Off-duty cop among three arrested New Year’s in Burnham

2013-01-02T20:15:00Z Off-duty cop among three arrested New Year’s in BurnhamGregory Tejeda Times Correspondent
January 02, 2013 8:15 pm  • 

BURNHAM | An off-duty south suburban Phoenix police officer was among three arrested Tuesday when Burnham police Chief William Belos said he saw a group of men firing guns into the air for the New Year.

Belos said he was near 144th Street and Bensley Avenue about 12:05 a.m. Tuesday when he saw about eight men shooting their weapons into the air just after the new year began.

There have not been any reports of people wounded by the gunfire, nor property damage complaints.

“Not that we are aware of,” Belos said, adding when the men noticed him, they ran into a house.

Belos said he recognized three of them, and they face criminal charges.

William Willis, 30, and Jarvis McCann, 40, both of Chicago, are charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon, while Derrick Charles, 30, of Burnham, is charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Belos identified Charles as a police officer with the Phoenix Police Department, although he said Charles was not on duty at the time of the shooting incident. Phoenix officials Wednesday were not available to say anything about his status.

Belos also said the charges against Charles are misdemeanors that will be dealt with through administrative hearings in Burnham, while the charges against Willis and McCann will be addressed in the Cook County Circuit Court.

Among the weapons recovered were a .44 caliber revolver, a .40 caliber Glock pistol with a 30-round magazine and an M4 .223 caliber assault rifle, with Belos saying that proper ammunition for all those weapons also were recovered – along with spent shell casings from the shots that were fired.

Charles was released on his own recognizance by Tuesday, while Willis and McCann had to appear in court Wednesday at the Sixth District Cook County courthouse in Markham.

Bond for Willis was set at $10,000, while a $5,000 bond was set for McCann. The two are scheduled to appear in court again for preliminary hearings Jan. 23, said Andrew Conklin, a spokesman for the state’s attorney’s office.

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