Iowa man arrested for having guns at Chicago hotel said he forgot they were in his bag
Iowa man arrested after guns and ammunition found in his Chicago hotel room said he forgot they were in his bag and “didn’t want to scare who whatever, ”according to police body camera footage released Thursday.
Keegan Casteel was arrested over the weekend of July 4 with a handgun and laser sight rifle, leading Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Police Superintendent David Brown to speculate that he might have had the intending to shoot crowds at Navy Pier from their hotel window, The Associated Press reported. .
Casteel’s attorney said he intended to propose to his girlfriend in Chicago rather than open fire on the crowd, and denounced Lightfoot and Brown’s suggestion as being without merit.
The lawyer, Jonathan Brayman, also claimed that Casteel, 32, may have brought the guns to feel safer in the city known to have high crime rates, the Associated Press reported. Casteel has been charged with two counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, but prosecutors said a grand jury will complete the review of his case.
For more Associated Press reporting, see below.
A message was left on Friday requesting comments from Casteel’s lawyer on the police body camera footage released on Thursday.
The weapons were found on the window sill of Casteel’s 12th-floor hotel room overlooking Ohio Street Beach and Navy Pier, a major tourist attraction.
“Why didn’t you leave your guns at home?” Asks an officer responding to Casteel in police footage.
Casteel responds that he forgot to remove all the guns from his shooting bag because he rushed after his son was injured and hospitalized the day before he left with his girlfriend and children for Chicago .
He said he took the guns and ammunition out of the bag and left them in the hotel room so he could use the bag at the beach.
“I didn’t expect anything to happen. I just left them there for the day. I went to the beach. I came back. I went shopping,” said Casteel to agents, also adding that he was planning to propose to his girlfriend.
“It’s my fault. I didn’t mean to scare anyone. I understand 100% why I’m here. But like I said, it’s an honest accident to God,” Casteel said.
Casteel was released on $ 10,000 bail after a judge reminded him that gun laws in Chicago are different from those in Iowa. When released from the police station, he proposed.