Pretrial release denied for man accused of tossing gun out car window during police pursuit in Willowbrook

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A motion for pretrial release was denied Oct. 11 for a Cook County man accused of throwing a loaded handgun out of a moving vehicle as he fled from police, authorities said.

Juwan Levingston, 40, of the 2000 block of South 23rd Avenue, Broadview, appeared at First Appearance Court, charged with one count of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, one count of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, one count of aggravated fleeing and eluding and one count of resisting or obstructing a police officer causing injury, according to a DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office news release.

About 7:06 p.m. Oct. 2, a Willowbrook police officer conducted a traffic stop on a car at Route 83 and 75th Street for having only one functioning headlight and expired license plates.

When police asked the driver of the vehicle, later identified as Levingston, for his license and proof of insurance, Levingston allegedly sped away. He was located a short time later in the 6200 block of Kingery Highway and police again attempted to conduct a traffic stop at Kingery Highway and Interstate 88. Instead of pulling over, Levingston again sped away from police, according to the release.

As police pursued Levingston, he allegedly threw a loaded Glock 44 .22 caliber handgun out of the window onto Roosevelt Road. While on Roosevelt Road and after being boxed in by authorities, Levingston stopped his vehicle, exited his car and fled on foot across the westbound lanes of Roosevelt Road, according to the release.

An officer with the Hinsdale Police Department followed Levingston on foot across the road and was struck by another vehicle, causing the officer to somersault to the ground. The officer continued the foot pursuit and was able to take Levingston into custody a short time later at Brush Hill Drive and Atrium Way, according to the release.

The officer suffered minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital for medical attention. He has since been released. Levingston was transported to a local hospital after making suicidal statements. He has since been transported to the DuPage County jail.

“Most importantly, we are all grateful that the officer involved in this incident did not sustain serious injuries,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in the release. “His efforts in apprehending the defendant in this case after he had been struck by a vehicle are a testament to DuPage County law enforcement’s commitment to public safety.

“I have been saying the past several months that not pulling over for law enforcement puts the officers involved at risk. Unfortunately, that risk became reality in this case as Mr. Levingston’s alleged refusal to pull over caused injury to a Hinsdale police officer. Judge [Joshua] Dieden’s ruling to deny Mr. Levingston pretrial release sends the unmistakable message that in DuPage County, we take these types of cases, particularly if an officer is injured, very seriously.”

“The alleged reckless conduct of the accused demonstrates that he has no concern for public safety or our law enforcement officers,” Willowbrook Chief of Police Lauren Kaspar said in the release. “I want to commend the officers of both the Willowbrook and Hinsdale Police departments in their diligent efforts ensuring an apprehension was made.”

Levingston’s next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 25 for arraignment.