19th gun-related arrest outside Naperville’s Topgolf since last August

Gary Howard, A Palos Park man was arrested Friday night for allegedly having a firearm in his parked car
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A Palos Park man was arrested Friday night for allegedly having a firearm in his parked car outside Naperville’s Topgolf, 3221 Odyssey Court.

Gary Howard, 20, faces an aggravated unlawful use of a weapon charge, according to a news release from the DuPage County State’s Attorney

Authorities say Howard is also currently facing aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated fleeing and eluding charges out of Cook County.

Loaded firearm found in vehicle outside Topgolf

Just before 10 p.m. on May 10, Naperville police officers on routine foot patrol said they saw a handgun with an extended magazine in “plain view” on the rear driver’s side floorboard of a vehicle.

During surveillance of the car, authorities say a man later identified as Howard, and a woman returned to the vehicle. It is alleged Howard opened the rear driver’s side door, took something from the back, and then opened the driver’s seat door.

Police quickly converged on Howard’s car, and officials say they found a loaded Glock 23 .40 caliber pistol with an extended magazine on the driver’s side floorboard. Howard was taken into custody.

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said that public safety is the “top priority” of his administration.

“With the warm weather fast approaching, my office stands ready to work with the Naperville Police Department and authorities at Topgolf to ensure we do not have a repeat of the rash of individuals bringing a dangerous weapon to a family-friendly facility that we saw last year,” said Berlin.

Naperville Police Chief Jason Arres said local officers do “an excellent job proactively policing our community.”

“We will continue to do this and hold those who violate the law, especially those illegally possessing firearms, accountable,” said Arres.

Pre-trial release denied

At Howard’s first-appearance court hearing Saturday, a judge denied his pre-trial release.

Howard is scheduled to appear in court for his arraignment on May 13.

19th gun-related arrest in 10 months

Friday’s incident marked the 19th gun-related arrest outside Naperville Topgolf since August 2023.

The 18th such arrest occurred four days prior on Monday, May 6. Officers on foot patrol discovered a Coal City man had a firearm in “plain view” inside his vehicle, according to Naperville Police Commander Ricky Krakow.

Joshua Passafiume, 25, was charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. During the investigation, it was found Passafiume did not have a license to conceal carry in Illinois.

Passafiume will appear in court on May 21.

Photo courtesy: DuPage County State’s Attorney

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