On bail for allegedly firing bullet that narrowly missed 10-year-old, man’s found with another gun, cash, and crack, prosecutors say

Juan Gonzalez | CPD

An 18-year-old man who narrowly missed shooting his 10-year-old brother while handling a gun in their West Ridge home in January — eight days after his mother said he was firing a gun in a separate incident — was found this week sleeping in a car with a loaded handgun, $4,000 cash, and 25 bags of suspected crack cocaine, prosecutors say.

When officers responded to a call of a person sleeping in a car on the 6400 block of North Normandy, they found Juan Gonzalez in the back seat with both doors open, police said. There was a loaded handgun under a sweater on the front passenger seat, according to prosecutors.

Cops found $4,000 in the glove box and bags of suspected crack in the driver’s door panel, prosecutors said. No one else was in the area, according to the allegations. Gonzalez laid claim to the cash, the state said.

He’s charged with unlawful possession of a handgun, possessing handgun without a valid Firearm Owner’s ID card, and possessing a controlled substance.

Judge Susan Ortiz set bail at $150,000 and ordered him to go onto electronic monitoring if he can post a 10% deposit. But she also ordered him held without bail for violating the terms of bond in a pending reckless discharge case.

In the pending case, Gonzalez grabbed a handgun from a closet in his family home on the 6700 block of North Artesian and began playing with it on a couch while the boy played video games at their dining room table, Assistant State’s Attorney Franka D’Antignac said during a January 22 bond hearing.

Suddenly the 10-year-old heard a loud pop and dove to the floor, D’Antignac. Gonzalez’s uncle and grandmother ran to the living room and found a hole in the ceiling, she said. The uncle allegedly told Gonzalez to clear the gun and put it back in the closet and the 18-year-old complied.

Family members called police to the scene, and officers recovered a loaded 9-millimeter handgun with a defaced serial number from the closet, D’Antignac said. An ammunition canister containing 78 rounds of ammunition and a loaded 45-caliber magazine were also seized, she said.

Gonzalez allegedly admitted to firing the gun and told police he did not know there was a round in the chamber.

Police said Gonzalez was wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet and was carrying $30 worth of crack and a Xanax pill when they arrested him.

Prosecutors charged him with reckless discharge of a firearm, possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number, aggravated assault, and two counts of possession of a controlled substance. Judge David Navarro set his bail at $100,000 and ordered him held without bail for violating the terms of bond in the case for which he was wearing the electronic monitoring bracelet.

That earlier pending case stems from an incident on January 12. Around 3:45 that morning, police responded to multiple calls of shots fired in the 6700 block of North Artesian, including one from a woman who identified herself as Gonzalez’s mother and said she thought her son was out of control, prosecutors said during a bond hearing the next day.

According to the allegations, other 911 callers said the shooter was a Hispanic man who was wearing an orange sweatshirt. Police met with Gonzalez’s mother, who said he had been drinking and taking pills and had a firearm in a closet, prosecutors said. Officers allegedly recovered a handgun from a storage closet in the family home and found Gonzalez, who was wearing an orange sweatshirt.

Prosecutors said Gonzalez admitted to taking pills and buying Xanax from a guy. Police allegedly found three Xanax pills and nine bullets in his pockets. But prosecutors did not charge Gonzalez with firing or possessing the firearm.

After hearing the allegations in the case on January 13, Judge Charles Beach emphasized that prosecutors only charged him with possessing bullets and three Xanax pills.

“I do note that a gun was confiscated, but there is no charge for that,” Beach said.

He released Gonzalez on a recognizance bond, ordered him to stay in the house from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., and required him to wear the electronic monitoring device.

While Judge Navarro set Gonzalez’s bail in the reckless discharge case at $100,000, another judge reduced bail to $40,000 on February 17. Gonzalez posted 10% of that amount to get him out of jail on May 12.

Please support CWBChicago’s reporting efforts with a contribution or subscription. Members-only perks await!