.
Ten of those alleged violent re-offenders were on bail for gun charges and two were awaiting trial for carjacking when they picked up the new allegations.