Chicago — An 18-year-old man was seated next to a pair of loaded AK-47 rifles in a stolen car before running into a Near North Side apartment building as Illinois State Police troopers and Chicago police moved in, prosecutors said Wednesday. The incident prompted a SWAT response by the Chicago Police Department on Tuesday afternoon.
Trevon Garland is charged with two counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, possession of a defaced firearm, and criminal trespass to a vehicle. Two other men are also in police custody, and detectives are working to build video evidence against them, according to a source.
The incident began around 3:43 p.m. when troopers tried to pull over a stolen Infiniti, and its driver sped away, leading police on a chase up the Dan Ryan Expressway, onto Lake Shore Drive, and then into Old Town on North Avenue, prosecutor Adam Sammarco said.
As a state police airplane crew kept an eye on the vehicle, four men bailed out and ran into an apartment complex in the 1100 block of North Wells. Surveillance video showed the men running through the lobby wearing ski masks and making their way to the 12th floor, where apartments are rented out on a short-term basis, similar to hotel rooms.
Police found two AK-47s on the driver’s side of the rear seat, where Garland exited, Sammarco said.
Shortly after entering the 12th-floor apartment, two men, but not Garland, stepped back out of the room and were captured on video as they apparently dumped four guns down a trash chute, according to Sammarco. About ten minutes after the firearms were dumped, cops recovered the weapons from a trash bin at the bottom of the chute along with a bag of ammunition and the stolen car’s key fob, according to Sammarco.
Officers arrested Garland in the lobby of an apartment building across the street from the high-rise where the car’s occupants allegedly fled, Sammarco said. Police allegedly found a room key to the 12th-floor rental unit in his possession.
Garland’s public defender said he lives with his family and is planning to earn his GED. He volunteers to help his needy neighbors with lawncare, too, the attorney said.
Judge Susana Ortiz ordered Garland to pay a $3,000 deposit toward bail to go home on electronic monitoring.