While city officials have talked a big game about cracking down on the stunt-driving circuses, few arrests have been made.
At last weekend’s sideshow on Lower Wacker Drive, two adults were arrested. Mauricio Huerta, 19, was charged with fleeing or attempting to elude police, obstruction of traffic, and driving without ever being issued a license, according to CPD arrest records, and Denys Schesnyak, 18, was charged with mob action.
Inspired by last weekend’s video, we decided to see if we could find any other recent sideshow arrests and also figure out what happened to participants who’ve faced charges in the past.
Probation for four felonies
As it turned out, most sideshow arrests we’ve covered are still pending in court. But one of them, coincidentally, wrapped up two days before last weekend’s incident in the Loop.
In November 2022, Demetrian Perez was one of two men charged with felonies after Chicago cops arrested them at a sideshow in the 4300 block of South Pulaski.
About 200 cars were involved in the meet-up. Spectators threw vehicle parts and beer bottles at CPD squad cars, officials said.
At one point, Perez allegedly put his vehicle in reverse to try to hit a squad car following him with its lights and sirens activated. Prosecutors said he missed the police car but struck another vehicle.
Once Perez finally pulled over, he again put his car in reverse and accelerated toward an officer at high speed, prosecutors said. The cop moved out of the way and took shelter behind another vehicle while Perez allegedly slammed into another occupied squad.
Arrested and charged with multiple felonies, Perez has been on electronic monitoring ever since.
Last Thursday, he pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated assault of a police officer and criminal damage to government property, all felonies, in exchange for two years of probation from Judge Stanley Sacks, court records show.
Prosecutors dropped felony mob action and a second criminal damage charge in the plea deal.
Chicago cops arrested three 19-year-old men at a sideshow near 118th and Halsted on September 24.
Gabriel Angulo and Casey Kowalczyk, both of Melrose Park, and Daniel Diaz, whose hometown was not available, were each charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon, according to court records.
In their arrest reports, police said officers were dispersing a drag-racing crowd when they saw Diaz running with the handle of a firearm sticking out of his waistband. He jumped into the back seat of a nearby Ford Escape, police said.
Kowalczyk was in the car’s driver’s seat. Police said he had a loaded gun tucked into his waistband.
Angulo, the front-seat passenger, allegedly exited the car and ran while clutching his waistband and holding a gun in his right hand. Police said he dropped the weapon when a car nearly struck him.
According to court records, Judge Charles Beach released all three men later that day with nighttime curfews.
Chicago police said they recovered another gun during a motorcycle and dirt bike takeover in River North on September 21.
Officers responding to calls of up to 40 motorcycles “blocking traffic and performing burn outs” in the 300 block of North State found “multiple motorcycles” stopped in the traffic lanes, a CPD arrest report said.
Cops who stopped Connor Castaneda, 21, of Plainfield, for not having plates on his motorcycle asked him if he had any weapons. According to the report, he admitted to having a firearm in his backpack. Police recovered a holstered .40 caliber pistol from the bag, the report said.
Castaneda is licensed to own guns in Illinois, but he does not have a concealed carry license, according to police. He’s charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon and attempting to flee or elude police.
Judge Maryam Ahmad released him to await trial.