4-time felon had stolen gun at Loop Red Line station (while on parole for robbing Macy’s), officials say

CHICAGO — Officials say a four-time convicted felon had a loaded, stolen firearm on a Red Line platform in the Loop on Saturday, just six months after he was paroled for robbing the flagship Macy’s store at gunpoint on the same block.

Deshawn Otis, 25, was detained to await trial by Judge Barbara Dawkins.

Chicago police officers said they were patrolling the State-Lake Red Line station, 188 North State, around 11:49 p.m. Saturday, when Otis stepped off a northbound train and started yelling, “Loud! Loud!”

That’s “a street term for announcing the solicitation of cannabis,” the officers wrote in Otis’ arrest report.

The cops approached him and asked him to take his right hand out of his jacket. Otis refused and tried to jump onto the tracks, according to the report.

Both cops grabbed Otis to prevent him from jumping onto the tracks, but he continued to resist, even as they pulled him back toward the platform, the officers wrote.

During the struggle, Otis allegedly tossed a loaded handgun onto the station platform. Prosecutors said CTA surveillance cameras recorded the incident.

Investigators later determined that the handgun was stolen from a vehicle in a parking garage in the 200 block of North Columbus on August 18, according to information in the report.

Deshawn Otis was arrested at the State-Lake Red Line station. | CWBChicago; Cook County sheriff’s office

Prosecutors charged him with Class X armed habitual criminal, misdemeanor resisting, and misdemeanor manufacture-delivery of cannabis.

State officials are reviewing his parole status in light of the new allegations. He was released from prison on May 12 after serving half of a nine-year sentence he received for the Macy’s robbery and escaping electronic monitoring.

On December 11, 2018, one month after he was paroled for yet another robbery in River North, Otis was part of a shoplifting crew that took men’s clothing into a changing room and hid it under their own clothes.

Macy’s security guards confronted the group on the State Street sidewalk.

One of the shoplifters pulled out a gun and pointed it at the head of a 32-year-old Macy’s employee.

“Shoot him! Shoot him!” Otis allegedly screamed at the armed man. The security guards backed away, and the gunman did not fire any shots, police said.

Otis and the gunman picked up stolen merchandise that had been dropped on the sidewalk and ran away. A police officer who had been tipped off about a man with a gun on the sidewalk caught Otis moments later. The gunman escaped.

At the time of the robbery, he was on parole for wielding a box cutter and ordering a 61-year-old man to “give me a dollar before I cut you” near State and Chicago.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com