Strange headline, but nonetheless, true. A Gary Councilman (Ronald G. Brewer), who had his Lexus stolen, tracked the thieves back to Chicago where he caught up with them. He was accused of discharging his weapon at the teens, confining them against their will, and taking one of the teens back to Gary with him. The charges against him have all been dismissed after the former councilman completed a pretrial diversion program. It is unclear what that pretrial diversion was, but it very easily could have been an anger management program.
At the time of the incident, Brewer was the president of the Gary city council.
Where is the Crime?
There is no law that says you cannot track your stolen vehicle to the thieves and then attempt to forcibly retrieve it. However, in the process of retrieving a stolen vehicle, you cannot break the law. Even repo-men have to obey the law, so private citizens attempting to recover their stolen Lexus must, too.
According to police, Brewer discharged his weapon several times in a bid to frighten the teenagers and held them at gunpoint against their will. He also illegally detained one of the teenagers and brought him back to Gary.
It is not entirely clear from the article how Brewer handled the situation or where he went wrong, but police found enough cause to charge Brewer with several crimes related to the incident.
With due deference to the charging police, it would be illegal to discharge your weapon in city limits in Chicago. Further, to discharge your weapon in public like that would be considered reckless endangerment. So the idea that you can track down the car thieves, wave your gun around, fire a couple of shots, and then hold someone at gunpoint based only on the fact that they stole your car is unlikely. However, in this case, the defendant was successfully able to argue that he was overcome with rage when he decided to follow the car thieves. It is unclear how he tracked down his car, but if it had GPS like most modern cars, it would not have taken police much effort to find it.
In fact, the police would have expected the driver to report the crime and then wait for them to handle the situation with the evidence they had at their disposal, but the councilman wanted to handle the situation himself. That ultimately led to charges against him.
The court offered him a sweetheart deal to pass a six-month pretrial diversion program which he successfully completed. The charges were dropped after the completion of the program. In this case, the victims were not innocent.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you have been charged with a serious crime in the Chicago area, call Chicago criminal defense attorney David Freidberg today to schedule an appointment and discuss your options for successfully resolving the matter.