Joseph Igartua, allegedly angry with the Democratic mayor over parking citations, drove past her home over a dozen times and fired a gun nearby.
A man has been charged with stalking Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and firing a weapon near her home, according to prosecutors.
The Cook County state attorney’s office stated that Joseph Igartua has been charged with three felony counts of stalking, plus earned another for reckless discharge of a firearm, Fox 32 reported.
Igartua, 37, was allegedly angry with Mayor Lightfoot over parking citations and reportedly took his harassment to her home, sources from the police department told The Chicago Sun-Times. Between the period of Monday, Jan. 17 and this past Monday, he drove past her Logan home 15 times in a black truck, his navigations caught on tape by Chicago license plate readers.
His alleged harassment escalated after attempting to deliver a “rambling” letter to the Democratic mayor Sunday, but police prevented him from doing so. Prosecutors further allege that he was found with a loaded firearm on his person, but the gun was returned to him because he had a license to carry a concealed weapon and valid FOID. However, that was later revealed to have expired.
Igartua was told not to return to Lightfoot’s home, but he went back again on Monday, parking next to her garage, according to prosecutors, and getting cited for speeding after being stopped by officers.
He once again returned on Wednesday at around 5:30 a.m. and was caught on surveillance camera driving near the mayor’s home, where officers heard at least five gunshots on the 2500 block of North Tripp Avenue, a mile from where Lightfoot lives. Prosecutors claimed Igartua was seen driving away and was later taken into custody at a gas station.
The police report stated that a 9mm Glock was found in his possession, as claimed by 5 Chicago. The 9mm shell casings found at the scene matched those from Igartua’s gun.
Judge Maryam Ahmad ordered Igartua to stay away from Lightfoot during a bond hearing on Thursday, and to surrender all his guns. She held him without bond.
Lightfoot released a statement decrying what happened and hoped the incident could be one that the public could learn from. “We simply cannot lose sight of our individual and collective humanity. We need to model the behavior that we want our children to copy,” it read in part.
The mayor spoke exclusively to ABC7 about the incident in an interview. “Somebody coming to my house with a loaded weapon? That is scary,” Lightfoot told the outlet. “I’m not gonna sugarcoat that. It’s been terrifying.”
NEW: Statement From @chicagosmayor Regarding Man Accused of Stalking:
"We simply cannot lose sight of our individual and collective humanity. We need to model the behavior that we want our children to copy." pic.twitter.com/3N6RF3FQR3
— Ryan Johnson (@Ryan_Johnson) February 17, 2022
At the time of the alleged attack, Mayor Lightfoot was at home with her wife Amy Eshleman and daughter Vivian.
“I don’t need my child being afraid in her house,” Lightfoot said. “It’s bad enough what my wife and I have been enduring these days.”
The mayor described herself as being “tough” but allowed that “ when you have somebody come to your house with a loaded gun and then repeatedly come by, it’s scary.”
Lightfoot became the 56th mayor of Chicago in May 2019 as the first Black woman and openly gay politician to hold that office. Her administration has been under stress due to the spike in violence and COVID restrictions, theGrio previously reported.
Lightfoot said she wished that those differences would not lead to violence.
“This demonization of people just because they have a different set of ideas, we’ve got to get back to seeing each other as human,” Lightfoot said.
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