By Bob Uphues
A man who eluded a full-scale police manhunt by convincing a Riverside resident to let him into his home just after midnight on Aug. 11 and call for a ride out of town was apprehended by Chicago police last week and now has been charged by Riverside police.
Derrius Burns, 25, of Bellwood, remains in Cook County Jail without bond awaiting a preliminary hearing date at the Maybrook courthouse on Dec. 28.
Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said Burns has been charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and likely faces indictment by a Cook County grand jury for other offenses related to the Aug. 11 incident in Riverside.
Just after midnight on that date, an officer attempted to make a routine traffic stop on a vehicle reportedly going 55 mph in a 30 mph zone in the 3400 block of Harlem Avenue. The driver, later identified as Burns, sped away during the traffic stop.
During the ensuing chase, Burns reportedly drove the wrong way on Miller Road and then through a barricaded construction area on Riverside Road. After driving across some front lawns and striking a landscaping berm near Gage Road, Burns continued the wrong way down Burling Road before the vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree about 100 feet inside Swan Pond Park.
Burns ran away from the scene of the crash and reportedly knocked on the window of a home on Scottswood Road, telling a resident that his car had broken down and that he needed to call a ride. He waited at the home as a manhunt involving K-9 units and a police helicopter was taking place outside.
During the search, police recovered near the car a Glock 19 handgun outfitted with a drum-style magazine holding 53 rounds of ammunition and modified to make the weapon fully automatic. The gun had been reported stolen out of Lowell, Indiana, in March.
Burns had been on the run since the incident, but his luck ran out on Dec. 15 when a Chicago police tactical unit stopped a vehicle in which Burns was a passenger in the 1200 block of South Fairfield Avenue.
Chicago police stopped the vehicle because none of the passengers were wearing seatbelts. When marked Chicago police units showed up as well, Burns reportedly fled the car on foot and was later apprehended.
Chicago police reported recovering a loaded Glock 19 handgun with an extended magazine under the front seat of the vehicle. Chicago police charged Burns with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and possession of a firearm by a parolee.
Riverside police had obtained a warrant for Burns' arrest after the August incident and served that warrant at Burns' bond hearing in Chicago on Dec. 18. According to Weitzel, Burns refused to cooperate with Riverside detectives.
At the time of his arrest in Chicago, Burns was on parole for a pair of offenses. In 2008 as a 15 year old, Burns was convicted of attempted murder. He was sentenced to eight years in prison for that offense. He was also convicted of unlawful use of a weapon involving a vehicle in 2016, an offense for which he received a two-year sentence.