A Joliet police officer prevented a theft suspect from pulling a gun on him by putting him into a body lock before the man could retrieve a revolver from his sweatshirt pocket, Cmdr. Rich Demick said.
Deshawn T. Bew, 18, of 1107 Woodward, Joliet, was first spotted by off-duty Officer Michael Reilly as he was walking on Jefferson Street near Joyce Road on Dec. 31. Reilly recognized him from a flier identifying him as a theft suspect and alerted police, Demick said.
Officer Brian Lanton answered the call and observed that each time he drove toward Bew, the suspect would turn and head in the opposite direction, Demick said.
Eventually, Bew boarded a Pace bus and took it downtown to the Will County Courthouse, 14 W. Jefferson St. Lanton followed in his squad car, Demick said.
When the officer confronted Bew, the suspect reached into his pocket, prompting Lanton to move behind the man and put his arms around him before he couldn't take any further action, Demick said. When Lanton felt the gun's cylinder, he handcuffed Bew and arrested him on charges of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and possessing a firearm without a valid FOID card, he said.
Bew told police later that he found the gun when he was walking on Jefferson, Demick said.
Bew was also charged with felony theft stemming from a Dec. 13 incident in which he allegedly snatched the purse of a woman in the parking lot of the Ultra Foods store, 1590 N. Larkin Ave. In that case, the victim said Bew made off with her $1,200 Louis Vuitton handbag that contained a $50 Coach wallet and $2 cash, Demick said.
It was the flier seeking Bew's arrest for the purse snatching that Reilly remembered when he saw the suspect on Jefferson, Demick said.
Because Bew was out on bond for an unrelated retail theft arrest, he was also charged with a violation of his bail bond agreement. That means he will likely forfeit the bail money paid for his release in that case, Demick said.