COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — There was a "split second" of chaos at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse Thursday when a man grabbed a sheriff's deputy's gun, officials said.
No one was hurt, and the deputy quickly got the gun back. But not before people went scrambling out of the office area where it happened, witnesses said.
A Cook County Sheriffs Department spokesman said Thursday night that officials plan to charge Juan M. Ordaz, 46, of the 5000 block of West 24th Street in Cicero, with disarming an officer.
"The offender attempted to disarm the deputy," said Frank Bilecki. "At no point did he have control of the deputy's weapon."
He said the man was in the mental health department in the lower level of the Cook County courthouse at 26th Street and California Avenue with his parents when he "became very combative."
Bilecki said officers were called. The first deputy to arrive struggled with Ordaz, who tried to get the officer's gun.
James Dunaway, president of the Probation Officers Union, said the the man who grabbed the gun was at the courthouse to speak with the probation department. Dunaway said the man has mental health issues.
The man was being interviewed by two interns when he became agitated, Dunaway said. The interns asked a sheriff's deputy for help, and the man grabbed that deputy's gun, Dunaway said.
The gun was out of his possession for "a split second," Dunaway said.
"Everything is fine now," Dunaway said.
Dunaway took issue with the interns interviewing the man alone. "That never should have happened," he said.