We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Due Process

From heraldnews.suntimes.com:

Two teens were arrested after reportedly shooting at people while riding their bikes Friday night.

Deputy Chief Mike Trafton [above] said police were called around 7:50 p.m. to Jackson and Herkimer streets with reports of two boys riding bicycles firing a rifle . . .

Officers went to check that location (again) and found two Joliet boys who were coming out of a house by the window.

“Because neither subject lived there and were exiting through the window, officers made a forced entry into the residence to do a protective sweep to make sure there were no victims inside,” Trafton said. There were none, but police reportedly saw a rifle, magazine and ammunition . . .

The rifle was later seized and has been reported stolen to Mendota police.

After questioning, both boys were charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a firearm by a street gang member, obstructing justice and unauthorized possession of ammunition.

One was also charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm and the other with reckless discharge of a firearm. Both were booked into the River Valley Juvenile Detention Center.


  1. avatar Chris Dumm says:

    “Protective Sweeps” like this are no more than a fishing expedition for evidence without a search warrant. Any ‘victims’ inside the house could have responded to a verbal hail from police, and a telephonic search warrant would only have taken a few minutes to obtain.

    Sadly, the cops will probably get away with it.

    1. avatar Chase says:

      I forgot how dead or unconscious people can yell back.

    2. avatar Jeff says:

      Protective sweeps aren’t just to find victims, they’re to ensure that random people who are inside the home don’t come out with a shotgun to confront officers while they are arresting their friends. I’m a 4th Amd. hawk, but protective sweeps make sense.

  2. avatar Auxin says:

    I’m trying to figure out the logistics of firing a rifle while riding a bicycle. Maybe they were just practicing a circus performance?

    1. avatar justin says:

      not the most bizarre story I’ve heard. My Best Friend’s dad was nearly killed by a (and I am not kidding) diranged 1 armed man with a lever action rifle while he(the shooter) was driving a car. My friend’s dad was lucky and the bullet hit the rear view mirror so he only got shrapnel wounds.

  3. avatar Kevin W. says:

    You know, I can’t help but think that I agree completely with the police on that one. Chase is right. What if there was someone who had passed out due to lack of blood, or someone who had been duct taped in a closet? I mean, it seems like the cops did just fine on this one. What’s the problem?

  4. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    I would have wanted the cops to search my house, because it would really suck if I was tied up or injured and they had to wait for a warrant.

  5. avatar RAN says:

    The news articles seemed poorly written.
    “but police reportedly saw a rifle, magazine and ammunition . . .
    The rifle was later seized and has been reported stolen to Mendota police.”
    Was this the rifle the boys had or a rifle they found while making the protective sweep? Who seized the rifle? The police? Who reported it stolen and when? Was it reported stolen by the owner, because the police had seized it, or are they trying to say that a stolen weapon report was made from a homeowner at a different location and that is the rifle the boys had?

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:


  6. avatar Phil says:

    I never thought good ole’ Joliet would pop up on this site. I’ve been a resident here all my life, and I can tell you the cops out here are pretty legit. Professional, but respectful and reasonable. They don’t act like the stormtroopers you encounter in some places. We may be only 45 minutes from Chicago, but it is like night and day when it comes to the cops, I can assure you.

    Anyway, I agree that all of this sounds perfectly reasonable to me. I don’t see what the problem is.

    First up on the whole riding bikes and shooting thing, from what I’m reading the reports said the boys were firing a rifle…key word there is reports. As in, whoever called 911 reported this. The officers didn’t witness this, and we all know how clueless the average person can be when it comes to providing an accurate report. Not to mention the fact that it doesn’t necessarily say that the boys were firing the rifle while riding at the same time. It just sounds that way as it is written.

    As for the search without a warrant, given the circumstances it all sounds perfectly justified to me. As other posters have said, for all the officers knew the boys were leaving a house where they had just robbed and assaulted someone. Given the circumstances I agree with their actions. I’m just glad to see that nobody was hurt, and that they recovered a stolen firearm. Interesting that it comes from Mendota, which is a pretty small town that’s a good 60-70 miles West of here. Just more evidence to show that stolen guns move and that law-abiding firearms owners are not the problem.

    On a side note, that is a pretty shady section of town. High crime. I’m sure the neighborhood had something to do with the officers actions as well.

    1. avatar Leo Atrox says:

      Do you have a mullet and wear a NASCAR jacket? I’m just jerking your chain …

      I was down in Joliet last year for the Warrior Dash at CPX, then stopped by Hooters for lunch. Good fun there in Joliet. Maybe I’ll check out a race someday. My impression of the town was that it was a nice town, and there was no sign of anything deserving of that “redneck” reputation it has in Chicago … Except for the Speedway. But a race track does not a “redneck town” make.

      I didn’t run into any cops (except for the two who drove by our vehicle at the Speedway while my buddy and I were changing out of our muddy clothes) so I cannot comment on how the Po-Po are in Joliet.

  7. avatar Paul R says:

    Robert, I have to admit to a little confusion about this post. Are you suggesting that the officers should not have entered the house after the “suspects” were leaving from a window?

    What if the rifle shooters had shot someone inside or were burgling the joint? I obviously don’t know all the facts but if I were the homeowner bleeding inside I’m pretty sure I’d line LE to investigate; am I missing something?

  8. avatar Chris Dumm says:

    Police have used “Protective Sweeps” to search all sorts of places and objects that often have very little to do with the alleged crime being responded to.

    A telephonic search warrant would still take only a few minutes to obtain. And it has the advantage of protecting the constitutional guarantee that we shall not be disturbed in our homes or private affairs except upon a ahowing of probable cause to a neutral magistrate.

  9. avatar stateisevil says:

    Oh come on Robert, the 4th amendment is for pussies. Get down and lick boots to show how tough you are and how you’re part of the winning team.

  10. avatar WV Panhandler says:

    Since defendant “yutes” did not live in home they have no standing to raise search issue. Home owner would. Therefore “sweeping” home quickly was all good for owner: either he is rescued from injury caused by violent burglars OR owner is safe from any contraband found due to lack of warrant and no PC of crime being committed in home merely potential evidence of B&E. Any “plain view” contraband “obviously” result of “yutes”

  11. avatar JJ Swiontek says:

    “Protective Sweeps”. Interesting concept. Any evidence found by the police would not be admissible against the home owner but would be admissible against the “yutes”.

    I agree that the reporter did not write the report very well.

  12. avatar Phil says:

    The Herald News is a pretty lousy paper that has only gone downhill in recent years. There are a few good reporters/writers who occasionally write a decent story or article, otherwise the paper is pretty much crap. No surprise that this article was poorly written yet still published.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email