Prosecutors charged a Lakeview man on Thursday with shooting a gun into an occupied vehicle during a parking dispute in the West Loop earlier this month.
The alleged victim was riding in the back seat of an SUV with three other people when they came upon another driver who was trying to parallel park in the 1000 block of South Canal around 4 p.m. on July 10, Assistant State’s Attorney Zachary Peasall said. An argument broke out between the two drivers after the SUV’s driver laid on the horn while trying to pass the man who was parking, according to Peasall.
Moments later, as the SUV was stopped for a traffic signal, the driver who was trying to park approached the SUV while holding something that appeared to be a handgun, Peasall continued. He said the woman in the rear passenger side seat clearly saw the man and watched him “pull the top of the firearm back in a cocking motion while pointing the firearm at the rear passenger side window.”
Peasall claims the man then fired one shot into the rear passenger window from about 12 feet away. Although no one was shot, the back passenger window shattered, sending glass into the victim’s face, causing cuts.
Peasall said the gunman fled the scene, but witnesses gave cops his license plate number, which they traced to Michael Massimino, 45, of the 700 block of West Melrose. The injured woman identified Massimino in a photo line-up, Peasall said. Officers arrested Massimino at his home on Tuesday.
Prosecutors charged Massimino with aggravated discharge of a firearm into an occupied vehicle.
Purav Bhatt, Massimino’s private defense attorney, argued that police found no video of the alleged shooting and that no shell casings or projectiles were found at the scene.
The weapon “may have potentially been a BB gun if you accept the allegations,” Bhatt argued.
He said Massimino is married and lives with his wife and two children.
Judge Mary Marubio ordered Massimino to pay a $10,000 deposit toward his bail to get out of jail.
“There’s not a doubt in his mind that that vehicle would have been occupied,” Marubio said. “This case could have gone sideways.”