A Lake Villa man has been found fit to stand trial after prosecutors say he fired shots at responding police cars, a mail carrier and a house in McHenry after he was rejected by a woman at a party.
McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Hunter Jones said Nicholas C. Lopardo, 25, of Lake Villa, attended a party at a residence in the 3000 block of West Charlotte Avenue in McHenry in the early morning hours on March 31.
Witnesses at the party reported that Lopardo was drinking heavily and saw him possessing a .357 caliber handgun.
Lopardo made a sexual advance upon a woman but she rejected him, Jones said.
Lopardo walked outside to the front yard of the residence and fire multiple shots before leaving the scene in a black Jaguar sedan.
Police were called to the party and an officer was traveling in the 3400 block of West John Street when they spotted the Jaguar stopped in the westbound lane.
The officer attempted to turn around and Lopardo drove off. A traffic stop was conducted on the vehicle but Lopardo did not stop and fled at a high rate of speed, Jones said.
The officer was ordered to terminate the pursuit and the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office responded a short time later to a call of a black Jaguar abandoned in the 2500 block of Colby Drive in unincorporated McHenry.
Deputies learned that a Chevrolet Tahoe had been stolen from a barn in the area.
It was determined that Lopardo stole the Chevrolet and drove it to a McHenry County Conservation property where he used the vehicle to ram a gate and enter the property, Jones said.
Lopardo allegedly fired at least 10 gunshots, four of which were recovered.
Lopardo later encountered a McHenry Police Department detective, who was traveling southbound on Barreville Road passing State Park Road.
Jones said that Lopardo fired at least one round at the officer’s squad, striking the driver’s side passenger door frame.
A McHenry County sheriff’s squad car was also struck by gunfire, police said.
Lopardo then fired multiple shots at a female mail carrier who was delivering mail near Route 31 and Veterans Parkway, Jones said.
All three vehicles were occupied at the time of the shootings, police said. No injuries were reported.
The stolen Chevrolet was later located in a ditch abandoned.
Multiple 911 calls came in from homeowners reporting that someone was throwing rocks through windows and attempting to break into residences in the neighborhood southwest of Veterans Parkway and Barreville Road.
Police issued a shelter-in-place alert to residents in the neighborhood as a heavy police response, involving the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office and Northern Illinois Police Alarm System, was dispatched to the area to conduct a search.
911 callers also reported hearing shots fired in the neighborhood and one residence was struck by gunfire.
Jones said surveillance videos captured Lopardo walking around the neighborhood trying to break into homes. One video captured Lopardo firing his gun.
One of the 911 callers in the 1700 block of Cashel Lane reported an unknown person was in her basement.
Officers spotted Lopardo running from the home and a foot chase ensued but he was able to get away.
An officer in an unmarked squad car in the area was approached by Lopardo a short time later, Jones said.
Lopardo tapped on the officer’s window and Lopardo fled on foot but officers chased him and arrested him.
The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office approved charges of three counts of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated discharge of a firearm, possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a stolen firearm and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.
A grand jury charged him with three additional counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm, three counts of armed violence, reckless discharge of a firearm, theft, two counts of attempted residential burglary, burglary, attempted burglary, three counts of criminal damage to government-supported property, aggravated fleeing to elude, aggravated driving under the influence and seven counts of criminal damage to property.
McHenry County Judge Kevin Costello ordered Lopardo held on a $1 million bond during an initial court hearing.
Prosecutors later filed a petition formally asking the court to hold Lopardo without bond.
McHenry County Judge Tiffany Davis later ordered Lopardo held without bond.
Jones said Lopardo was out on bond for manufacturing or delivering cannabis in Lake County at the time of the crime spree.
Lopardo has numerous prior felony convictions, including for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
Attorney Robert T. Ritacca, who is representing Lopardo, filed a motion for fitness last month asking the court to order an evaluation of his client.
Ritacca said Lopardo may not understand the charges against him, exhibited a lack of response when speaking to his attorney and was unable to assist in his own defense.
A fitness evaluation was conducted and the court on Thursday found Lopardo fit to stand trial.
Lopardo was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to his charges.
A status of trial date is scheduled for June 22.