A federal immigration agent has been acquitted of a charge that he acted recklessly when he fired off two pistol rounds to break up a bar fight in West Dundee.
Raymonn C. Brown, 32, an immigrations and customs agent, was acquitted of felony reckless discharge of a firearm by a Kane County jury, which deliberated about an hour before returning its verdict late Wednesday.
The East Dundee resident was arrested by police around 1:20 a.m. on Jan. 26, 2010, near a bar called Hammerhead’s in West Dundee.
According to testimony at his trial, Brown ran into an old high school classmate at the bar that night. Later, around closing time, the friend and another man got into a scuffle inside. The combatants were separated and then left the bar, but resumed their fight in an adjacent parking lot. Brown admitted during testimony that he went to his car during the fight, retrieved his service pistol and shot twice into the air.
Both men said in court that the crack of gunfire startled them and ended their brawl. A police officer who was alerted to the scene testified that he found Brown and his friend huddled in the doorway of a nearby business and took them into custody.
During the two-day trial, Kane County prosecutors argued that Brown’s actions endangered nearby residents. But his attorney, Kevin Talbot, said that no one was in the area. Further, he said, the shooting was not reckless based on Brown’s law enforcement training and military experience.
The Marine reservist served in Kuwait and Iraq, Talbot said, places where the firing of a warning shot is sometimes required. He said Brown was relieved by the verdict.
“He told me it was going to be the first good night’s sleep he’s had in a year,” Talbot said.
Following his arrest, Brown was placed on administrative duty with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, a sub-agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Talbot said he did not know Brown’s current job status, an ICE spokeswoman said she could not comment on Brown’s job status.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun