CHICAGO — The era of cashless bail presents some interesting examples of how the law is applied in different Illinois counties. This week, a DuPage County judge jailed two women accused of passing fake $20 bills. Meanwhile, in Chicago, a Cook County judge recently released a man accused of shooting at someone.
Lately, we’ve even seen cases in which people accused of firing guns into the air are released from Chicago police stations without even seeing a judge.
In an interesting case, a Logan Square store employee is accused of shooting at a customer during a dispute over a refund.
Prosecutors filed a detention petition against 43-year-old Johnny Vera, saying he got into an argument with the 27-year-old customer, who was standing in the doorway of his smoke shop in the 3100 block of West Armitage on December 10.
They said the customer never fully entered the store, yet Vera pulled out a 9-millimeter handgun and pointed it at him. The customer bolted across the street and hid behind a car, according to prosecutors. A surveillance video allegedly showed Vera chasing him while pointing a gun in his direction.
Vera continued to yell at the man and fired one round at him, officials claim. The man was not injured, but he did call police.
In Vera’s arrest report, CPD officers said he “freely stated” that he pulled a gun from behind the counter, chased the man, and fired a round. Police recovered one shell casing at the scene.
Vera told the police he did not have a concealed carry license or a firearm owner’s ID card, according to the report.
Prosecutors charged him with Class X aggravated discharge of a firearm toward an occupied vehicle.
After hearing the allegations, Judge Kelly McCarthy rejected the state’s petition request. She sent Vera home with standard instructions to attend court and stay out of trouble.
One person who didn’t have to see a judge after being accused of firing a gun in Chicago is 58-year-old Robert Reed, a concealed carry holder.
According to a Chicago police arrest report, officers responding to a ShotSpotter gunfire alert on December 14 met with a woman who told them that her husband was chasing a man in the area.
The officers located Reed and asked if he shot a weapon toward anyone, to which he replied, “I shot it in the air,” the report continued. No injuries were reported.
Cops said they recovered the firearm from Reed’s kitchen drawer.
Reed was handed a court date and walked out of the police station less than five hours later, according to CPD records. He’s charged with reckless discharge of a firearm that endangers others.