A Country Club Hills police officer was drinking at a friend’s house in March when he started firing his gun, sending bullets into a neighboring house and vehicle, and then tried to hide evidence of the shooting, Cook County prosecutors said Tuesday.
Officer John Silas is charged with reckless discharge of a firearm. In court Tuesday, Circuit Court Judge Darren Bowden ordered him held on $75,000 bail.
Prosecutors said Silas got off work March 8 and started drinking alcohol at a friend’s home in the 17000 block of Baker Street in Country Club Hills.
About 8 p.m., Silas pulled his semiautomatic service gun and fired several shots toward the ground, with one bullet going through the front window of a house across the street and lodging into a wall, according to prosecutors.
They said a resident of the house “had been sitting on a couch directly next to the front window just seconds before the bullet was fired” but was not injured.
The resident called 911, and police responded, finding the bullet in the wall and another inside a sport utility vehicle that was parked in the driveway of the house, prosecutors said.
Silas tried to cover up his involvement, later calling one of the investigating officers and asking him for a favor “by getting rid of evidence recovered from the home,” according to a statement from the state’s attorney’s office. “During a second phone call to the officer, Silas acknowledged that he was shooting bullets into the ground when one accidently went into the front window of the home across the street.”
The Illinois State Police Forensics Lab was able to confirm that the bullet in the wall was fired from Silas’ gun.
By Christina Haley
The trial of a former Northwest police officer charged with participating in the prostitution of a minor has been rescheduled for next month. No court reporter was available for the trial this week so the case was moved to Aug. 18, the next trial date in Brunswick County Superior Court.
he trial of a former Northwest police officer charged with participating in the prostitution of a minor is scheduled to begin Monday in Brunswick County Superior Court.
Michael Alan Hayes, 40, of Southport, was indicted by a grand jury on July 1, 2013, charged with participating in prostitution of a minor and submitting a false report to police.
Hayes, who served as a lieutenant in the Northwest Police Department in the small Brunswick County city of about 837 people, turned himself into the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office on the morning of May 15, 2013. He was released from jail under a $100,000 unsecured bond.
According to the indictment, Hayes is charged with participating in the prostitution of a minor for allegedly contacting a 17-year-old female via an advertisement on Craigslist. He reportedly met with the teen in Boiling Springs Lakes and exchanged $60 for sex acts.
Hayes is also charged with contacting Deputy James P. Canton, a Brunswick County sheriff’s deputy, on Nov. 27, 2012, and making a false statement concerning the source and circumstances of bullet strikes to his vehicle and hindering the investigation into the cause of the incident.
Hayes’ charges stem from an investigation into a web-based prostitution operation via social media websites, which the Boiling Spring Lakes Police Department began in November 2012.
According to Boiling Spring Lakes Police Chief Brad Shirley, who spoke about the investigation in May 2013, Hayes was a victim in an attempted robbery. His vehicle was shot during the robbery attempt on Reidsville Road in Boiling Spring Lakes on Nov. 27, 2012.
Hayes “did not report the incident to police and it was through the ongoing prostitution investigation that our investigator developed information, which was forwarded to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation for their assistance,” Shirley said in his initial statement about the case in 2013.
On May 6, 2013, the police department announced that Kyle Bradley Wolfe and Shawn Christopher Conley were arrested and charged with soliciting prostitution of a minor as a result of the investigation. The two suspects were also charged with attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon in connection with the November 2012 incident in which Hayes allegedly made a false report to Canton.
Conley, 21, and Wolfe, 22, both of Southport, were indicted on two counts of promoting prostitution of a minor and two counts of supervising, supporting or protecting minors for prostitution in June 2013. They were also indicted on charges of attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon and discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling or moving vehicle on Sept. 23, 2013.
Conley has since pleaded guilty in the case. In March, Conley pleaded guilty to one count of human trafficking of a minor. He was sentenced to 80-108 months in the N.C. Department of Corrections. According to Assistant District Attorney Daniel Thurston, multiple other charges against Conley were dismissed per the plea deal.
Wolfe has yet to face several charges in connection with the case, according to Thurston. He remains at the Brunswick County jail under an $845,500 secured bond.
Thurston has been assigned as the prosecutor in the State’s case against Hayes. Attorney Geoffrey Hosford will represent Hayes in the case.