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Police: Parolee caught throwing away gun in Evanston

Valgas D. Etheard | Evanston police

A parolee is facing multiple weapons charges after police caught him throwing a handgun under a bush Wednesday night in north suburban Evanston.

Evanston police officers on patrol in the 300 block of Howard Street spotted 22-year-old Valgas D. Etheard riding a bicycle and “adjusting an object in his waistband,” according to a statement from Evanston police. They tried to question him near Howard and Marshfield in Chicago, but he began to ride away northbound on Marshfield.

He fell off the bike in the 7600 block of North Marshfield and ran westbound on foot, police said. The officers saw him duck down near a bush make a “throwing motion” and then get up and run southbound toward the officers.

An officer feared that he was about to be battered and used his Taser on Etheard, police said. He was taken into custody and investigators recovered a Lorcin .25-caliber handgun from the bushes.

Etheard, of the 7200 block of North Claremont, was charged with a felony count of being an armed habitual offender, two felony counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, two misdemeanor counts of possession of a firearm and ammunition without a FOID card and a misdemeanor count of obstructing a police officer, police said. He was on parole at the time of his arrest and was also charged with a parole violation.

Etheard has two previous convictions for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records. Most recently, he was sentenced to four years in prison for a June 2015 conviction and was released on parole Dec. 3, 2015.

A handgun was recovered near the scene of Etheard’s arrest Wednesday night in Evanston. | Evanston police
A handgun was recovered near the scene of Etheard’s arrest Wednesday night in Evanston. | Evanston police