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Crime & Courts

Man who threatened Riverside officer with ice pick wanted to kill 'free masons'

The Riverside Police Department.
The Riverside Police Department.

RIVERSIDE – A Chicago man who was reported to police for suspicious behavior and later threatened an officer with an ice pick was in Riverside to confront a resident he believed was a "free mason" and needed to die. 

Police charged Jamie J. Cantellano, 21, of the 5400 block of South Keeler Avenue in Chicago with felony aggravated assault to a police officer, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, criminal trespass to land, battery to a police officer and unlawful use of a weapon, in the incident. 

Police initially received a report about a suspicious person banging and repeatedly ringing the doorbell of a home in the 300 block of Shenstone Road on Tuesday at about 12:40 p.m.

When the first officer arrived at the address he approached a man, later identified as Cantellano, and asked why he was banging on the resident's door. Cantellano allegedly responded, "No, I'm not going to give you my identification," according to police reports.

Cantellano allegedly reached into his pocket and pulled out an ice pick, which he held over his head and told the officer he would kill him. Police said he continued to threaten the officer and said "You are all free masons and need to die."

When the officer, with gun drawn, told him to drop the weapon, Cantellano allegedly fled on foot still holding the ice pick. Police said the officer pursued Cantellano in an out of driveways for several blocks before officers were able to corner him in the front yard of a home in the 400 block of Blythe Road. 

Police were able to use a Taser to momentarily stun Cantellano and an officer tackled him to the ground. Police said Cantellano continued to fight with officers for several minutes before he was taken into custody. According to police, the entire incident occurred within seven minutes, from the initial call to when officers were able to tackle Cantellano. 

Cantellano was taken to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn for a psychological evaluation and a physical examination. He was released back to Riverside police about two hours later and questioned. 

Police said they learned Cantellano had taken a bus from Chicago to the North Riverside Mall and then walked to a specific address in the 300 block of Shenstone. According to police, Cantellano picked the home in particular because he had previously worked for the homeowner when he was employed by a landscape company hired by the resident. The resident told police the company had lost his business several years ago. 

Police said Cantellano gave a written confession and said he believed the homeowner was a "free mason" and that all free masons in the United States must be killed. Police also learned Cantellano had attempted to make contact with the resident several times over the last year. Police responded to a suspicious person call in March 2014, but the suspect was gone when police arrived. Police learned of additional sighting of Cantellano since the incident were witnesses saw him walking in the area of the 300 block of Shenstone, but were not previously reported. 

Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel said he believed Cantellano was planning to harm someone on Tuesday, most likely the resident of the home on Shenstone. Weitzel said he was thankful for the work by his officers and that no one was injured during the incident. 

Weitzel also said the foot chase took both officers and Cantellano into the area of Blythe Park School. At no time did the man enter school grounds, or were District 96 students in danger, police said. Weitzel said school officials were immediately notified by police of the situation. 

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