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VIDEO: Suspect Claims He Forgot Guns Found In Chicago Hotel Room Were In His Bag

Chicago, IL – Bodycam video has been released of the arrest of an Iowa man who had illegal weapons in his hotel room with a view of the Navy Pier on 4th of July weekend (video below).

Chicago police responded to the W Hotel downtown on July 4 after a hotel employee reported having seen gun in one of the high-rise hotel’s waterfront rooms, WHO reported.

Bodycam video said that the officers approached the hotel room with hotel management, and that the hotel room door was opened by a woman who cooperated with all of the officers’ instructions.

Responding officers found two guns in the rooms, including a loaded semiautomatic handgun and a loaded semiautomatic rifle with a high-powered scope, and multiple extra magazines of ammunition, WHO reported.

“I told him ‘like dude this could have been a Las Vegas situation… we don’t know,’” one of the officers explained to a supervisor in the video.

Casteel told police that he had unpacked and repacked his gun bag for the trip and didn’t realize that he had left the guns and extra magazines in its pockets, WHO reported.

His defense attorney said that Casteel had brought his girlfriend to The Windy City for the holiday weekend to pop the question, the Associated Press reported.

Casteel told officers that when he discovered the guns and ammunition in his bag in the Chicago hotel room, he took the guns out of it and left them in the hotel room while he went to the beach with his girlfriend and their child, WHO reported.

He said he “didn’t mean to startle anyone,” the Associated Press reported.

Casteel expressed confusion about Illinois gun laws and said he had believed it was legal for him to have the guns in his possession, WHO reported.

Chicago police explained to the Iowan that Illinois gun laws differed greatly from his home state and arrested him.

Casteel was charged with two counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, WHO reported.

He did finally propose to his girlfriend after he was released from custody, the Associated Press reported.

Watch the incident unfold in the videos below:

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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