Chicago — A man on bail for a felony gun case brought a firearm into a Boystown bar over the weekend and got caught because witnesses saw him drop the gun on the floor over and over again, prosecutors said Monday. When police confronted him, the weapon allegedly fell to the ground again.
Chicago police officers were paying particular attention to the Halsted Street bar strip due to the recent mass shooting at a gay bar in Colorado Springs, Assistant State’s Attorney Adam Sammarco said.
Just after midnight on Sunday, police received a call about a person with a gun inside a bar at 3359 North Halsted, according to Sammarco. That’s the address of Progress Bar. Another witness told police they saw the man drop a gun in the bar “multiple times,” but the man had left the bar by the time police arrived.
Police searched the area and found Rondell Armstead less than a block away from Progress. They stopped him because he matched the suspect’s description, Sammarco said.
As officers approached Armstead, he grabbed a woman and put her between himself and the police, according to Sammarco. The woman raised her hands in the air. Police moved closer and saw a loaded 9-millimeter handgun fall to the ground.
Armstead told the officers that he was “fighting another gun case, but that gun [that fell to the ground in front of police] was not him,” Sammarco alleged.
Cops returned to Progress and reviewed surveillance footage, which showed Armstead dropping an object on the ground next to the bar three times in less than four minutes, according to Sammarco. The video was not clear enough for cops to confirm that the object was a gun, but Sammarco described it as “L-shaped.”
When the object first fell to the floor, several people looked down as Armstead picked it up and placed it between his chest and arm, according to Sammarco. It fell again, and Armstead attempted to pass the object to someone else. According to Sammarco, it then fell to the floor a third time before Armstead tucked it back under his arm.
Armstead was on bail at the time for a felony gun possession charge that he picked up on September 24. Judge Mary Marubio held him without bail on Monday for violating bond in that case. On the new charges, he must post a $2,500 bail deposit and go on electronic monitoring, the judge said.