Chicago — Prosecutors say a Chicago man crashed into a CTA bus, threatened the bus driver with a gun, fled from police, spun donuts in a city park, then tossed a gun into the park’s lake as Chicago police closed in on him Sunday morning.
The police department’s dive team recovered the weapon.
During a bond hearing on Monday, Judge Kelly McCarthy held Leonardo Ruiz, 31, in lieu of $25,000 bail.
Ruiz sideswiped the CTA bus and then stopped in front of it in the 5100 block of South Ashland around 11:30 a.m., prosecutors said. Someone got off the bus to take pictures of Ruiz, but he hurried back to the bus after Ruiz pointed a gun at him.
Prosecutors said Ruiz drove away from the scene but circled back, got out of his car, and pointed the gun at the bus driver and the man who tried to take pictures earlier.
Once again, Ruiz drove away. And, once again, he drove by the scene as Chicago police were speaking with the bus driver.
He sped away from a patrol car that tried to pull him over. CPD supervisors ordered the cops to stop chasing him after he ran four stop signs, prosecutors said.
Another officer spotted Ruiz as he entered Sherman Park and started driving donuts in the field, prosecutors said. The police stopped Ruiz inside the park.
He got out of his car, yelled at police while pulling a gun from his jacket, and then threw the weapon into the lake, prosecutors said.
The gun slid across the ice and fell through an opening into the water.
CPD’s Marine Unit recovered the weapon, a loaded 9-millimeter ghost gun, from the water, officials said.
Ruiz only has one misdemeanor conviction in his background, prosecutors said.
He is now charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, aggravated fleeing, and misdemeanor aggravated assault of a transit employee.
Judge McCarthy said he must go on electronic monitoring if he posts his 10% bail bond.
Ruiz is not the first person accused of tossing a gun into a body of water as cops approached them.
Last May, a man allegedly tossed a gun into the Chicago River after pointing it toward security officers at Millennium Park. CPD divers retrieved the gun. He’s facing felony charges.
In October 2021, Juan Valle threw a loaded handgun toward Lake Michigan after witnesses reported seeing a man with a firearm near the Montrose Beach dog park. But the gun didn’t quite make it to the lake. Instead, it hit the ground, which caused the ammunition magazine to eject. Then, the gun and the magazine plopped into Lake Michigan, according to prosecutors.
CPD’s marine unit also recovered Valle’s firearm from the lake bed.
He pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm last fall in exchange for a four-year sentence.