Crime & Courts

Richmond man arrested, released on bond after road rage incident

Richmond man arrested, released on bond after pointing gun at motorist

Police on Thursday filed charges against a former Grayslake firefighter and Richmond Village Board candidate who was captured on video pointing a gun at another driver during an apparent road rage situation Tuesday.

The McHenry County State's Attorney's Office said Thursday morning that it was speaking with Richmond police regarding details of the incident, which was caught on video Tuesday.

The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office said Thursday morning that it was speaking with Richmond police regarding details of the incident, which was caught on video.

Richmond police Chief Ciro Cetrangolo said Thursday night that 41-year-old Brian J. Schimian was arrested earlier that day and released on bond, which had been set at $5,000.

He is charged in McHenry County court with disorderly conduct and reckless driving. Both charges are misdemeanor offenses that typically result in less than one year in jail.

A news release from Cetrangolo sent Thursday said the state’s attorney’s office plans to file an additional charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Police said Schimian possessed a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification card and valid Illinois Concealed Carry License.

Attempts to reach Schimian by phone Thursday were unsuccessful.

Schimian, of the 10500 block of Commercial Street, Richmond, is a former Grayslake firefighter who recently ran for a spot on the Richmond Village Board. He did not win a seat, receiving only 28 votes. The winning candidates received 105, 103 and 87 votes.

Wisconsin man Bart Surroz posted a viral video of the situation to Facebook showing Schimian inside of a red Jeep pointing a handgun at Surroz through his car window before speeding off.

Surroz was driving north on Route 12 about 4:45 p.m. Tuesday when Schimian was driving recklessly behind him and honking his horn, Surroz said.

Confused, Surroz stopped his car near the intersection of Route 12 and Broadway Road. He exited his vehicle to see if anything was wrong with his car or Schimian, he said.

“Get in your car,” Schimian yelled at Surroz as he approached the Jeep while recording.

Schimian posted a dash cam video from his perspective on Facebook, Surroz said. That video shows Surroz exiting his vehicle and pointing to himself. He then takes his phone out of his breast pocket and walks toward the Jeep.

Schimian is accused in a two-count criminal complaint with honking his horn and pointing a firearm in Surroz’s face. He’s additionally alleged to have driven at high speeds, run a stop sign and improperly used lanes.

Schimian has been cited twice in Wisconsin for speeding, public records show: Once, in 2014 for driving 16 to 19 mph faster than the posted 55 mph speed limit, and again in 2017 for driving 20 to 24 mph above the speed limit on the freeway. He also was sentenced to one year of court supervision and 40 hours of community service in 2016 for an assault charge out of Lake County, records show.

Surroz has said Richmond police initially disregarded the incident and said he shouldn’t have exited the vehicle. They also told Surroz they recognized the man with the gun as a local firefighter, Surroz said.

Cetrangolo released a statement Thursday afternoon on the matter.

“The investigation determined that Schimian acted alone and is the sole suspect,” Cetrangolo said. “This is an isolated incident. We remind our residents and visitors that Richmond is a safe and peaceful community, and we work very hard to keep our community safe every day. ... We appreciate the strong working relationship and bond we have built with the citizens of our community and thank them for their continued assistance and strong support.”

In addition, Cetrangolo said the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office is working to add a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a Class A misdemeanor.

“The Richmond Police Department reminds all drivers to follow the rules of the road and to report reckless driving by calling 911 when it is safe to do so,” Cetrangolo said. “The Richmond Police Department will be conducting increased patrols and enforcement targeting aggressive and reckless driving offenses, especially in the downtown Richmond area.”

During Thursday night’s Village Board meeting, area resident Dot Krawczyk said she was disappointed in the police response earlier this week.

“It wasn’t investigated until it started to be a stink,” she said. “He was just let go on the streets, and the state’s attorney had to get involved to do anything. ... It should have been handled here; it should have been right here to protect our town, and that was not done.”

She said the “ball was completely dropped,” and the incident is “super embarrassing” for the village.

Cetrangolo said the department did the best it could under the circumstances.

He said the state’s attorney was “immediately” called by the police department after the incident, and the department also followed up the next day with the state’s attorney’s office about the incident.

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