Supt. McCarthy helps arrest man with a gun in Austin - FOX 32 News Chicago

Supt. McCarthy helps arrest man with a gun in Austin

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Montrez Armstead, 23. Montrez Armstead, 23.
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

While patrolling with Chicago Police officers, Supt. Garry McCarthy helped arrest a man with a gun in the Austin neighborhood Tuesday -- exactly one year after McCarthy helped the same officers arrest another gunman in the West Side community.

Holiday celebrations were already winding down when McCarthy -- on patrol with Austin District officers William Riga and Christopher Cannata -- saw a car parked in a crosswalk in the 5500 block of West Congress Parkway about 1:30 a.m., Riga said.

"It's usually an area that's frequented by gang members as well as narcotics traffickers," Riga explained. It's a corner he and his partner frequently check while on patrol.

The officers pulled over the driver of the 1978 Oldsmobile for not wearing a seatbelt, and removed both people from the car after they saw a passenger reach down to the floor, Riga said.

As they spoke to the men at the back of the vehicle, McCarthy walked up to the passenger side window and looked inside, Riga recalled.

"As he leaned in, he was able to recover a Glock semiautomatic .40 caliber handgun which was loaded," Riga said. "It was sticking out from under the seat, in the passenger area."

It was one of 89 guns Chicago police recovered on New Year's Eve, police spokeswoman Melissa Stratton said in an email.

The arrest came exactly a year to the day after McCarthy backed up Riga and his partner in another New Year's Day gun arrest in the Austin community, the officer said.

According to Riga, the superintended happened to be in the Austin District that night and rushed to assist him and Cannata after they began chasing a young man shooting off a .44 Magnum with an eight-inch long barrel.

That suspect was arrested just after midnight near Augusta Boulevard and Latrobe Avenue, and was carrying another semiautomatic handgun, said Riga.

"The times that we've had interaction with [McCarthy] while working have been what you would expect from any other normal police officer," said Riga.

"You understand he's the superintendent and he runs the entire department, but you still know he's a police officer," Riga said.

Montrez Armstead, 23, of the 1400 block of North Lawndale Avenue, was charged with one felony count of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon following Tuesday's arrest, police said. A Cook County judge on Wednesday ordered Armstead held in lieu of $50,000.

"It's nice to take another gun off the streets because at the very least if it helps the members of the Austin community sleep safer at night we're doing our job," the officer said.

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