An icepick-wielding man who came to Riverside on Tuesday afternoon, allegedly to kill a resident he believed to be a Freemason high priest, was charged with felony aggravated assault to a police officer, unlawful use of a weapon, and other offenses after being forcibly detained by four police officers in the 400 block of Blythe Road.
But 21-year-old Jaime J. Cantellano, of Chicago, won’t be spending time at Cook County Jail while awaiting trial.
While the prosecutor at Cantellano’s bond hearing asked for a high bond, Cook County Judge Ann Finley Collins on Wednesday morning gave him a personal recognizance bond and ordered Cantellano confined to electronic home monitoring, a decision that outraged Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel.
“I’m shocked,” said Weitzel, who added he’d be surprised if Cantellano abided by the home monitoring order. “I have no confidence that’s going to happen.”
Weitzel was similarly shocked that another judge refused to grant an order of protection to the person Cantellano allegedly targeted.
“The judge refused to give the order of protection because there was no domestic relationship between them,” said Weitzel. “We asked for a condition to be added to his bond that he’s to have no contact with the victim, but that’s standard with all bonds.”
According to Weitzel, Cantellano brandished an ice pick, held it over his head and threatened to kill a Riverside police officer around 12:45 p.m., when the officer was called to the 300 block of Shenstone Road after a woman called 911 to report a suspicious man at her door, asking for her husband.
When the police officer arrived on the scene, he confronted Cantellano, asking him for his identification and why he was trying to contact someone who didn’t know him.
According to police, Cantellano answered, “No, I’m not going to give you my identification” before reaching inside his coat pocket and pulling out an ice pick.
“I’m gonna kill you,” Cantellano allegedly told the officer, who was standing about 7 feet from him. “You are all Freemasons and need to die.”
The officer reportedly drew his weapon and ordered Cantellano to drop the ice pick, but Cantellano allegedly held onto it and ran from the officer, who radioed for assistance. The responding officer chased Cantellano east on Shenstone and then north on Blythe Road, where three more police officers, including two from North Riverside, cornered him.
Again the officers drew their weapons and ordered Cantellano to drop the ice pick, which he refused to do until one of the officers deployed his Taser, hitting Cantellano in the leg and temporarily disabling him. At that point, he dropped the ice pick and the officers wrestled Cantellano into custody.
Cantellano was taken to MacNeal Hospital for both physical and psychological evaluation before being returned to police custody. He reportedly told the officers, “You should have just killed me.”
According to the police report, Cantellano chose the Shenstone Road home on purpose and had been there previously. According to police, Cantellano worked for a landscaping company that did work at the house until March.
On March 30, he reportedly came to the home and spoke with the homeowner about landscaping. Since it was Sunday and the landscaper wasn’t expected, the homeowner told Cantellano to leave.
The family at that time also discontinued using the landscaping service, according to the police report.
But those weren’t the only occasions where Cantellano had been seen hanging around the neighborhood, according to Weitzel. Neighbors who viewed a photo given out by police after the incident said they had seen him hanging out in the area previously but hadn’t called police. Cantellano also reportedly told police he had been in Riverside on Monday.
On Tuesday, Cantellano told police he arrived at the North Riverside Park Mall by bus and then walked to the house on Shenstone Road where he rang the bell. After the second ring, a woman came to the door and asked the man on her porch what he wanted.
The man, later identified as Cantellano, reportedly told the woman that he wanted to see her husband. She told him he wasn’t available and asked if she could help him. Cantellano reportedly responded that he was walking up and down the block “asking about beliefs.” At that time, the woman called police.
In police custody, Cantellano reportedly stated he went to the Shenstone Road home to kill the homeowner because “he is a Freemason ruling the world,” according to police. He reportedly made other similar statements to police, claiming that “Masons are controlling everything and taking over the world.”
In addition to the felony and weapons offense, police charged Cantellano with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, criminal trespassing and battery to a police officer.