A man accused of stalking Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and firing a weapon about a mile from her home has been ordered held without bail, prosecutors said.
Joseph Igartua, 37, was charged with three felony counts of stalking and another for reckless discharge of a firearm after he allegedly drove by the Lightfoots' home about 15 times this year, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.
Igartua is accused of bringing a handgun that had a round in the chamber and a written letter to the mayor's residence. He was allegedly angry over traffic citations he received, prosecutors said, according to reports.
"Somebody coming to my house with a loaded weapon, that is scary," Lightfoot told Chicago's WLS-TV after the incidents. "I'm not going to sugarcoat that. It's been terrifying."
On Saturday, Igartua allegedly drove his truck to Lightfoot's residence armed with a handgun that had a round in the chamber and a letter he wrote to the mayor. Igartua allegedly parked his truck and was walking toward the home, when two Chicago police officers approached and detained him, FOX 32 Chicago reported.
The officers took the letter and gun, which was broken down, and returned to Igartua because he had a valid FOID and conceal carry license, prosecutors said.
Igartua was allegedly at the home "to express his anger regarding traffic citations he had received," authorities said, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Igartua is accused of returning to the mayor's residence on Sunday in his truck and driving down the alley behind her home, when a Chicago police sergeant parked in a vehicle next to Lightfoot's garage saw him, authorities said.
Other officers saw him in the mouth of the alley, and when Igartua drove past Lightfoot's residence, he allegedly dropped a packet of papers on the street that contained a signed letter to the mayor, traffic tickets issued, and photos of his vehicle, FOX 32 Chicago reported.
On Monday, Igartua allegedly returned to Lightfoot's residence again and drove down the alley behind her home, when an officer spotted him and alerted other officers in front of the mayor's home.
Police followed him and conducted a traffic stop for speeding, authorities said. He was allegedly in possession of a gun again and was given a warning.
Prosecutors said Lightfoot was informed of the incident that day, and she became "alarmed and distraught."
On Wednesday, officers conducted surveillance of Igartua because of the stalking investigations, according to the station. While surveilling, officers allegedly saw Igartua driving the truck down an alley in Lightfoot's area, and heard five gunshots fired from the location.
Officers followed Igartua to a gas station, and he was detained, FOX 32 reported.
After the latest incident, officers allegedly found two spent shell casings in the front driver's area of the vehicle, according to prosecutors. Igartua then told the officers where his handgun was and that it was missing five rounds.
During a bond hearing on Thursday, Judge Maryam Ahmad ordered Igartua to stay away from Lightfoot and to surrender his firearms and firearm owner's identification card.
"Our legislation recognizes that victims of stalking have high potential to receive threats and acts of violence," the judge said, according to the Chicago Tribune. "The court believes based on this evidence it cannot conclude anything but this defendant is a real threat to this public official, this victim, based on the number of times the defendant has returned to the home, based on this defendant discharging a firearm near her home."