Chesterton Tribune

Judge Alexa rules Chesterton man a danger to police, may not yet have his guns back

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A Chesterton man whose firearms were seized in November 2010 after Chesterton Police said that he threatened suicide is “a clear and present danger” to both the community and the CPD, Porter Superior Judge Bill Alexa ruled on Thursday.

Steven J. Hughes accordingly may not have his guns back, Alexa ordered, in denying Hughes’ petition.

Alexa noted the following in his ruling: that Hughes “is no longer a danger to himself or his family” but “remains, however, a clear and present danger to the community as a whole and to personnel of the Chesterton Police Department.”

In addition, at the conclusion of a hearing earlier this month, as Hughes was leaving the courtroom, “he passed two Chesterton police officers who were sitting in the first row of the viewers gallery” and “flipped them the bird,” Alexa stated.

Therefore the CPD “shall retain the firearms until this court orders that the firearms be returned to Steven J. Hughes or be otherwise disposed of,” Alexa concluded.

Hughes may petition the court again in six months.

The CPD told the Chesterton Tribune today that, besides the obscene gesture to which Alexa alluded in his order, Hughes told Police Chief Dave Cincoski that he would bring acquaintances of his—motorcycle gang members—to the CPD station to remove the firearms. And Hughes told another officer that he would bring relatives of his—employees of the Illinois State Police—to the station to do the same thing.

In January of 2011, Hughes attended the regular monthly meeting of the Police Commission, demanded the return of his firearms, and accused Cincoski of lying.

According to the original CPD report, at 6:40 p.m. Nov. 12, Hughes’ wife came on station and advised that her husband was intoxicated and suicidal and appeared to have locked himself in a room of their home with a loaded handgun. She added that, before leaving the house, she had already removed one handgun from her husband’s possession, police said.

The Emergency Response Team was dispatched to the residence, in the 1600 block of Westchester Ave., and at 1 a.m. Hughes exited the house without incident, police said. He subsequently denied threatening to kill himself but was transported to Porter hospital where paperwork for a 24-hour committal was completed, police said.

Hughes was not charged in connection with the incident.



Posted 4/27/2012