CHICAGO — Two Latin Kings face felony gun charges after cops located them inside Wicker Park following a gang disturbance on Sunday evening, according to their Chicago police arrest reports.
Oscar Mejia of Berwyn and Marko Guardiola of the North Park neighborhood were released to await trial with nighttime curfews by Judge David Kelly. They are both 19.
Chicago police officers were patrolling the area following a “gang disturbance” near the 1200 block of North Damen that ended with seven or eight people walking into Wicker Park, the triangular park at Damen and Schiller that gives the surrounding neighborhood its name.
CPD surveillance camera operators contacted patrol units after they saw Mejia tuck a firearm into his waistband, according to the arrest reports. Officers said they planned a “coordinated approach” to confront the group, which had gathered near the park’s fountain around 8:30 p.m.
Police said Mejia ran away as cops converged on the group. They caught him and recovered a loaded handgun with an extended ammunition magazine from his waistband, prosecutors said.
Guardiola also ran away. Cops said they saw him reach into his waistband and throw something toward a tree as he fled. They caught him and recovered a 9-millimeter handgun from near the tree, according to his arrest report.
Notes in both men’s arrest reports state they are “self admitted Latin King, Damen and Crystal set.”
Prosecutors charged both of them with unlawful use of a weapon in a park, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon by a person younger than 21.
A 28-year-old man, Enrique Avila, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery after he “pushed and grabbed the arms” of two police officers who detained him for investigation, police said.
Police did not note a gang affiliation in his arrest report, but they did mention several of his tattoos, including a crown on his left hand, “LK” on his left wrist, and an upside-down 3-pronged pitchfork on his forehead.
Judge Kelly released him to await trial.