Man went to Lightfoot's house with gun, letter to express anger regarding traffic citations: prosecutors

Bond was denied Thursday for a man accused of stalking Mayor Lori Lightfoot and firing a weapon just over a mile from the mayor's home.

Joseph Igartua, 37, was charged with three felony counts of stalking and another for reckless discharge of a firearm, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

According to prosecutors, Igartua allegedly drove his black Nissan truck past Lightfoot's home approximately 15 times from Jan. 17 to Feb. 14 of this year.

These incidents were captured on license plate readers, prosecutors said.

Many of the incidents were within seconds of each other. In those instances, prosecutors allege that Igartua drove by the mayor's residence, did a U-Turn and then drove past her residence again.

On Feb. 12, Igartua allegedly drove his truck to Lightfoot's residence armed with a handgun. In his possession, prosecutors say Igartua had a letter that he had written to the mayor.

He allegedly parked his truck and sat for a short time inside before exiting his vehicle and walking toward Lightfoot's residence.

As Igartua began walking up the front sidewalk leading to Lightfoot's front porch, two Chicago police officers approached and detained him.

Both a firearm and letter were recovered, prosecutors said.

The firearm was then broken down and made safe before it was returned to Igartua, who had a valid FOID and CCL.

According to prosecutors, Igartua allegedly went to the mayor's residence to express his anger regarding traffic citations he received.

He was told not to return to Lightfoot's residence.

On Sunday, Igartua allegedly returned to the mayor's residence in his truck and drove down the alley behind her home.

A CPD Sgt., who was in his vehicle parked next to Lightfoot's garage, saw Igartua as he drove past, prosecutors allege.

The CPD Sgt. then alerted other officers, who were seated in their vehicle in front of Lightfoot's residence.

Those officers then exited their car, and allegedly saw Igartua at the mouth of the alley.

Prosecutors say he paused his vehicle, and then drove toward the officers. 

Joesph Igartua, 37 | Chicago Police

As he drove past Lightfoot's residence, Igartua allegedly dropped a packet of papers on the street.

The papers that were recovered allegedly contained a signed letter to the mayor, traffic tickets issued to Igartua and photos of his vehicle.

The letter noted that Igartua had been at Lightfoot's home previously armed with a firearm, and accused Chicago police of taking five rounds from the magazine they handled previously, prosecutors said.

On Monday, Igartua allegedly returned again to Lightfoot's residence and drove down the alley behind her home.

An officer who was in his vehicle next to the garage noticed the truck and alerted additional officers who were in front of Lightfoot's residence.

Officers noticed Igartua drive from the alley away from Lightfoot's residence and make a U-Turn and drive toward them and past the mayor's residence.

Chicago police followed him, and ultimately conducted a traffic stop for speeding.

Igartua was allegedly in possession of a gun, and was given a warning.

Lightfoot was informed of this Monday and became "alarmed and distraught," prosecutors said.

On Wednesday, Chicago police officers were conducting surveillance on Igartua based on the stalking investigation of Lightfoot.


While surveilling, officers allegedly saw Igartua in his truck heading down an alley in Lightfoot's area.

Moments after he turned down the alley, officers heard five gun shots fired from the location.

Officers then saw Igartua exit the alley in his truck, prosecutors said.

Officers followed him to a gas station, and as they observed him making movements toward his center console, police removed him from the vehicle and handcuffed him.

Officers allegedly found two spent shell casings in the front driver's area of the vehicle, police said.

Igartua then told officers where his firearm was and said he was missing five rounds, prosecutors said.

According to prosecutors, ballistics testing confirmed that the fired shell casings from the scene and the fired shell casing recovered from Igartua's vehicle were all fired from the same gun.

Bond was denied for Igartua Thursday.

The Sun-Times contributed to this report.