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Superintendent McCarthy assists in arrest on West Side

Montrez Armstead / phofrom Chicago Police

Montrez Armstead / photo from Chicago Police

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Updated: January 1, 2013 7:45PM

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.”

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, McCarthy 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.

“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.

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