A tow truck driver was arrested and police are searching for his passenger who discarded a handgun after shots were fired during a road rage incident early Sunday in west suburban Riverside.
About 3:45 a.m., officers curbed a 2000 Ford Wrecker tow truck, driven by 27-year-old Carlos D. Cregan, near First Avenue and 31st Street, according to a statement from Riverside police. The truck had suffered heavy front-end damage and the officers believed the vehicle had been involved in a crash.
While the officers were making the stop, a second tow truck pulled up and the driver told police that Cregan had been ramming his vehicle near Archer and Lavergne avenues. The driver also said that a passenger in Cregan’s vehicle had fired a handgun at him, police said. It was at this time that Cregan sped away.
Cregan’s truck, which had bullet holes in the cabin and quarter panels, was found abandoned near Maplewood Road just west of Woodside Road, police said.
Cregan was arrested a short time later when a Lyons police officer saw him walking down Woodside near Park Place and took him into custody at gunpoint, police said. He was positively identified by the driver of the second tow truck.
Cregan’s passenger, who had fired shots at the other truck, was not found, police said. The handgun was believed to have been discarded on Maplewood but, despite the assistance from the Brookfield Zoo Police Department’s Specialized K-9 Unit, was also not located.
The investigation revealed that Cregan, of the 6400 block of West 64th Place, had an active probation warrant out for his arrest in Cook County, police said.
He was ultimately charged in Riverside with violation of bail bond for the outstanding Cook County Sheriff’s probation violation warrant, police said. Chicago Police also charged him with several traffic offenses related to the hit-and-run and driving while on a suspended license.
Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel warned residents to keep an eye out for the discarded handgun.
“I encourage all our residents that live in the area of Woodside and Maplewood to make sure you talk to your children and if they should come across what looks like a handgun, to not touch it and report it either to the police or have their parents call police immediately so we can recover it and process the weapon for any evidentiary leads we may develop,” Weitzel said in the statement. “I want to stress it is also possible that the handgun was discarded somewhere along the path from Archer and Lavergne to 31st and First before both North Riverside and Riverside Police became involved in the situation.”