Chicago police release bodycam video of Keegan Casteel’s arrest after Iowa man found with guns at W Hotel Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) – Chicago police have released the first video showing the investigation after an Iowa man was found with a gun in his lakeside hotel room on July 4 of the weekend. But the bodycam videos are raising new questions about exactly what happened in the incident, and one law enforcement expert told I-Team they tell a less threatening story.

When Keegan Casteel and his now fiancé allowed police access to their room, their children were with them. Seemingly poignant at the sight of their parents being handcuffed, the officers chained their mother to ease the incident. But with the discovery of a 9mm pistol, a .308-caliber rifle equipped with a laser scope, and several large-caliber magazines, Casteel was arrested and charged with two counts of use illegal weapons.

When police searched the room, checking his backpack and mattress, Casteel was in the hallway explaining that he forgot to remove his gun while packing in Iowa before the trip.

“I took everything out and put my clothes in there.. and like I said, I think the gun, the rifle itself was in the carrying case,” Casteel told officers during interrogation at the station.

RELATED: Iowa man arrested for rifle in lakeside hotel room proposes to girlfriend after being released on mortgage

Bodycam video captured officers telling him that hotel staff feared the weapon was part of a planned attack.

“Hotel staff, they have something, they come in, clean the house, they see something, they panic, they call the police,” the employee said.

“Standard procedure,” Casteel replied.

“Yes, what do we think? We thought something like Las Vegas could happen,” the officer said.

“It’s my fault, I didn’t mean to startle anyone. I understand that you know someone who walks in and sees that and thinks whatever you know,” Casteel said at the police station.

Casteel told officers that in his hotel room he removed the gun from his carry-on bag because he and his family needed that bag to go to the beach on July 4.

RELATED: Iowa man found with gun at Chicago hotel here to propose, not launch mass assault, attorney says

Former US Deputy Marshal Ed Farrell said focus is now on a fuller picture of what happened, perhaps without the sinister threat that CPD director David Brown described as a “tragedy.” ” was prevented.

“The first thing that would cross my mind without family is, this guy is trying to replicate the Las Vegas shooting and target Navy Pier, or the park below,” Farrell said. give me pause. You know, when people engage in mass attacks, they usually don’t take your family with your kids and expose them to any possible harm. “

Upon his release from prison, Casteel proposed to his girlfriend, which he said was the true purpose of their trip to Chicago. His lawyers did not respond to I-Team’s messages, but all showed the threat of violence was overblown and criticized Supt. David Brown and Mayor Lori Lightfoot have publicly suggested there was a shooting plot and that the housekeeper alerted police “has the potential to prevent a tragedy.”

In his earlier statement, Casteel’s attorney called the accusations “baseless” and said the superintendent and other public officials “have made Mr. Casteel a scapegoat in the face of widespread violence and actual shootings” in Chicago. His attorney also said Casteel is “nothing more than a law-abiding person exercising his Second Amendment.”

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Huynh Nguyen

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