Police are searching for a man who threatened to bring violence to gay bars, including saying “Orlando will come to Chicago,” referencing the Pulse shooting, after accidentally releasing him from jail.
Shane Sleeper, 31, had been in custody since February. He had been facing misdemeanor charges, of obstructing and resisting a peace officer as a result of his fleeing from police when they arrived at his home to arrest him, but the state’s attorney’s office upgraded them to felonies. They failed to notify the sheriff’s office, however, according to sheriff’s spokeswoman Cara Smith.
“Preliminarily, it appears that the only cases he was being held on were dismissed and the sheriff’s office was never notified of any additional charges that were brought,’’ Smith said.
Cook County state’s attorney’s office spokesman Robert Foley told the Chicago Tribune it’s the sheriff’s office’s responsibility to maintain custody of defendants.
“Mr. Sleeper was in custody when the sheriff’s office brought him to court yesterday,’’ said Foley in emailed statement. “He was arraigned in a felony trial court room where he was assigned a no bail status and left in the custody of the sheriff’s office.”
Sleeper was arraigned on multiple felony charges during a hearing on Tuesday, on charges of falsely making a terrorist threat, hate crime, harassment, criminal trespassing, stalking, assault, and impersonating a police officer.
During an earlier court date, where he asked for his bail to be reduced, claiming he doesn’t own any guns and that he is seek counseling, the judge read out some of the threats he had made, through email, Facebook, and voicemail. Those threats included, “I will bring harm and death,” “you will be shot,” and “you’re lucky I don’t have a gun or people would be dead,” and “If you don’t kill yourself, I’m going to do it.”
He objected to the messages, saying they were taken out of context. His outburst led the judge to have him removed from court.
Sleeper’s last known address was on Chicago’s North Side.
He previously lived in Atlanta, where he was accused of assaulting his former boss, the owner of the gay bar and restaurant Ten.