CHICAGO — A Venezuelan migrant who has been arrested four times since May is getting a real taste of Chicago-style justice: every single one of the cases has been dropped.
Harold Garcia Chirino, 19, first crossed paths with friendly Chicago police officers on May 17 in the Loop. A Nordstrom Rack employee told police Garcia tried to walk out with a jumpsuit and a jacket worth $138 from the store’s 24 North State location, prosecutors said during his bond hearing the next day. He was released on his own recognizance. Prosecutors dropped the case on July 3 because the store’s representative didn’t attend court.
A few weeks later, on the morning of August 17, police arrested Chirino across the street from the Standard Club migrant shelter. Officers said he got into a fistfight inside Pritzker Park “that could reasonably cause bodily injury to or endanger [the] safety of another.”
They charged him with reckless conduct and released him on his own recognizance.
He got arrested again while that case was pending. Employees at Ulta Beauty, 430 North Michigan, accused him of trying to shoplift merchandise worth $115. Once again, he was released from the station on his own recognizance.
Prosecutors dropped the Ulta Beauty case on its first day in court, October 18.
Six days later, on October 24, Chicago cops said they saw Garcia pop open the handicapped access gate at the Jackson Red Line station and head to the platform without paying the fare. They arrested him.
Last Thursday, he appeared before a judge who was scheduled to consider whether his pretrial release should be revoked because he allegedly committed a new offense while the reckless conduct case was still pending.
He need not have worried. Rather than argue for him to be detained, prosecutors dropped the reckless conduct case and the CTA fare infraction.
As of this writing, he has a clean record and no active court cases.