In September, we told you about Antonio Gonzalez after cops allegedly caught him driving a car that was taken in an armed carjacking — while he was on bond for a felony gun case. After our story ran, Gonzalez paid a $1,000 deposit to get out of jail on electronic monitoring.
Then, last month, he allegedly cut his ankle monitor off and went missing. Monday, prosecutors say, Gonzalez stole another car and ran over a cop who was trying to take him into custody for investigation of a murder that had just occurred. The cop’s partner was also injured.
Prosecutors on Thursday charged Gonzalez, 19, with attempted murder of a police officer and other felonies. He is now the 18th person charged with killing or shooting — or trying to shoot or kill — someone in Chicago this year while awaiting trial for a felony. The alleged crimes involve at least 39 victims, eight of whom died.
A gun, a stolen car, an escape
On May 29, 2021, Gonzalez was allegedly the front seat passenger of a car that police pulled over for a traffic violation. When cops arrested the driver for not having a license, officers searched the vehicle and found a loaded handgun in a bag that Gonzalez admitted to owning, prosecutors said.
Then, in late September, two armed men forced a woman and her mother from a Chevy Equinox on the 4400 block of South Keeler in Archer Heights, according to a CPD report. The women described the hijackers only as two Hispanic men wearing black hoodies.
CPD’s hijacking team spotted the stolen SUV in the Loop less than two hours later, and police tried to pull it over. Gonzalez was behind the wheel. He popped a U-turn and drove onto the sidewalk before cops brought the car to a stop on the 1100 block of South Michigan, prosecutors said.
But the carjacking victim couldn’t say for sure that Gonzalez was one of the hijackers, so prosecutors charged him possessing a stolen motor vehicle instead of vehicular hijacking. Judge David Navarro allowed him to go home on electronic monitoring upon posting of a $1,000 deposit. Gonzalez walked out of jail on November 2.
On April 27, prosecutors say, Gonzalez cut off his ankle monitor and disappeared. Sheriff’s police found the GPS device in a garbage can. A judge issued a warrant for his arrest.
Gonzalez popped up again on Monday. Prosecutors say he was riding in the back seat of a stolen car that was occupied by three other people. As the car rolled along the 5100 block of South Elizabeth, the other back seat passenger opened fire on a man who was standing next to his car outside a school at 3:27 p.m.
School employees tried to save Justin Gamino, who recently turned 21. He didn’t make it. Prosecutors say Gamino was unarmed and there are no indications he ever had a gun. His family said he was going to graduate high school next month. He leaves a 2-year-old daughter behind.
The stolen car sped away and crashed a short time later. All four occupants ran. Cops caught three of them, including the alleged gunman.
But Gonzalez ran to Damen Avenue and jumped into a car that had been left running with the keys inside, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said. While two cops wearing full CPD uniforms tried to pull Gonzalez from the driver’s seat, the car’s owner reached into the front passenger seat to rescue his dog.
Gonzalez hit the accelerator throwing both cops to the ground, Murphy said. The car’s back tire rolled over one officer’s leg, side and arm. She suffered a concussion and a fractured wrist. Murphy said there were tire marks on her uniform and left bicep. Her partner, also a woman, suffered abrasions on her hands and arm.
It was all captured on the officers’ body cameras, Murphy said.
Officers caught up with the stolen car and Gonzalez bailed out, running into a forest preserve, according to Murphy. They arrested him there.
He’s charged with attempted first-degree murder of a peace officer, aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, aggravated battery of a peace officer, and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.
Judge Mary Marubio ordered him held without bail on the new charges. She also ordered him held without bail on the previous stolen vehicle case, held without bail on the pending gun charge, and held in lieu of $250,000 for escape.
Police charged the other back seat passenger, Isaac Corona, 25, with first-degree murder for allegedly killing Justin Gamino. We’ll be telling you more about Corona in a separate story.
Two juveniles who were in the front seats of the car when Gamino was shot also face charges. The alleged driver, a 17-year-old boy, is charged with possessing a stolen motor vehicle, fleeing-eluding, and resisting police. A 16-year-old boy is charged with resisting police and criminal trespass to vehicle, both misdemeanors.
The “not horrible” series
This report continues our coverage of individuals who have been accused of murder, attempted murder, or shooting firearms toward people while on bond for a pending felony case. CWBChicago began our series of reports in November 2019 after Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans publicly stated, “we haven’t had any horrible incidents occur” under the court’s bond reform initiative.
The actual number of murders and shootings committed by people on felony bail is undoubtedly much higher than the numbers seen here. Since 2017, CPD has made arrests in less than 5% of non-fatal shootings and 33% of murders, according to the city’s data. You can support CWBChicago’s work by becoming a subscriber today.