Man charged with leaving bag of weapons in Vernon Hills park

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Michael Latona | Vernon Hills police

A man who allegedly left a bag full of weapons, including a gun, stun gun and ammunition, in a north suburban park has been arrested and is being held on a $500,000 bond.

Michael Latona, 23, is charged with two counts of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, and one count each of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, possession of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, according to Vernon Hills police.

The bag was discovered on the ground in Deerpath Park at 299 Onwentsia Rd. on the morning of Feb. 9 by a park district employee, police said.

The employee saw the contents of the bag included a firearm, ammunition, a stun gun and two knives; and immediately called police.

Investigators identified Latona by evidence in the bag that was processed by the Northeastern Illinois Regional Crime Lab, police said. They also learned he had tried to purchase a handgun and silencer.

“We’re extremely pleased that our investigators were able to solve this rather unusual mystery,” Vernon Hills Police Chief Mark Fleischhauer said in the statement.

On Thursday, Latona was ordered held on a $500,000 bond.

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