Chicago Gang Member Caught on CTA Platform with Loaded AK47

(Chicago Tribune) A West Garfield Park man who was found on a Lakeview CTA platform with a loaded AK-47 rifle strapped to his chest tried to conceal the weapon by wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, authorities said Sunday.

Jordan Watkins, 29, was arrested Saturday morning and ordered held on $150,000 bond Sunday by Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil at the Leighton Criminal Court Building. He was charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon by a parolee and felony armed habitual criminal issuance of warrant. Watkins is currently on parole in an unrelated case.

Officers responded to reports of a person with a gun on the CTA platform, 945 W. Belmont Ave., near Sheffield Avenue, and Watkins was found with a loaded rifle strapped to his chest and two magazine clips in his bag, prosecutors said. He was arrested about 6:25 a.m., according to police.

The stop serves the Red, Brown and Purple lines.

Family members say Watkins was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia as a child and is in need of medical attention. Octora Adams, 51, said her son was the victim of a shooting last month and was probably carrying the gun in self-defense.

“My son doesn’t just walk around with a gun. He is mentally disabled. That’s why I’m here in his defense,” Adams said. “I’m just thankful the police didn’t shoot him down when they found him. I’m thankful my son is alive.”

Adams said her son was shot once in the back and once in the arm near Chicago and Ridgeway avenues on June 17. A 29-year-old man suffered those injuries at that location on that day, according to police.

Watkins, of the 4600 block of West Adams Street, was released on parole in August 2016 after serving three years in prison as part of a six-year sentence for a 2013 armed robbery case, according to state records.

Prosecutors filed a motion to monitor the source of Watkins’ bail because they say he is a member of the Traveling Vice Lord street gang.

Article Org: chicagotribune.com

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