A Highland Park man is being held on a $100,000 bond after he was found with a loaded defaced gun after being involved in a confrontation that left a man dead along Lake Michigan near Highland Park.
Nicholas M. Caban, 20, of the 3400 block of Dato Avenue in Highland Park, was charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm without a serial number, a Class 3 felony.
Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Caitlin Valiulis said during a bond hearing Monday that a person was walking on Fort Sheridan Beach when they found a deceased man around 5 a.m. Saturday.
The Highland Park Police Department responded to the call in the 0-100 block of Cliff Road in Highland Park.
Officers arrived and confirmed an adult male was deceased near the shoreline of Lake Michigan, police said.
Lake County Major Crime Task Force Spokesman Christopher Covelli said that the deceased man was 45 years old and lives in the area.
The man went outside around 1 a.m. Saturday to speak with Caban and an 18-year-old, who were being loud at Fort Sheridan Beach.
Covelli said the 45-year-old man made contact with the group and a violent confrontation ensued.
The 45-year-old died following the confrontation. His body was not discovered until hours later.
Valiulis said Caban called 911 around 5:23 a.m. to report he and the 18-year-old had been involved in a physical altercation with a man on the beach.
Caban reported that he was at his home with the 18-year-old man and Highland Park officers responded.
Caban appeared bloody and sand stuck to his body, Valiulis said.
Caban and the 18-year-old were transported to a hospital, Covelli said.
A search warrant was conducted at Caban’s residence in the 3400 block of Dato Avenue in Highland Park on Saturday.
Investigators learned Caban resides at the residence with his parents.
Officers found a loaded Glock 9mm handgun inside a North Face backpack on the man’s bed, Valiulis said.
The serial number on the gun was not visible and had been “clearly” scratched off, Valiulis said, noting that sand was found in the backpack.
A garbage bag with several boxes of ammunition was found in the bedroom as well.
Adam Sheppard, Caban’s attorney, said Caban “was pummeled” during the fight on the beach and has staples in his head and a black eye.
Caban has been “very cooperative” since the homicide investigation began, Sheppard said.
Covelli said that the gun recovered was not used in the beach incident.
Court records show Caban is on supervised supervision for a felony drug case in Lake County from September 2020.
Lake County Judge James Simonian ordered Caban held on a $100,000 bond, meaning he would need to post $10,000 cash to be released.
Caban is scheduled to appear in court again on October 19.
Covelli said additional charges are possible following further investigation and the results of the 45-year-old man’s autopsy.
The case remains under investigation by the Lake County Forest Preserve Police and Lake County Major Crime Task Force.