2 charged in St. Patrick's Day escape from police custody on West Side

Robert Gates and Anthony James | Chicago police

A West Side man who allegedly ran away from police after being handcuffed during a St. Patrick’s Day traffic stop in West Garfield Park has been taken back into police custody.

Robert Gates, 31, was arrested Wednesday in the 2400 block of West Flournoy Street, according to Chicago police. He is charged with two counts of aggravated battery to a police officer and one count of escape, both felonies.

Gates was stopped for a traffic violation shortly after 2 p.m. on March 17 in the 4700 block of West Gladys Avenue, police said. After the vehicle stopped, Gates got out and started to drop “bundles of suspected narcotics” on the ground.

Police were able to detain and handcuff him, but he struggled and started to thrash and kick at the officers, police said. Meanwhile, a crowd started to form around the officers and Gates and some of them started picking up the drugs.

Others yelled at and threatened the officers, and gunshots were fired somewhere in the area, police said.

During the confrontation, Gates got up off the ground and ran away, police said.

A second man, 30-year-old Anthony James, is accused of helping Gates make his escape, police said.

James was also arrested Wednesday in the 100 block of South Pulaski, police said. He is charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault of a police officer, one felony count of aiding in an escape from police and two misdemeanor counts of resisting or obstructing police.

Both Gates, who lives in West Garfield Park, and James, who lives in Austin, appeared in court for bail hearings on Thursday, police said.

Judge Sophia Atcherson ordered Gates held on $100,000 bail and set his next court date for April 3, according to Cook County court records. Court information for James was not immediately available.