Round Lake Beach man accused of firing recklessly into crowd in McHenry

A Round Lake Beach man accused of "recklessly" shooting a 9 mm pistol at least seven times in crowded area in downtown McHenry last weekend was ordered Wednesday to be held in McHenry County jail until his trial.

Joel Ponce, 22, of the 800 block of Corona Court, is charged with reckless discharge of a firearm, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and reckless conduct in the shooting that authorities said happened about 1 a.m. Saturday.

Ponce appeared Wednesday before Judge Michael Coppedge for an initial detention hearing.

Assistant State's Attorney Shelby Page argued that Ponce be detained because he "poses a real and present threat to the community as a whole."

She said the allegations stem from a dispute that began at the Vixen, a bar and entertainment venue on North Green Street.

Page said Ponce and two companions left the Vixen and went to his vehicle, from which he shot multiple rounds from a pistol "aimlessly" into a crowd of people.

"People on the street went running" as Ponce was "shooting off multiple shots with complete disregard for those around him," Page said.

There were no reported injuries.

Ponce's attorney, Dan Nold, argued Ponce should be released with conditions.

Additionally, Nold said, one of Ponce's companions was found in possession of the pistol on Monday, and he cast doubt on who actually shot it.

In his ruling to detain Ponce, Coppedge said though he is considered innocent until proven guilty by law, there is a strong preponderance Ponce committed this offense.

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