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Man charged in connection with June looting of Waukegan restaurant

Walter J. Brown Jr., 23, of Waukegan.

A Waukegan man was arrested last weekend after being charged with looting a Waukegan restaurant in June during the civil unrest, court records show.

Walter J. Brown Jr., 23, of the 2200 block of McKinley Avenue in Waukegan, was charged with one count of burglary, a Class 2 felony, and looting by individuals, a Class 4 felony.

An arrest warrant was issued on July 2 by a Lake County judge after Waukegan Police Department detectives identified Brown as a suspect.

The warrant alleges that Brown looted El Pechugon restaurant, located at 2829 Sunset Avenue in Waukegan, on June 1.

Catoni L. Collins, 24, was also charged with looting the same restaurant on June 1, according to court records. She has since pleaded not guilty.

The Gurnee Police Department arrested Brown on December 19 during an unrelated theft case in which he was charged with two counts of theft.

He remains held in the Lake County jail on a $100,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on January 12 for a preliminary hearing.

Aftermath of Metro PCS, 1320 North Lewis Avenue in Waukegan after it was damaged overnight on May 31 into June 1, 2020. | Photo: Waukegan 5th Ward Alderman Edith Newsome.

What started as peaceful protests in Lake County on May 31 over George Floyd’s death turned into looting and rioting during the overnight hours on June 1 in Waukegan and Beach Park.

There were 50 businesses looted, dozens of calls of shots fired and 15 people arrested, police said.

Waukegan Police Department Cmdr. Joe Florip said at the time that the majority of the police department was centered at Glen Flora Avenue and Lewis Avenue where there were violent rioters.

No police officers were injured; however, at least seven law enforcement vehicles were damaged — two Waukegan police cars and five Lake County sheriff squad cars.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said that they sent dozens of sheriff’s deputies to assist the Waukegan Police Department with hundreds of looters.

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One of five Lake County sheriff’s squad cars that was seriously damaged in Waukegan overnight on May 31 into June 1, 2020. | Provided photo.

Five Lake County Sheriff’s Office squad cars sustained significant damage from people who intentionally damaged the cars, the sheriff’s office said. Rioters threw rocks, bricks and bottles at police officers.

Waukegan police officers responded to over a dozen calls of shots fired during the night and one person showed up to an area hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg.

Florip also said that some of the approximately 50 businesses that were broken into or damaged were looted multiple times.

The following 15 people were arrested on June 1:

  • Jessica Arroya, 24, of Grayslake, for looting by an individual
  • Victoria Bradley, 49, of Waukegan, for resisting a peace officer, driving on a suspended or revoked license, and fleeing and eluding
  • Jodaviess Brown, 34, of Waukegan, for burglary
  • Ernesto Flores, 21, who has no given address, for trespassing
  • Modestey Hyatte, 20, of Park City, for burglary
  • Jasmaine James, 28, who has no given address, for disorderly conduct
  • Davel Johnson, 28, of Waukegan, for burglary and looting
  • Julius Mathews, 18, of Waukegan, for looting by an individual
  • Destini Miller, 27, of Waukegan, for looting by an individual
  • Michael Moreino, 44, of Waukegan, for criminal trespass and resisting arrest
  • Dwight Pritchett, 46, of Zion, for criminal damage, criminal trespass to property, obstructing and resisting a peace officer
  • Xania Ruiz, 19, of Waukegan, for disorderly conduct
  • Melinda Urbine, 26, of Waukegan, for looting by an individual
  • Albert Wilson, 29, of Zion, for theft
  • Santiago Zapata, 21, of Waukegan, for disorderly conduct

Additional suspects have since been charged after June 1; however, police have not released a full list of those people.


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