Thursday, March 01, 2018

Prosecutors: Man Threatened Mass Shooting In Boystown — "Orlando Will Come To Chicago"

Shane Sleeper (inset) is charged with threatening staff members of two Boystown bars as well as another man.
Update 7:30 p.m. March 1:  In an update to their complaints against Sleeper, prosecutors no longer allege that he threatened staff members at Roscoe’s Tavern.

“Screenshots of the threats and comments Mr. Sleeper made on social media were sent to us by concerned customers,” Roscoe’s general manager said tonight. “We felt that it was our responsibility to our customers and the community to report those posts to both the CPD and the FBI, which we did immediately.”

A Roscoe’s staff member and Roscoe’s itself were mistakenly named as victims in court filings after Sleeper’s arrest on February 20. The State’s Attorney’s office has updated the charges accordingly.

CWBChicago's original report follows.
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A Lakeview man threatened a mass shooting in Boystown, promising that "Orlando will come to Chicago," according to transcripts read during his court appearance on Wednesday. Forty-nine people were killed by a lone gunman at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016.

The 31-year-old defendant, Shane Sleeper, stood quietly at first, but Judge Anthony Calabrese would eventually order sheriff’s deputies to remove him due to disruptive behavior.

Sleeper allegedly sent a threatening text to a manager of Roscoe's Tavern, 3356 North Halsted | Google
A series of threats including some against employees of Halsted Street’s two most popular bars—Roscoe’s Tavern and Sidetrack—last week resulted in Sleeper being charged with four counts of misdemeanor electronic harassment; misdemeanor assault; and misdemeanor phone harassment. He was also charged with misdemeanor resisting police for running from cops who tried to arrest him at his home on Lake Shore Drive.

Three additional charges were filed against Sleeper yesterday: misdemeanor resisting police, misdemeanor obstruction, and misdemeanor harassment through electronic means. Five orders of protection have been issued against Sleeper to shield his alleged victims and Sidetrack, according to court papers. Calabrese last week set bail at $300,000.

Sleeper is charged with sending multiple threats to Sidetrack employees.
Yesterday, Sleeper asked the judge to reduce his bail, claiming that he needs to get back to work, that he doesn’t have any guns, and that he’s in counseling at a local service agency.

Calabrese ordered transcripts of Sleeper’s alleged threats to be read into the record. Messages from Facebook, email, and voicemail were read aloud: “I will bring harm and death”; “you will be shot”; “you're lucky I don't have a gun or people would be dead”; “Orlando will come to Chicago”; “If you don’t kill yourself, I’m going to do it.”

Sleeper’s criminal history was read out, including a case from Atlanta where he was accused of battering his ex-boss at a gay bar.

Watching the proceedings from the gallery were Alderman Tom Tunney (44), whose ward includes Boystown. A Tunney aide, six cops, two court advocates, and a half-dozen witnesses were also on-hand. Two prosecutors handled the case for the state.

Sleeper’s demeanor, which seemed calm and reasonable began changing. After an outburst about one of the witnesses, Calabrese cautioned Sleeper to speak through his attorney. Despite the judge’s advice, Sleeper spoke up. The threats that were read in court had been edited, he said. Removed from the rest of the content, the readings were biased against him, he said.

As Calabrese began speaking about his decision on bail reduction, Sleeper interrupted him. “Let's just get it over with, sentence me now," he said. "I'm so sick of this, I'm tired of it." Calabrese invited Sleeper to leave the court for the day. Transcripts could be provided for him, the judge said.

But Sleeper again said he wanted to be sentenced immediately because he was sick of it all.  Calabrese, noting that Sleeper had "lost his cool," instructed sheriff’s deputies to remove him. They did and Calabrese again spoke about his decision on the motion to reduce bail. Based on the threats that had been leveled, Sleeper’s history, and the fact that Sleeper violated an earlier bail bond by running from the cops, his bond will stay at $300,000, the judge said.

Sleeper was previously arrested on February 3 for allegedly making a shooting gesture toward a manager at Sidetrack, 3349 North Halsted. An assault charge was filed in that case. Prosecutor's efforts to increase Sleeper’s bail in the February 3 case was denied Wednesday. Calabrese said there would need to be a new complaint filed for the bail to increase.

Previous Coverage
         • $300K Bail For Man Accused Of Threatening Boystown Bars (Feb 24)

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