Chicago Police Officers Make First Gun-Related Arrest Two Minutes Into 2019

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
January 2, 2019US News
Chicago Police Officers Make First Gun-Related Arrest Two Minutes Into 2019
Darrell Rhyme, 23, was caught shortly after midnight on New Year's Eve with a stolen gun, the Chicago Police Department said. (Chicago Police Department)

Chicago police officers made the first gun-related arrest in the city just two minutes after the new year started.

Darrell Rhyme, 23, was found to be in possession of a stolen gun and was arrested after a brief chase.

Police officers pulled over a vehicle that Rhyme was riding in at 12:01 a.m. in the West Woodlawn neighborhood on the South Side and told him to stay in the car but he fled.

He was caught after a short chase, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.

Anthony Guglielmi, a Chicago Police Department spokesman, said on Twitter: “2 minutes into 2019, Chicago Police recovered the 1st illegal gun of the year & arrested a repeat gun offender for gun possession.”

He said that Rhyme had been charged in June 2018 for having a gun and “being an armed habitual criminal.”

Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson held a press conference shortly after Rhyme was arrested.

He told reporters that the police are working on strengthening their tactics to arrest criminals.

“These officers are doing exactly what we ask them to do, two minutes after the near year comes in and there you go, the first illegal weapon,” he said, reported WGN-TV.

“Last year, we recovered over 9600 illegal weapons off the streets of Chicago. The most dangerous thing these officers can do is take an illegal weapon off our streets.”

If the gun wasn’t recovered from Rhyme it could have been used to commit crimes, officials added.

Rhyme now faces one felony count of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and one felony count of possessing a stolen firearm. He was released on bond.

Chicago police superintendent
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson speaks about a weekend of gun violence during a news conference at the Chicago Police Department 6th District station, on Aug. 6, 2018. (Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

First Shooting Victim of 2019 a 12-Year-Old Boy

Around the time the arrest was made the first shooting of the year in the crime-ridden city took place.

Javonta Schafer was hit by a bullet while he was looking out of a window at his house in the 6500 block of South Union Street.

“He came running down screaming, ‘Grandma, I’m shot,’ and I didn’t know where he was shot at,” grandmother Monica Schaefer told WLS.

The boy was hit in the hand and was taken to a hospital;  he was expected to recover.

“It was crazy,” Schaefer said. “It was crazy because he was hysterical and I was too.”

Police officials said they had not found the shooter.

Data from the Chicago Police Department released near the end of the year indicated that the murder rate was down for the second straight year, but the nation’s “murder capital” was still the site of more murders than the combined killings in New York City and Los Angeles, the No. 1 and No. 2 largest U.S. cities, respectively, reported The Epoch Times.

In addition to the decrease in murders, other crimes such as burglaries and motor vehicle thefts and carjackings all decreased in 2018 from 2017.

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