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posted: 3/13/2010 12:01 AM

Bond set for men who led police on manhunt through marsh

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  • Victor Lujano

      Victor Lujano

 

The three Arlington Heights men who led police on a car chase and manhunt through a marsh earlier this week appeared Friday at the Rolling Meadows courthouse for a bond hearing.

A Cook County judge set bond at $60,000 for Victor Lujano, 27, of the 300 block of Salem Road and at $50,000 for Jorge Gonzalez-Macedonio, 31, of the 400 block of Bond Hill.

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Both were charged with felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and are due back in court on April 2. They remain in Cook County jail.

The third man, Hiram Chavez, 36, of the 2200 block of West Nichols, was charged with misdemeanor fleeing and eluding. Authorities said he drove the SUV and was immediately captured without incident.

Around 11 p.m. Wednesday, Cook County sheriff's police were doing surveillance outside the nearby Country Glen Apartments near Route 53 and Lake-Cook Road in response to neighborhood complaints about increased gang activity in the area.

According to a news release from Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, the three suspects, who were described as gang members, left an apartment and got into an SUV. Lujano and Gonzalez-Macedonio were carrying shotguns, the release said.

The police attempted to stop the vehicle at Wilke and Dundee roads, but Chavez led them on a brief chase before stopping at Lake-Cook and Hicks roads, the release said. Police immediately caught Chavez, but the other two fled into the woods, one carrying the shotgun, the release said.

Multiple police agencies set up a perimeter around the woods, and police dogs and the Cook County sheriff's helicopter were called in to assist in the search.

From the helicopter, police used thermal imaging devices to locate Lujano lying motionless in up to a foot of water with only his face exposed. He didn't move when officers warned through loud speakers to put his hands up, the release said.

Lujano, it turned out, was stuck in the marsh and unable to move his body.

Around 2 a.m., weather conditions forced officer Jim Pacetti and Melanie the bloodhound to take over the search. The dog sniffed the third seat where Gonzalez-Macedonio was sitting and tracked him about a mile into the woods, where he was found hiding under a log, reports said.

Both shotguns were recovered.

Police said they've had several encounters with Lujano and warned him numerous times to stay away from private apartment complexes in the area and that Gonzalez-Macedonio told them he has been arrested in the past and deported to Mexico.

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