July 27, 2021

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Iowa man charged after allegedly bringing loaded rifle with laser scope to Chicago hotel overlooking beach – Fox News

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An Iowa man was ordered held on $10,000 bail Tuesday after he allegedly had a rifle with a laser sight in a Chicago hotel room overlooking a Lake Michigan beach over the Fourth of July weekend, according to authorities. 

A housekeeping employee at the W Hotel told police around 6:45 p.m. Sunday that they saw the rifle, a handgun, and five rifle magazines in a room held by the suspect, Keegan Casteel, 32, reports said. The 12th-floor room had a view of the Ohio Street Beach and Navy Pier, a tourist attraction in the city.

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said during a press conference Tuesday that the firearms were on a window sill in a “very suspicious position.”

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Keegan Casteel, 32, of Ankeny, Iowa, was arrested on Sunday
Keegan Casteel, 32, of Ankeny, Iowa, was arrested on Sunday (Chicago Police)

“This employee saw something by entering a room to clean it that likely prevented a tragedy from happening,” Brown said. “So it’s significant and very valuable and we ought … (to) praise that employee for being aware and letting us know so we could react quickly and potentially avoid tragedy.”

Casteel of Ankeny, Iowa, was arrested at the hotel Sunday in possession of the rifle and a handgun, FOX 32 of Chicago reported. He is facing two felony counts of aggravated unlawful use of a loaded weapon without a FOID card.

“The state describes you in possession in a hotel room of a rifle with a laser scope … overlooking Ohio Street Beach,” Cook County Judge David Navarro said. “I understand through the state’s proffer and your attorney that you have permission to possess the firearms in the state of Iowa. However, clearly, we’re not in Iowa.”

Police said they found the semi-automatic rifle with a round in the chamber – along with bullet magazines and a .45 caliber handgun. 

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Casteel has a permit to possess firearms in Iowa, and prosecutors asked him to surrender all of his gun licenses, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“There is no previous criminal history of this person nor any other issues in our federal databases, but obviously very concerning given the position of the W Hotel to Navy Pier,” Brown said. “Our joint terrorism task force officers debriefed, interviewed this person along with a companion, and we are continuing this investigation.”

The judge set his bond at $10,000 on the condition that he turn in all of his weapons and FOID cards. Castell can live in Iowa as he awaits trial, but he must appear at all of his court dates, FOX 32 reported. 

Casteel has two previous DUI convictions in the state, according to the station. Brown did not say if investigators had determined why Casteel had guns in the hotel room. 

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At least 100 people were shot in Chicago over the extended holiday weekend, including 11 children and a police commander.

Fox News’ Stephanie Pagones contributed to this report

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