Police seized 4 guns in the first week of summer at North Avenue Beach, prosecutors say

Chicago police have arrested at least four adults for allegedly possessing firearms illegally at North Avenue Beach since Memorial Day, according to CPD and court records. All of the arrests involved separate incidents during afternoon and early evening hours.

Around 7:30 p.m. Saturday, police allegedly found a handgun in a man’s bag at a checkpoint near the beach entrance at 1600 North Lake Shore Drive.

Prosecutors said police at the checkpoint were inspecting bags of arriving beachgoers to ensure no alcohol, drugs, or guns were inside. Matthew Rivera, 21, of Oak Lawn, ran from the checkpoint after police found a loaded 40-caliber handgun inside a bag he presented for inspection, according to prosecutors. He’s charged with felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

Police inspect the bags at the entrance to North Avenue Beach in June 2021. | CPD

Judge Susana Ortiz set bail at $10,000 in the case, but she also ordered him held without bail for violating terms of his probation in a cannabis case.

About an hour later, officers responded to a call of a person with a gun who was involved in a fight near the beach boathouse. According to prosecutors, witnesses pointed toward Richard Humphrey-Lowe and told officers he threw a gun and an ammunition magazine into a nearby sand dune. Officers searched the sand and allegedly recovered both items. Other people who were involved in the initial altercation ran away when police found the gun, prosecutors said.

Humphrey-Lowe, 23, allegedly admitted that the gun is his and said he has a permit to carry a firearm in his home state of Arizona. A defense attorney said Humphrey-Lowe, who was visiting family and friends in Chicago, had never been arrested before.

Judge Ortiz ordered him held in lieu of $10,000 bail on a felony charge of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. She permitted him to return to Arizona after he posts a $1,000 bond deposit.

The other two arrests were made on May 31.

Around 4:30 p.m., police arrested Nicolas Lopez, 20, after stopping him because he matched the description of a person who was seen carrying a gun in a clutch bag, prosecutors said. Lopez, who lives in Lake County, is charged with felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a laser sight. Judge Marubio set his bond at $5,000. He went home by posting a $500 deposit.

At 6:40 p.m., police at the beach “smelled the strong odor of cannabis” coming from the area of 20-year-old Kyontez Toney, prosecutors said. When officers looked at Toney, they allegedly saw a loaded firearm with an extended ammunition magazine sticking out of his fanny pack.

Toney, who lives in Will County, is charged with felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. Judge Mary Marubio set his bail at $5,000.

“Honestly, count two should be wearing a fanny pack,” joked Marubio, who is an outspoken critic of using fanny packs as fashion accessories. However, the judge conceded, “that’s not a crime that’s recognized by the general assembly.”

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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